France named defensive POTW finalist
By PAUL BEAUDRY
For The ASWA
Jackson High School has one of the one of the stingiest defenses in Class 4A. But the Aggies had a tough time stopping Leroy’s Sammie Coates.
Coates, a senior wide receiver, scored all four touchdowns for Class 2A No. 1 Leroy in a 28-24 loss to Class 4A No. 1 Jackson. The effort didn’t earn Coates his first goal, a win. But it did earn him Alabama Sports Writers Association Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Coates caught seven passes for 192 yards against an Aggies’ team that allowed just one catch for seven yards the week before against UMS-Wright. He caught a state-record tying 99-yarder to go with TD catches of 33 and 14 yards and had a 2-yard TD run to boot.
He edged out solid finalists in Ashville’s E.J. Moss and C.J. Duncan of St. James. Moss had 509 yards in offense – fifth on the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s all-time list – in a 40-34 win over White Plains. Moss, a freshman quarterback, was 17 of 29 passing for 298 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for another 211 yards with a touchdown as well as a two-point conversion.
Duncan also made the AHSAA list, coming in 10th in total offense thanks to a 437 yard performance against Montgomery Academy. Duncan was 9 of 20 for 274 yards and TD passes of 50, 56 and 25 yards, and rushed for 163 yards on 11 carries with a 61-yard score.
The ASWA Defensive/Special Teams Player of the Week is Brian Crooks of Parkway Christian. Crooks had two kickoff returns of 89 and 75 yards for touchdowns, a 40-yard punt return for touchdown and a 4-yard rushing TD in a 41-28 win over Woodville. Crooks edged out Ja’Mel Morris of Deshler and David France of Demopolis.
Morris intercepted four passes in a 55-18 win over Colbert County – the 16th player in AHSAA history to have at least that many in a game – and added his own touchdown pass. France, in just his second game at linebacker, had 10 tackles, as well as blocking a field goal and extra point in a 41-7 loss to Thomasville.
A panel of ASWA members considered 74 nominees from members in Andalusia, Anniston, Birmingham, Centre, Demopolis, Dothan, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Gardendale, Graysville, Grove Hill, Hartselle, Mobile, Montgomery, Oneonta, and Opelika.
Other top nominees included:
Tommy Bothwell, Ashville: Had 11 catches for 211 yards, catching three TD passes and rushing for another.
Beniquez Brown, Florence: Led the Falcons to their first win, a 43-23 decision over previously unbeaten Muscle Shoals, by rushing for 141 yards and five touchdowns (47, 1, 3, 1, 14) on just 14 carries.
Christian Collis, Beauregard: Had 10 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown — also catching two 2-point conversions — in a 31-28 win over Benjamin Russell.
Chase Domino, Fairhope: The junior QB completed 23 of 39 passes for 347 yards and three TDs in a 42-40 loss to St. Paul’s.
Brandon Douglas, Walker: Ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns on just 11 carries and caught five passes for 102 yards and another touchdown in a 49-28 win over No. 1 Russellville.
Chris Dukes, UMS-Wright: Ran for 332 yards and six touchdowns (76, 54, 20, 59, 1, 20) in a 66-39 win over Mary Montgomery.
Reginald Foster, Goshen: Rushed for 158 yards on 20 carries and had three TDs rushing and added a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown, helping Goshen stun Class 3A No. 7 Pike County, 47-24.
Jeremy Johnson, Carver-Montgomery: Was 24 of 29 for 274 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for another score in the Wolverines’ 34-31 loss to Colquitt County (Ga.).
Mark Lear, Clarke Prep: Lear carried the ball 24 times and picked up 261 yards while scoring three touchdowns as the Gators beat South Choctaw.
Justin McArthur, Hoover: Finished with 180 yards rushing against Class 6A No. 4 Gadsden City on 20 carries and touchdown runs of 9, 71 and 9 yards.
Matt Moore, Edgewood: Passed for 169 yards and two TDs (57, 36) on eight completions and added 100 yards on 12 carries in a 21-6 win over Pickens Academy.
Troymaine Pope, Anniston: Had 198 yards rushing with four touchdowns and 80 yards in receiving as Anniston beat Lincoln.
Marcus Reese, Cedar Bluff: Had 99 yards on just seven carries with three touchdowns (42, 7, 21), added nine catches for 32 yards and a score and had a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Class 1A Tigers’ 54-24 win at Class 4A Douglas.
Daniel Staples, Lineville: Had 15 carries for 175 yards and two touchdowns (77, 35) as the Class 2A No. 8 Aggies blew out Class 3A No. 9 Clay County.
Jackson Stephens, Oxford: Completed 17 of 22 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns as the Yellow Jackets upset Class 6A No. 5 Auburn.
Chris Strott, Piedmont: Scored the game-tying touchdown on a 4-yard run with 2:21 left in regulation, connected with Jamaal Johnson on a 5-yard touchdown pass in overtime and kicked the game-winning extra point in Class 3A, No. 3 Piedmont’s 13-12 victory over No. 8 Glencoe on Friday.
Issac Veitch, Hayden: Had 280 total yards (58 rushing, 222 receiving) and scored two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Wildcats’ 42-32 loss to Oneonta.
Schyler Walker, Oneonta: Completed 12 of 21 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns (5, 28, 68) and rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown on eight carries in the Redskins’ 42-32 win over Hayden.
Corey Ward, Hayden: Completed 28 of 42 passes for 372 yards with three touchdowns and one interception and rushed for 65 yards on 11 carries against Oneonta.
John David Adams, Hackleburg: Returned an interception 35 yards with 1:02 to play for the winning score as Hackleburg rallied from a 13-0 deficit to upend Brilliant.
Shaquille Calhoun, Woodlawn: Had 12 tackles, three pass breakups and an interception in a 35-12 win over Talladega.
Malcolm Cyrus, Autaugaville: Scored twice on punt returns (55, 30) and rushed for 86 yards on six carries in a 34-14 win over Catholic-Montgomery.
Michael D’Arville, Crenshaw Christian: Returned a pair of punts 46 yards and 58 yards for two scores and also had a 43-yard TD reception in a 53-7 win over Ashford Academy.
Tyler Deal, Ariton: Earned 15 tackles, including two safeties, in a 30-16 loss to New Brockton.
Seth Dodd, Fort Payne: Had 10 tackles, a 52-yard interception return to set up the go-ahead touchdown, and a quarterback pressure as Fort Payne beat Cullman 36-9.
DeAndre Graves, Stanhope Elmore: Picked off two passes, including one at the Stanhope 1 in a 28-6 win over Dothan.
Derrick Moncrief, Prattville: Picked off an Opelika pass in the end zone with less than 20 seconds to play to preserve a 24-21 win.
Sawyer Reeves, Fort Dale: Recorded 10 tackles and blocked two punts, one of which he returned 30 yards for a TD, in a 51-14 win over Macon-East
Thomas Russell, Danville: Returned interception for TD, recovered a fumble in end zone for TD, had a 67-yard touchdown reception and ran for another score in 69-42 win over Priceville.
Chad Thompson, Sand Rock: Had eight tackles, an interception and a 43-yard fumble return for a touchdown in a 19-14 loss at North Sand Mountain.
Clint Walker, Beauregard: Was 3 of 3 on field goals with a long of 26 coming with six seconds to go to beat Benjamin Russell, 31-28.
Michael Wright, Geraldine: Finished with 13 tackles, two interceptions – both in the fourth quarter – and two passes broken up as the Bulldogs beat Pisgah, 32-24.