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Football Friday Night: Willis’s four TD passes lead RCHS to seventh straight win

RCHS didn’t need overtime Friday to stay unbeaten. The Tigers took care of business in regulation.

RCHS moved one win closer to a region championship showdown against Dadeville with a strong 41-14 victory over Walter Wellborn on the road Friday night.

The Tigers were coming off of back-to-back overtime wins over Wadley and Saks the past two weeks, but they made sure their undefeated record wouldn’t face the same type of test three weeks in a row.

RCHS led 21-6 at the half, but Wellborn struck first in the third quarter to cut the lead to 21-14. After that, RCHS reeled off three unanswered touchdowns to close out the win and raise their record to 7-0.

Avion Willis completed 9-of-11 passes for 96 yards and four touchdowns, and Austin Terrell continued his good running back play as he recorded his fourth straight game over 100 yards rushing with 140 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.

The Tigers’ first four touchdowns came through the air as Willis connected with Isiah Wright and Zack Caldwell on a pair of short throws to start things off. The Tigers then got a huge momentum boost going into the halftime break as Willis connected with Johnathan Wilson on a 23-yard scoring strike with just 12 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

The Tigers went scoreless in the third quarter as Wellborn closed the gap, but Willis and Wilson once again joined forces on an 18-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, and Terrell took care of business on the ground, scoring on runs of 24 and 4 yards later in the quarter as the Tigers pulled away.

The Tigers host 1-6 Beulah next week before traveling to unbeaten Dadeville on October 21. If both teams arrive at that game undefeated, the winner will claim the region championship.

Handley 48, Talladega 3

Handley bounced back from its first loss of the season in a big way, pounding Talladega 48-3 in a game in which the Handley starters didn’t even play the entire first quarter.

In an encouraging sign for Handley, Jay Haynes got the start at running back and carried three times for 61 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown run. It was the first start for Haynes since he suffered a lower leg injury in the win over Clay Central three weeks ago. Haynes was still not at 100 percent, according to head coach Larry Strain, but he looked stronger on that leg than he did a week ago in an aborted attempt to play in the 32-7 loss to Anniston.

Handley had five players rush for 50 yards or more, led by Cardarious Lee’s seven carries for 74 yards and a touchdown. Cannon Kyles had a 59-yard touchdown on his only carry of the game and also threw for a 19-yard touchdown to Ayden O’Neal. Jamarcus Daniel (4 carries, 55 yards) and EJ Goss (1 carry, 66 yards) also helped Handley build a 35-0 lead at halftime.

Linebacker Koye White added to the onslaught with a 17-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown, and Handley also got a touchdown run from backup quarterback Cordan Patterson. The Tigers finished their scoring with a 67-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Montrevious Black.

The Tigers are now 7-1 and move one game closer to locking up the No. 2 seed in the region and a home game in the first round of the playoffs. Handley travels to Cleburne County next week for another region contest.

Other scores

Clay Central 48, Sylacauga 7 – The Volunteers took care of business against winless Sylacauga, setting up a winner take all contest for the region title next week against Beauregard in Lineville. Central is now 5-2 on the season and unbeaten in region play.

Wadley 47, Victory Christian 0

Vincent 39, Woodland 0

Isabella 34, Ranburne 7

RCHS quarterback Avion Willis completed 9-of-11 passes for 96 yards and four touchdowns as RCHS downed Walter Wellborn 41-14 Friday.

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