John Essex keeps playoff hopes alive
John Essex (4-5, 3-4) kept hope alive Friday night with a 34-20 road win over Shades Mountain Christian to close out region play. The victory forced a three-way tie for the fourth and final playoff spot in Class 1A, Region 4 after Holy Spirit fell to Pickens County and Autaugaville assaulted Keith. The Hornets lost to Keith 14-6 two weeks ago but rebounded with a 22-6 win over Holy Spirit last week. Holy Spirit beat Keith earlier in the season to help create the deadlock.
The Hornets rode the rushing tandem of Denzell Charleston and A.J. Bennett to the victory Friday. Charleston amassed 218 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Bennett scored three touchdowns and picked up 158 yards on 15 carries while also adding a two-point conversion. Terry Fountain also accounted for a two-point conversion in the game.
“The kids played well,” John Essex head coach Jerome Antone said. “They played together. I’m really proud of them and the way the played.”