Central Routs Aliceville
The Tuscaloosa-Central Falcons defeated the Aliceville Yellow Jackets 55-6. The Falcons were powered by quarterback David McNeil, who scored twice, and running backs Shunkeith Turner, Marquis Thomas, and Anthony Dixon Jr., who combined for five touchdowns and over 200 yards. Keanthony Wilder led Aliceville with a receiving touchdown and more than 100 yards total.
Central entered the game with a 3-2 record and was coming off a crushing home loss to McAdory. The Falcons struggled against the run and a powerful Yellow Jackets club that day. They looked to have solved that problem for this week.
Aliceville has not had the best start to the season, going 1-4. The Yellow Jackets have a young front seven on both sides, and they were missing standout player Tyquan Simon, who is out with a knee injury. Without Simon, the Yellow Jackets struggled to move the ball on offense tonight.
Central scored on three consecutive possessions in the first half, including a four-yard touchdown by Thomas, an eight-yard touchdown by Dixon Jr., and McNeil's 43-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Christian Bishop.
Aliceville struggled offensively to the point where its initial first down came 11 minutes into the second quarter. Much of that was due to the Falcons defense, while the rest was due to Simon's absence.
Aliceville quarterback Javien McGraw connected with Wilder for a 43-yard touchdown, the Yellow Jackets' only score of the game.
For the rest of the game, Central relied on the ground game, which paid off with multiple touchdowns. Turner scored from 26 yards out, McNeil scored from four yards out, Thomas scored from three yards out, and Dixon Jr. scored from two yards out. Freshman Armani White's 45-yard touchdown pass in garbage time would be the Falcons' final score.
Following the game, Central head coach Demario Pippen discussed his team's performance and how they recovered from their loss the week before.
"We kept things simple," Pippen said. "We did what we had to do. We got in and got out and it was one of those types of games where we could run the ball well and we did that."
Central's offensive line, led by senior Colter Pereira and junior Donntrezz Cade, helped the Falcons run for over 200 yards as a team. Both guys were effective in protecting their quarterbacks and creating opportunities for the run game. Cade was also able to dial up a few pancake blocks.
"Colter [Pereira] is the captain of the team and Donntrezz [Cade] is one of our stronger offensive linemen that we have," Pippen said. "Colter is a kid that is committed in the turnaround of this program. He is one of the guys who has been to every workout, has been going hard in the workouts, and is guiding some of the young guys on the offensive line. It is just a blessing to have guys like that up front."
On the 43-yard touchdown pass to Bishop, McNeil talked about how confident he was when he saw his receiver down the field.
"They signaled man coverage and one-on-one with my guy versus their guy, I know my guy is better than their guy and I took my shot with Bishop and he came through for me," McNeil said.
Central is now 4-2 on the season and will be home next Friday, October 6th to take on their undefeated in-city rivals Hillcrest. Aliceville falls to 1-5 and they will look to bounce back at home next Friday against Lamar County.
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Gallery Credit: @rochelleqphotographs