Cousins Joshua and Jamar Williams have been playing football together since they were knee-high to a grasshopper, growing up in the tiny Alabama town of Linden, nestled within thick pine forests on the west side of the state.
Their lifelong journey can now include a state football title following their combined efforts in bringing home the first blue map in Linden football history.
The second-ranked Linden Patriots (14-0) played incredible defense and got a second-half shutout in their 32-8 win over the 10th-ranked Pickens County Tornadoes (11-4) in the AHSAA Class 1A championship game on Thursday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
The Patriots completed an undefeated season and two-game sweep of Pickens County this season, winning 36-0 in the second week of the season, and captured their first state title in program history.
Fyffe won its third straight state title Thursday afternoon in the most un-Fyffe-like way of all.
The normally run-dominant Red Devils took to the air, throwing for 155 yards and rallying in the second half to claim a 21-16 victory over Montgomery Catholic in the Class 3A championship game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
It was the third straight title for Fyffe, fourth in five years and fifth under veteran coach Paul Benefield.
Thompson coach Mark Freeman called what transpired at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Wednesday night an “unbelievable life lesson.”
To most, it was simply unbelievable.
Somehow, someway, the top-ranked Warriors – down 9 and without the ball and their starting quarterback in the waning moments of the Class 7A championship game – scored 10 points in the final 18 seconds.
The improbable final: Thompson 29, Auburn 28.
Gordo knew what Handley wanted to do on offense in Friday’s Class 4A championship game.
The Green Wave still couldn’t stop it … or … stop him.
Junior Tae Meadows ran for 264 yards and 4 TDs as the Tigers pulled away in the second half to beat Gordo 35-20 and claim the state title at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
It was the third title since 2011 for Handley (12-1).
No tension. No drama. Not even a sliver of the spectacle that was provided for the last two days.
The top-ranked Mars Hill Panthers (13-2) left no doubt as they cruised to a 56-14 win over the eighth-ranked Abbeville Yellow Jackets (12-2) in the AHSAA Class 2A championship game on Friday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
After starting its program in 2014 and opening with a 10-31 record in the first four years, Mars Hill has now won two state titles in three seasons, while posting a 41-4 record during that stretch.
St. Paul’s coach Steve Mask’s plan was to wear down Pleasant Grove’s defense in the second half of the Class 5A title game Thursday night.
His team did it – literally – little by little.
The Saints ran 30 more plays than the Spartans after intermission – the majority of them minimal runs right up the middle – and rallied to knock off Pleasant Grove 29-21 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
“We wanted to get back to playing St. Paul’s football,” Mask said. “We wanted to run the football, play defense, and rely on our special teams. That was our recipe for success.”
It worked beautifully.
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS Courtesy Of WOTM-TV and the NFHS Network
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
Spanish Fort High 0 13 0 0 13
Pinson Valley High 10 0 0 13 23
Crimson Tide commit Ga’Quincy McKinstry already feels right at home at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The state’s top 2021 prospect caught a go-ahead 52-yard touchdown from quarterback Zach Pyron with 9:15 left, propelling Pinson Valley to a 23-13 come-from-behind victory over Spanish Fort here on Friday night.
The win gave the Indians their third Class 6A state championship in the last four years and put a bow on McKinstry’s banner high school career. He committed to Alabama earlier this fall and is expected to sign with the Tide on Dec. 16.
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