Tuscaloosa Academy Dominates Winston County in Regional Showdown
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The Tuscaloosa Academy Knights (5-2, 3-1) defeated the Winston County Yellow Jackets (5-2, 2-2) 34-8.
Tuscaloosa Academy honored the life and legacy of former teammate Fuller Goldsmith, who passed away one year ago this week. He was made an honorary captain for the night.
The Knights grabbed a quick 14-0 lead after scoring two touchdowns on its first two possessions of the evening. The first was a two-yard pass to wide receiver Mills Powell on the first drive of the game. Tuscaloosa Academy's defense forced a three-and-out, then went down the field again on a seven-yard drive. The possession was capped off by a six-yard touchdown run by running back Sherebiah Jones.
Winston County got on the board on its second drive of the game. On a 4th-and-8 from its own 48-yard line, the center snapped the ball too high, going over the head of punter Eli Edgil. Edgil picked the ball up and ran 50 yards down field to the one-yard line to make it first-and-goal. Quarterback Chris Clemons ran the ball in and converted a two-point conversion for the Yellow Jackets' only score of the night.
Both teams exchanged punts, however Tuscaloosa Academy put up one more score prior to halftime. Knights quarterback Preston Lancaster led the drive, going a perfect 3-of-3 for 34 yards and a 13-yard touchdown throw to wide receiver Luke Kilgore to extend the Knights lead 21-8 going into the break.
Winston County received the ball to open the second half, but a personal foul penalty and a fumble recovery forced a fourth-and-nine. The Yellow Jackets went for it near midfield, but a tackle by Knights defender Leon Sadler forced a turnover on downs.
The Yellow Jackets forced a three-and-out, but fumbled on its next drive of the game and Knights defender Tristen Kegg recovered the ball. Tuscaloosa Academy extended its lead on its following drive with an explosive, three-snap drive, finished off by a 14-yard touchdown run by Jones, his second of the night.
The Knights scored one more time on a two-snap possession after forcing another three-and-out against the Yellow Jackets. Lancaster threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Powell, his second of the night, to seal the Tuscaloosa Academy victory.
"It was a physical ball game. Our offensive line, I thought, really played well. Sherebiah Jones played great tonight. I thought Preston threw the ball fairly accurately. But the offensive and defensive lines to me was the MVP of the game. And Leon Sadler played a great night too at linebacker, so it was a total, total team win. I was proud of them," said Tuscaloosa Academy head coach Josh Wright.
Both teams exchanged turnovers on downs and Winston County ran the clock out to end the game.
“We had a lot of adversity with the guys missing due to injuries and suspensions but you’re going to go through that. We’ll bounce back and be fine," said Winston County head coach Mark Mitchell.
Next week, Tuscaloosa Academy travels to Sulligent (5-3, 3-2) and Winston County hosts Aliceville (6-1, 3-0). Both kickoffs are set for 7 p.m. CT.