Last week Results
- Handley 32, J’ville 24
- RCHS 38, Ch’burg 28
- Wadley 41, Sp. Garden 7
- Clay Ctrl. 41, Tallassee 7
- Ranburne 38, F’ville 19
- BB Comer 45, Woodland 0
- Jaquez Wilkes, Wadley: 25 car., 161 yards, 2 TD
- E.J. Goss, Handley: 31 car., 188 yards, 2 TD
- Cannon Kyles, Handley: 111 rush yards, 1 TD and 114 pass yards, 2 TD
- Cortavion Lynch, Wadley: 15 car., 118 yards, 2 TD
- Mo Winston, RCHS: 18 car., 166 yards, 2 TD
- LaDamion Boyd, Central: 7 car., 193 yards, 3 TD
- Frisco Robertson,Wadley: 5 touches, 116 yards, 2 TD, 2 Int.
- Kaide Garrett, Ranburne: 52 rush yards, 2 TD and 109 pass yards, 2 TD
- Austin Terrell, RCHS: 17 car., 107 yards, 3 TD
Wadley continues to assert itself as a team to be reckoned with, not just in its region but on the state level as well. The Bulldogs were absolutely dominant in a 41-7 win over 10th-ranked Spring Garden and were rewarded for their efforts with their first top 10 ranking since the start of last season. I’ve spent a lot of the first part of the season talking about the sophomore trio of Jaquez Wilkes, Cortavion Lynch and Frisco Robertson, and they have earned every positive word that has been written about them. But there’s one more sophomore that is having an impact, and that is lineman Jabari Burns. He plays both sides of the ball, helps pave the way for those prolific running backs and had a big sack against Spring Garden defensively Friday. That sophomore core has the chance to do some really special things at Wadley over the next two-plus seasons.
Handley overcame…a lot to get its win against Jacksonville Friday. I was listening to the iSchoolSports broadcast of the game from the Wadley sidelines and felt the frustration as flag after flag negated big plays for Handley on offense. But the Tigers found a way, even after a late goal-line fumble that robbed them of a chance to put the game away much sooner than they did.
EJ Goss is putting up big-time numbers behind that brutal Handley offensive front, but I was excited to see quarterback Cannon Kyles making his impact on the run game as he went over 100 yards on the ground. I know coach Larry Strain wants (and needs) to be able to throw the ball, and he wants to protect Kyles from taking too many hits. But Kyles’s ability to impact the game on the ground is undeniable. Striking that balance between keeping him healthy and allowing him to showcase those running abilities will be a key theme to watch as Handley progresses through this season.
The final score of RCHS’s win over Childersburg doesn’t look all that impressive, but don’t be deceived by that. Childersburg scored late in each half to make the game closer than it truly was. It was a 38-14 game until late in the fourth quarter. To me, the biggest development for the Tigers from that game was the display of the full-strength backfield of Mo Winston, Amari Molden and Austin Terrell, who made his season debut after sitting out the first game of the season. All three of those players found the end zone as RCHS ran for over 350 yards for the second time in as many games. Molden had a scary moment when he went down with what appeared to be a head or neck injury and was taken off the field. But coach Pat Prestridge said this week the injury was not severe, and Molden could return to the field as soon as Friday against Ragland.
Clay Central and Ranburne both took care of business against overmatched opponents, as they both got off to 1-0 starts in region play. Central did it with big plays on offense, while Ranburne forced three turnovers and got another strong all around game from Kaide Garrett.
That type of one-sided result is not all that surprising from a Fayetteville team that hasn’t had a winning record since 2019. It’s a little more stunning to see Mike Battles, Jr. and his Tallassee Tigers off to an 0-3 start in three games in which they really haven’t been competitive. Every program has its ups and downs, and Tallassee looks like its on the wrong end of that cycle right now.
The same can be said for the Woodland Bobcats who have been shut out in back to back games after a solid season debut against Victory Christian. But the opposition must be taken into account when looking at those results as well. RCHS looks like the front runner to win its region in Class 3A, while BB Comer was a state finalist last year and looks to be every bit the same type of contender this year. I’ve said it before, but better days are ahead for Woodland.
Games this week(7 p.m. Friday)
Clay Ctrl. at Elmore Co.
Handley at W. Plains
RCHS at Ragland
W’land at Thorsby
BB Comer at Ranburne
Wadley at Donoho