Regional play kicks off for high school football across the state of Alabama this week, and for me, that meant a hot, humid night at Wildcat Field in Northport, Ala., to watch the Thompson Warriors (3-0, 1-0) wreck the Tuscaloosa County Wildcats (1-2, 0-1) 58-0.

Red and black took over tonight as the Warriors dominated from start to finish. Thompson QB Conner Harrell went 4-for-7, 175 yards, and three TDs, finishing his night in the second quarter, and going into halftime leading 51-0.

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Wildcats QB Brax Garrison struggled, going 5-for-11, 10 yards, and one pick in the second quarter.

Not only did Garrison have issues getting going, but also the Wildcat offense could not find a hole; the biggest play of the game came from a 25-yard kickoff return on special teams.

“We have a long way to go as a football team; we’re not even close to being where we need to be to compete at a high level. We have a lot to learn as a football team,” said Tuscaloosa County head coach Adam Winegarden.

Thompson had the complete edge: receivers were faster, the defensive line was solid, not letting a single Wildcat through, and Harrell’s accuracy, especially deep, seemed to be the icing on the Warriors' cake.

Another big advantage for Thompson is receivers. There is not a single player they have to rely on to be successful, each can do damage on the field. Warriors RB Brandon Franklin, Ahmari Bolden, and WR Ryan Peppins all scored two TDs, while RB Lione Cook scored one TD; and DB Trequon Fegans scored one TD on a kickoff return.

Thompson head coach Mark Freeman credited the team's work during practices and also had high praises for the Wildcats staff.

“We’re playing great right now, we got a lot of breaks tonight. They brought Adam [Winegarden] in here to get this place going, he’ll do a great job and I think they’ll be a better team before this years over,” said Freeman.

Next Friday, the Tuscaloosa County Wildcats travel to Hewitt-Trussville, while the Thompson Warriors play at Spain Park. 

Tuscaloosa County Wildcats vs. Paul W. Bryant Stampede

The Tuscaloosa County Wildcats defeated the Paul W. Bryant Stampede 59-34 in the opening game of the 2021 season for both schools. For the Wildcats it was the debut of new coach Adam Winegarden.

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