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Football Friday Night: Central bests Handley in battle of top-5 teams; Wadley, RCHS remain unbeaten

Clay Central used a series of big plays in the first half to build a 24-6 lead, then leaned on its defense and milked the clock over the final two quarters for a 31-6 win over Handley Friday in Lineville.

Ladamion Boyd rushed for 240 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries and added an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as Central, which is ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 5A, kept its record unblemished in a battle of top five teams in the state.

Handley came into the game unbeaten and ranked No. 5 in the state in Class 4A, but the Tigers never got a rhythm offensively against a physical Volunteer defense.

Handley managed just 133 yards of offense, with its longest play coming on a 29-yard completion from Cannon Kyles to Amajah Williams to set up Handley’s only touchdown.

That came with 10 minutes left in the second quarter and cut Central’s lead to 7-6 in a game that was still very much up for grabs at that point.

But Boyd took the ensuing kickoff to the house, breaking through the Handley coverage and turning the corner right in front the Tigers’ sideline to immediately put Central back up by a touchdown.

Then after Central’s defense forced a three-and-out, Boyd ripped off a 60-yard touchdown run to make it 21-6 with 6:56 left in the half.

Turnovers hurt the Tigers in the game as well. Trendon Glenn’s interception on an attempted Handley screen pass halted a promising Handley drive and set up a late first-half field goal by Aden Young that gave the Vols their 24-6 lead at the break.

Handley also fumbled away a potential scoring opportunity when a shanked Central punt from deep in its own territory was fielded near the Vols’ 25-yard line. But the Handley return man fumbled the ball and Central recovered to end that potential threat.

Boyd blasted off for an 80-yard touchdown run on his first carry of the fourth quarter to get his third touchdown of the game and give Central its final margin of victory.

The Vols capitalized on a downfield shot early in the game when quarterback Darren Harris connected with Kevin Cherry on 49-yard completion on Central’s third play from scrimmage in the game. That set up Harris’s 1-yard sneak for six that gave the Vols a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

That completion was the only one of the night for Central’s pass game, but they chewed up yards in chunks on the ground.

E.J. Goss led Handley with 36 yards on 18 carries, while Kyles rushed 10 times for 27 yards and completed 7-of-18 passes for 70 yards.

Handley falls to 4-1 on the season while Central raises its record to 4-0.

Handley will host Lanett for homecoming next week, while Central will travel to Alexandria.

RCHS 46, Weaver 29

Mo Winston rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns and added a 35-yard touchdown reception as RCHS knocked off Weaver for a 46-29 homecoming victory Friday in Wedowee.

Winston’s effort led an RCHS running attack that went for 460 yards as a team.

Amari Molden returned to the lineup after sitting out last week due to injury and ran for 76 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. Austin Terrell added 124 yards on 12 rushes for an RCHS offense that was virtually unstoppable on the ground. The Tigers never punted and averaged over 10 yards per play on offense.

RCHS is now 4-0 on the season. The Tigers will host Wadley in a cross-county matchup next week.

Other scores

Wadley 32, Ragland 6 – Wadley remained undefeated and cleared a major hurdle on its path to a region title with Friday’s win over Ragland. The Bulldogs are 5-0 and will take on RCHS next week in a battle of unbeaten county teams.

Ranburne 28, Woodland 7

Central running back Ladamion Boyd (15) ran for 240 yards and two touchdowns and had an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Vols’ 31-6 win over Handley Friday in Lineville.

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