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Football Friday Night: Handley, Clay Central advance; RCHS, Wadley lose in first round

Handley’s talent was on full display from its opening possession, and the Tigers built a big lead early on their way to a 46-6 first-round playoff victory over West Blocton Friday in Roanoke.

It was far from a perfect game, but it was more than enough to put Handley into the second round for the fourth straight season.

Jay Haynes ran for 167 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries, and Handley limited West Blocton to minus-3 net rushing yards and 69 yard of total offense.

Handley overcame two early turnovers and won easily despite committing 12 penalties for 110 yards.

Haynes scored on runs of 26, 40 and 31 yards – all in the first half as Handley built a 33-0 lead through the first two quarters. But the highlight of the night came from Handley receiver Jamerqui Lewis.

Lewis caught a pass in the left flat from quarterback Cannon Kyles and was immediately faced with four West Blocton defenders bearing down on him for what appeared would be a tackle for loss. But Lewis somehow avoided all of those would-be tacklers, completely reversed his field to the far sideline and then outran everyone for a scintillating 76-yard touchdown.

Handley was never put in a position to have to execute a drawn-out drive in order to score. The most plays the offense ran in any of its scoring possessions was five. Kyles had an 87-yard touchdown run, Jamarcus Paige scored from 51 yards out, and Ja’marcus Daniel ran one in from 41 yards away as Handley amassed 349 yards on the ground for the game.

Handley, which entered the playoffs ranked No. 4 in the state in Class 4A, will now travel to Brewton to take on No. 6 T.R. Miller, which defeated Montgomery Academy 41-7 in its first round game.

It will be the seventh meeting between Handley and T.R. Miller. The previous six have all been playoff games and have all taken place in Roanoke, so this will be Handley’s first-ever trip to Brewton for a football game. T.R. Miller leads the all-time series 4-2, but Handley has won the last two meetings in 2007 and 2011.

Other scores

Clay Central also took care of business Friday with a 50-0 victory over Holtville. The Volunteers will advance to host Gulf Shores, which defeated Carroll 42-10.

The other two playoff teams from Randolph County were not so fortunate. Wadley fell on the road to Pickens County, 34-14. And Alabama Christian came to Wedowee and eliminated RCHS by the score of 63-30. Wadley finishes its season with a 6-5 record, while RCHS posted an 8-3 mark for the year.

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