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Several area athletes highlighted by AHSAA for football playoff performances

Compiled by the AHSAA

MONTGOMERY – Cherokee County High School junior running back Jacob Cornejo had a record-setting performance for the Warriors against Corner to open the Class 4A state football playoffs on Friday.

Cornejo accumulated 372 rushing yards on 20 carries and six touchdowns – including a 99-yard burst in the fourth quarter – in the Warriors’ 47-10 victory. His other touchdown runs were from 1, 2, 57, 58 and 28 yards.

Cornejo’s performance was highlighted by the Alabama High School Athletic Association in its latest Football Spotlight, along with Spring Garden’s Connor Bates and Noah Barber, and Piedmont’s Cody Holloway and Sloan Smith.

Bates posted eight tackles and two interceptions on defense and ran for a 1-yard touchdown as the Panthers posted a 35-7 Class 1A playoff win over South Lamar. Barber also had eight tackles and an interception.

Holloway returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown in the Bulldogs’ 61-0 Class 3A playoff victory over Oakman. Smith connected on a pair of field goals from 21 and 26 yards in the first quarter, and he scored on a 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

In other statewide playoff happenings, Russellville junior quarterback Harrison Burch turned in a career performance Friday night passing for 481 yards and seven touchdowns as the Golden Tigers downed Boaz 63-10 in the first round of the Class 5A state football playoffs. He had a lot of help from 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior wide receiver Randell Johnson, however.

Johnson, who toted in the Russellville “blue and gold” flag as Coach John Ritter’s team entered the stadium prior to the game, and he toted six of Burch’s pass completions into the end zone – helping both players emerge in this week’s AHSAA First-Round Playoff Spotlight.

Johnson tied the AHSAA state record for most touchdown receptions in a single game as he finished the night with 12 receptions, six touchdown catches and 377 receiving. His touchdown receptions covered 64, 73, 30, 80, 21 and 20 yards and accounted for 288 of his total receiving yardage.

He was the first receiver in the AHSAA to accomplish the six-touchdown reception feat since 2010. Three other receivers share the single-game record, including Ja’Michael Willis of Gardendale who caught six TD passes in the Rockets’ 51-26 win over Bessemer City in 2010; David Morrison of Class 1A Berry High School had six TD receptions in a 54-6 win over Akron in 2009; and Westbrook Christian’s Brandon Greer hauled in six touchdown passes in a win over Donoho in 1998.

Earlier this season, Ben Hall of Southeastern caught five passes, all for touchdowns, and finished with 299 yards in a 57-53 victory over Holly Pond.

Burch’s 481 yards passing rank 21st all-time in the AHSAA Record Book and is second-most in a single game this season. Southside-Selma’s Roosevelt Towns passed for 567 yards in a 56-35 win over Dallas County in the final week of the regular season – which ranks second all time.

Burch’s seven TD passes rank third for a single game all-time and tied the school record. Two quarterbacks, Minor’s Kareem Keyes and Westminster Christian’s Brandon Musch, also threw for seven touchdowns in games earlier this season. The state record (9) is shared by two players, James Raines of Berry in a 68-0 win over Brilliant in 2015, and Brent Gulledge of Victory Christian, in a 70-6 victory over Lyman Ward in 2004.

Burch is 115-of-198 this season for 2,349 yards, 25 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Ritter’s Tigers (7-4) moves into the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs this week and will be at home Friday against Pleasant Grove ((9-1).

UMS-Wright running back Cole Blaylock turned in an exceptional performance with 302 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 17 carries as the Bulldogs (11-0) beat Headland 56-13 to deliver the 347th career coaching victory to head coach Terry Curtis. The win made Curtis the AHSAA’s all-time career football coaching wins leaders. He now has a 347-92-0 career record. Anderson retired with a 346-160-0 career slate.

Also posting milestone wins last week were Central of Clay County head coach Danny Horn (341-95-0) with the Volunteers’ 50-0 Class 5A playoff win over Holtville, and Fyffe head coach Paul Benefield (333-55-0) with the Red Devils’ 55-8 win over Red Bay in the Class 2A playoffs.

MILESTONES
JAYDEN PARKS, BRANTLEY: Completed 11-of-17 passes for 165 yards two touchdowns as the Bulldogs (9-2) downed Choctaw County 39-3 in Class 1A. The victory was the 600th in Class 1A school’s history. The Bulldogs, coached by Roland Jones, are now 600-335-15 all-time since 1926. Dora (8-3) also earned milestone win 500 with its 34-6 Class 4A playoff win over Good Hope. Dora’s Bulldogs, coached by Chavis Williams, are 500-446-29 since their first season in 1925.

ELJAH HALL, B.T. WASHINGTON: The 5-foot-11 junior rushed 16 times for 258 yards and two touchdowns, completes 8-of-13 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns and also returned his seventh interception of the year on defense 50 yards to set up another score as BTW (6-5), coached by Lawrence Oneal, won its first playoff game in school history beating Orange Beach 46-43. Hall finished with 451 yards total offense in the win.

IAN FOSTER, PIKE COUNTY: Caught six passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for 28 yards on two carries on offense and had four solo tackles and two pass break-ups on defense as the Bulldogs (8-3), a No. 4 seed from Region 2, downed Region 1 top seed Excel 42-14 in the Class 3A state playoffs. He also had a 14-yard punt return in the win. Teammate Omari Barrow was 10-of-17 passing for 239 yards and three TDs in the win. Both have helped Pike County turnaround from 0-9 in 2021 to 8-3 in 2022 under new head coach Mark Hurt. All three losses were by one point. Foster has 39 catches for 862 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. He also returned two of three kickoffs fielded for touchdowns and has seven punt returns for 151 yards for 21.6 yards and one TD. His all-purpose yardage total for the season in 1,800 yards on 68 touches for 20 offensive touchdowns. He also has six interceptions for 357 return yards and three touchdowns, 56 total tackles and 14 passes broken up.

JOHN PAUL HEAD, VESTAVIA HILLS: Completed 16-of-22 passes for 229 yards and ran 18 times for 68 yards a four TDs to lead the Rebels (7-4) to a 52-10 Class 7A playoff win over Austin. It was the first playoff win for Vestavia Hills since 2015 and the first in Coach Robert Evans’ tenure. Evans was a star defensive back for Vestavia Hills as a senior in 1998 helping the Rebels go 15-0 to claim the Class 6A state title. It was his stellar coverage on the last play of the Class 6A championship game versus Vigor at Legion Field that preserved a 10-7 Super 6 championship game 10-7 win over Vigor.

DREW PUCCIO, ARAB: Caught six passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns, threw a 56-yard TD pass and returned a kick 85 yards for a score in a 54-14 Class 5A first-round win over East Limestone. It was the Knights’ second playoff win in school history (11 state playoff appearances overall) and the first since 2010.

RUSHING
JAYLEN MURRY, WICKSBURG: Gained 258 yards and five touchdowns on 23 rush attempts to spark Wicksburg’s 34-7 Class 2A playoff win at J.U. Blacksher.

RAYMON BLACKMON, DOTHAN: Rushed for 254 yards on 19 carries and scored four touchdowns as the Wolves’ 42-28 win over Foley, the first state playoff victory Dothan public school teams in 25 years.

EIAN BAIN, VALLEY HEAD: Picked up 237 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 15 carries to lead Valley Head (10-1) to a 61-20 first-round win in the Class 1A playoffs over Phillips of Bear Creek. He leads the AHSAA in rushing this season with 2,680 yards and 32 touchdowns on 228 carries in 11 games – an average of 11.8 yards per carry and 243.6 yards rushing per game.

COLE GAMBLE, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Ran 22 times for 234 yards and six touchdowns as the Spartans (9-2) downed Pinson Valley 49-7 in Class 6A.

ELI FROST, FAIRVIEW: Had 37 carries for 225 yards and one touchdown in the Aggies’ 24-13 loss to Guntersville in the 5A playoffs. He closed his senior season with 2,484 yards rushing and 39 touchdowns on 235 carries in 10 games.

EARL WOODS, HUEYTOWN: Ran for 229 yards with 2 TDs and had 145 yards passing with a touchdown against Benjamin Russell.

JY MOSTELLA, COOSA CHRISTIAN: Rushed 27 times for 207 yards and five touchdowns in the Conquerors’ Class 1A first-round 51-8 victory over Hackleburg.

JEREMIAH COBB, MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC: Led the undefeated Knights (11-0) to a 41-13 win over Bayside Academy to open the Class 4A state playoffs with 205 yards rushing and a touchdown on 19 carries.

TYLER NELSON, GARDENDALE: Ran 22 times for 204 yards and 3 touchdowns and completed 10-of-17 passes in the Rockets’ 31-14 Class 6A victory over Oxford.

MYLES JOHNSON, T.R. MILLER: The sophomore rushed for five touchdowns as the Tigers defeated Montgomery Academy 41-13 in the Class 4A state playoffs. He finished with 220 yards on 16 carries. His touchdown runs covered 1, 34, 89, 5, and 2 yards.

BRAYDEN JENKINS, THEODORE: Rushed for 194 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries as Theodore (11-0) 35-20 Class 6A first-round win over Sidney Lanier.

ALVIN HENDERSON, ELBA: The sophomore ran for 178 yards on 19 carries and scored four touchdowns as the unbeaten Tigers (11-0) beat Southern Choctaw 42-20 in the 1A playoffs. Henderson upped his season totals to 176 carries die 2,430 yards and a state-leading 44 rushing touchdowns.

MASON CARTEE, PRICEVILLE: Priceville’s senior running back carried the ball 17 times for 169 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-28 win over Central-Florence in the first round of the 4A playoffs. He also caught a 53-yard touchdown pass, returned an interception 50 yards for a score and scored on a 2-point conversion in one of his best all-around efforts of the season.

JULYON JORDAN, GUNTERSVILLE: Ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-13 Class 5A playoff win over Fairview.

JEREMIAH HUNTER, LEEDS: Had 18 carries for 153 yards four TDs and a catch for 31 yards as the Green Wave (10-0) downed Fairfield 39-13 in Class 5A.

LEGION McCRARY, PISGAH: Had a pair of touchdown runs, including a 90-yarder, and converted four 2-point runs in a 40-20 win Class 2A playoff over Hatton.

DEMETRIUS JONES, COLBERT COUNTY: Totaled 333 all-purpose yards in the Indians’ 57-28 Class 3A playoff win over J.B. Pennington. He rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns, caught a pass for a touchdown and returned a kickoff for a touchdown for Colbert County (7-4).

JOSH FLOWERS, BAKER: Managed 199 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns 35-26 Class 7A playoff loss to Enterprise. The junior quarterback 27 times for 119 yards and was 8-of-17 passing for 80 yards.

PASSING

ANDREW HUNTER, RANDOLPH: Completed 18-of-19 passes for 357 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 76 yards and a TD on eight carries as the Raider (10-1) posted a 54-15 Class 4A playoff win over Rogers.

ANDYN GARRIS, ARITON: Was 21-of-25 passing for 317 yards and four touchdowns in the Purple Cats’ 61-22 Class 2A, playoff win over Chickasaw. His TD passes covered 57, 9, 16 and 15 yards.

HAYES HUNT, ALABAMA CHRISTIAN: Fired five touchdown passes for the third time in the last five games to lead the Eagles to a 63-30 win over Randolph County in the 3A playoffs.
He finished the night 16-of-21 passing for 298 yards.

ERIC HANDLEY, PLEASANT GROVE: Completed 13-of-16 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns as the Spartans (10-1) beat Alexandria 43-14 in the Class 5A playoffs.

TY’JERRIAN WILLIAMS, ALICEVILLE: Was 15-of-19 passing for 263 yards and four touchdowns as Aliceville (10-1) advanced in the 2A state playoffs with a 62-13 win over West End.

K.J. JACKSON, SAINT JAMES: Was 10-of-14 passing for 247 yards and four touchdowns as the Trojans beat (9-2) beat Walter Wellborn 54-7 in the Class 3A playoffs.

BLAKE ALLUMS, VINCENT: Was 20-of-32 passing for 239 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Yellow Jackets (10-1) to a 36-35 Class 2A playoff win over Luverne.

GAUGE NESMITH, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Was 23-for-31 passing for 237 yards and three touchdowns in the Panthers’ 61-25 Class 5A playoff loss to Ramsay.

CADEN BURNETT, FALKVILLE: Was 14-of- 21 passing for 225 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 98 yards and a TD on 12 carries and picked off a pass on defense in a 42-7 Class 2A first-round playoff win over Collinsville.

MATTHEW SPARKS, GADSDEN CITY: Was 19-for-25 in passing for 223 yards and four touchdowns in the Titans’ 41-24 victory over Cullman.

GRAY JENNINGS, OPP: Was 14-of-30 passing for 220 yards and a touchdown in the Bobcats’ 27-13 Class 3A playoff loss to W.S. Neal.

CALEB McCREARY, MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC: Completed 1-of-17 passes for 219 yards and four touchdowns as the Knights (11-0) advanced to the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs with a 41-13 win over Bayside Academy.

CANNON BERRYMAN, COLBERT COUNTY: Was 10-of-17 for 215 yards and three touchdowns as the Indians downed J.B. Pennington in the Class 3A playoffs 57-28.

CARSON CREEHAN, MADISON ACADEMY: Turned in a 16-of-21 passing effort for 206 yards and two touchdowns to the Mustangs (9-2) to a 49-28 Class 3A playoff win over Phil Campbell.

PARKER ADAMS, CHARLES HENDERSON: Led the Trojans (9-1) to a 20-16 Class 5A playoff win over Williamson with a 20-of-28 passing performance that netted 205 yards and two touchdowns.

AIDEN WHITE, ENTERPRISE: Completed 12-of-18 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for a third score as the Wildcats advanced in the Class 7A state playoffs with a 35-26 win over Baker.

DAYLON EDMUNDS, MILLRY: Accounted for seven touchdowns as Millry (10-1) advanced past Florala 55-7 in the Class 1A playoffs. He completed 13-of-16 passes for 183 yards and 4 TDs and rushed for 63 yards and 3 TDs on 10 carries.

TREMELL WASHINGTON, RAMSAY: Was 8-of-12 passing for 173 yards and three TDs and had five rush attempts for 42 yards and a touchdown as the Class 5A Rams beat Southside-Gadsden 61-25 in the first round of the state playoffs.

AIDAN COX, ARAB: Completed 10-of-13 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Knights to a 54-14 victory over East Limestone in the Class 5A playoffs.

PASS RECEIVING
AVERY STEWART, ALABAMA CHRISTIAN: Caught 10 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns, and teammate Preston Hicks grabbed five pass receptions for 125 yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles (8-3) downed Randolph County 63-30 in the 3A playoffs.

PERRY THOMPSON, FOLEY: The talented Lions’ senior receiver caught nine passes for 153 yards in a 42-28 loss to Dothan (8-3) in the Class 7A first round.

RYAN WILLIAMS, SARALAND: Scored four touchdowns and accounted for 210 total yards to lead the Spartans (10-1) to a 48-14 win over Wetumpka in the opening round of the 6A state playoffs. He caught seven passes for 141 yards with touchdown catches of 60 and 47 yards and had five rush attempts for 69 yards and touchdowns of 23 and 15 yards.

CLYDE CURRY, GADSDEN CITY: Had nine receptions for 146 yards and three touchdowns in the Titans’ 41-24 victory over Cullman in the Class 6A playoffs.

ETHAN BEARD, SAINT JAMES: Snared four pass receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns covering 55 and 53 yards in a 54-7 Class 3A win over Walter Wellborn.

JACKSON PARRIS, HOMEWOOD: Caught three passes for 115 yards and a touchdown to lead the Patriots (9-2) past McAdory 35-30 in the Class 6A playoffs.

RONNIE ROYAL, GULF SHORES: The junior accounted for three touchdowns as Gulf Shores (10-1) rolled to a 42-0 Class 5A first-round win over Carroll. Royal scored on a run, threw a TD pass, and caught a TD pass. He finished with four catches for 114 yards one TD, 144 yards rushing on eight carries, and completed his only pass for a 31-yard touchdown.

SCOTTY MOTES, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Had eight receptions for 103 yards in a 61-25 playoff loss to Ramsay.

DEFENSE
MADDOX BURKHARDT, WICKSBURG: Recorded 14 tackles in the Panthers’ 34-7 Class 2A playoff win over J.U. Blacksher.

DAMIEN HART, CHARLES HENDERSON: Has 12 tackles, including two for losses and one sack, and teammate ZION GRADY delivered four quarterback sacks and finished with seven tackles in the Trojans’ 20-16 win over Williamson in the 5A playoffs.

J.T. HOOTEN, ENTERPRISE: Managed 11 tackles in the Wildcats’ 35-26 Class 7A win over Baker.

NELSON HALL, OPP: Totaled 11 tackles in a 27-13 Class 3A playoff loss to W.S. Neal.

DRAKE ALBURY, COOSA CHRISTIAN: Had 10 tackles (including three for a loss) and two sacks and forced an interception in the Conquerors’ 51-8 Class 1A playoff victory over Hackleburg. The Coosa defense forced seven turnovers that led to 43 of Coosa’s 51 points.

TONI TOWNSEND, WEST MORGAN: Recorded seven tackles and an interception on defense and rushed for two touchdowns on offense as the Rebels (10-1) beat Westminster Christian 27-7 in the Class 4A playoffs – limiting the Wildcats, who came into the contest averaging 46.5 points per game, to just one touchdown for the only time all season.

TY GOODWILL, FAITH ACADEMY: Goodwill caught TD passes of 29 and 12 yards and scored on a 46-yard interception return as the Rams went on the road and beat Eufaula.

JON BUSH, BRANTLEY: Had seven tackles on defense and seven catches for 70 yards and a TD on offense as Brantley advanced to the second round of the 1A state playoffs with a 39-3 win over Choctaw County.

SPECIAL TEAMS
RI FLETCHER, HARTSELLE: Scored touchdowns on A 50-yard punt return, 85-yard kickoff return, and a 61-yard run as the unbeaten Tigers (11-0) downed Buckhorn 52-7 in the Class 6A playoffs.

MYKEL JOHNSON, ENTERPRISE: The Wildcats’ senior receiver scored three different ways, on a 53-yard reception, a 15-yard run and a 85-yard kickoff return as Enterprise beat Baker 35-26 in the Class 5A playoffs. For the game, Johnson rushed for 70 yards with a score, caught three passes for 54 yards and a score and punted three times for a 39.0 average. Johnson has now returned four kicks for touchdowns this season.

DREW PUCCIO, ARAB: The Knights’ sophomore receiver returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, had six pass receptions for 100 yards and TDs of 24 and 33 yards, and he also completed one pass for a 56-yard score to teammate Brody McCain as Arab (10-1) posted a 54-14 win over East Limestone.

AARON ROGERS, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown and also caught a 17-yard touchdown pass as the No. 4-seeded Leopards knocked off previously unbeaten Houston Academy 30-3 in the Class 3A playoffs.

PEYTON ARGENT, HOOVER: Booted all eight kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks and added a 33-yard field goal while putting two punts down inside the 10-yard line as the Bucs (10-1) beat Bob Jones 45-19 in the 7A playoffs’ first round.

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