Scenes and Comments from Thursday's Opening Games of AHSAA Action


Gulf Shores wide receiver Braden Jackson eludes the tackle of St. Michaels defender Brady Zdyb. Gulf Shores defeated St. Michael's 34-27. “I thought we started a little timid early given the first drive of the game, but I loved the way our team responded after they scored,” said Gulf Shores coach Mark Hudspeth, “We came back and played really well the rest of the game. I almost cost us the game putting the subs in a little too early, but we’ve had so many guys that I wanted to get on the field and who deserved to play,” he said. “It got a little hairy, so lesson learned I guess.” “We just made too many mistakes,” second year St. Michaels coach Philip Rivers said. “We didn’t convert enough on offense on fourth downs that we went for and just gave up too many big plays. We got too far behind. One thing we will do is we will fight to the end.” Photo courtesy of Mike Kittrell al.com.



Andalusia's Darion Crittenden ran for 158 yards in his team's 35-7 victory over rival Opp Thursday night in Andalusia. “We still have a lot of things to clean up. We have a tough schedule ahead and a tough game next week that we start preparing for. We’ll enjoy this win for a few days and get back to work on Monday,” Andalusia coach Trent Taylor said. Andalusia will travel next week to Milton, Florida while Opp goes to New Brockton for the Bobcats’ first region game of the season. Photo courtesy of Zack Maio Andalusia News



The Arab Knights scored on their first 7 possessions in a 47-14 victory over Albertville Thursdqy night. It was the Knights third consecutive victory of Albertville. The Aggies will try and rebound next week when they travel to Boaz and Arab will be on the road for the second consecutive week when they visit Brewer. Photo courtesy of the Sand Mountain Reporter.



Athens exploded to a 49-7 halftime lead in route to a 49-14 opening season victory over East Limestone Thursday night. In the first half, Athens running back Larry Howard ran for three touchdowns and quarterback Brogan Gross threw three touchdown passes. "It was a great night for football," Athens coach Cody Gross said as his team won for the fifth consecutive time over East Limestone. Photo courtesy of Local Today.



New Etowah Coach Matt Glover saw his defense tackle hard and often in a 35-0 opening victory over Springville. “I just want to tell them to be us," Springville coach Jon Clements said after the game. “When you’re young you find a lot of excuses and a lot of fingers to point at people but they’re going to learn that some of that is the man in the mirror and that’s a hard lesson to learn but they’re going to have to grow up fast and we gotta get back to work on Sunday.” Photo courtesy of Ron Burkett Trussville Tribune.



Fayette County defeated Cordova 28-24 in a back and forth second half to open the season for both teams. It was the first victory for new Fayette County coach Jared Porter. The tigers have won 8 of the10 meetings between the two teams. Fayette County plays at home next week vs. Sulligent while Cordova hits the road against Oakman. Photo courtesy of The Daily Mountain Eagle.



Mountain Brook defenders gang tackle Vestavia Hills quarterback John Paul Head in the Spartans 24-14 victory over the Rebels Thursday night in Vestavia. New Vestavia coach Rob Evans came over from the Mountain Brook staff in the off season. “I’ve never been more happy that a game’s been in my rearview mirror,” Mountain Brook head coach Chris Yeager said following the game, accompanied by a sigh that signified relief. “I’ve been dreading this game for eight months. I still love Rob Evans, always have, and respect him. That program is in good hands right now.” Photo courtesy of Vasha Hunt al.com.



Tallassee quarterback Tyler Ellis scores in the 4th quarter of his teams's 37-13 victory over rival Reeltown. “Our kids fought hard and this was a big game for our seniors. Last time we played Reeltown on this field, they beat us in overtime,” Tallassee head coach Mike Battles said. “I reminded our seniors of that all week because you get one shot at it.” Reeltown caoch Matt Johnson said, “it was a physical game on both sides. I was pleased with our physicality. We lost our discipline a few times but I feel like we played a lot better in the second half, but it was the same thing in the second half: couple turnovers, couple missed keys on blocking. That can’t happen." Tallassee plays on the road at B.T. Washington next week while Reeltown continues its tour of the local bigger schools when they entertain the Dadeville Tigers. Photo courtesy of Adam Sparks of the Opelika Auburn News.



Winfield held Dora out of the end zone in the last minutes to squelch a furious fourth quarter comeback by the Bulldogs to win a hard fought 28-22 victory. It was only the third time the two teams had played. Dora will try and recover next week on the road against Oneonta while the Pirates of Winfield play their home opener against Haleyville. Photo courtesy of the Daily Mountain Eagle.



Northside Methodist used a strong defense and 135 yards rushing from J.J. Smith to pull away from Houston County for a 42-20 victory Thursday night at Rip Hewes Stadium in Dothan. “We played well in the first half, but we didn’t have a lot to show for it,” NMA coach Toby Greene said. “I think we only had three or four possessions.” “With most of my guys playing both sides of the ball, fatigue kicked in early in the third quarter,” new Houston County coach Jake Allen said. “When the fatigue kicked in, that’s when the separation started and Northside gained the momentum. We had some injuries early and I always tell the guys the next guy up. Those guys continued to fight and that’s what I ask for … continue to fight no matter what the scoreboard looks like.” Photo courtesy of Jay Hare Dothan Eagle.