25 straight! Southern to play for title

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

GREENSBORO – Anyone who might have an appointment at Southern Academy next Friday should probably reschedule.

The Cougars clinched a spot in the AISA Class A Championship next week in Troy with a 47-14 demolition of the Lowndes Academy Rebels last night.

“Yeah, baby, we’re going to Troy,” yelled senior Allen Langham as the final second ticked off the clock.

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As the Cougars gathered at midfield, most of the home bleachers emptied onto the field around them.

“Hey coach,” defensive coordinator and school headmaster James I. Davis yelled to head coach Shawn Bonds, “it’ll be a half-day Friday.”

Lowndes Academy gave the Cougars a little more than they expected, Bonds said, but not more than they could handle.

“It was a dogfight tonight, but we just turned it up and took them out,” he added.

Senior tailback Wallace Drury stole the show again with a 316-yard, four touchdown rushing performance. He also added a 7-yard touchdown pass to Christopher Collums, scrambling back and forth to dodge pass-rushers before gaining enough separation to put the ball in the endzone.

“I just don’t know what else to say about Wallace Drury,” Bonds said of his tailback, who upped his season rushing total to 2,766 yards, despite a lingering virus that slowed him in practice. “He was just phenomenal tonight.”

Southern finished the game with 451 yards in total offense. Though the Rebel’s air attack put 239 yards and two touchdowns on the board, the Cougars’ stifling run defense kept Lowndes from capitalizing on that success. Lowndes gained only 35 yards on the ground.

Lowndes gave the Cougars match-up troubles in the first half, as Rebel quarterback Drew Harrell and receiver Bradley Adams forced Southern to change out of Bonds’ usual man-to-man defense. Harrell got Lowndes on the board with a 86-yard pass to Adams in the third quarter, and quickened the pulse of the Southern faithful with an 82-yard touchdown completion to Jon Kreder on the Rebels’ first possession of the second-half.

But then Bonds switched to a cover-two defense, and it paid dividends immediately. With the Rebels starting from their own 27, Harrell threw another out-route to Adams, but senior defensive back Jason Segura stepped between them and took the interception in for the touchdown.

“Coach made that play with the call go to cover-two,” Segura said after the game. “He had me in the right position to make the play.”

Bonds said Segura’s interception was the play of the night, as it “took the wind out of their sails.”

Late in the fourth quarter, the Cougars got word they would meet Autauga Academy, who defeated Shelby Academy 45-14. Bonds said that, before the season, he knew his Cougars would be good, “but I didn’t know we would be where we are now.”

As defending champions, though, each player seemed to know his job wasn’t over yet.

“We’ve been here before, and we still have business to take care of,” junior Wes Henry said. “There’s one more step to go; anything less will be a disappointment. Runner-up isn’t good enough.”