AISA crowns football champions

Published 11:42 pm Friday, November 22, 2013

Marengo v. Restoration – A


Marengo Academy captured its eighth state championship with a thrilling 31-28 win over defending champion Restoration Academy in the AISA A title game.

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Brant Lewis booted a 30-yard field goal through the uprights with three seconds to go to give the Longhorns the win. Marengo led 14-0 early in the first half, before Restoration tied the game up at half.

Marengo’s Hayden Huckaebee rolled up 152 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and 67 yards passing to lead the Longhorns. Josh Hollifield picked up 90 yards rushing and one touchdown. Linebacker Shade Pritchett totaled 12 tackles.

The title is Marengo’s first since winning back-to-back in 2001 and 2002.


Edgewood v. Clarke Prep – AA


On a dark Friday afternoon at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, the AISA Class AA championship rematch between Edgewood Academy and Clarke Academy became historic. It would be the Wildcats making history with a 61-52 victory to claim their third consecutve title.

In what became the highest scoring game in the championship’s history Edgewood pulled out a Win. The win made history for a reason besides the score; the Wildcats now stand alone with the all-time longest winning streak in the AISA at 45.

Edgewood (14-0) found itself down 38-28 at the half due to the performance of Clarke (8-5) running back Jarrette Pope, who would finish his final game with 21 carries for 237 yards and four touchdowns.

Taylor Hawthorne was the driving force behind the Wildcats’ comeback victory. He had 226 yards and three touchdowns on 13-of-21 passing to go along with a recieving touchdown and the game-winning 36-yard interception return.

Clarke outgained Edgewood in total offense mostly due to a staggering 418 yards on the ground to go along with 100 through the air.

The Wildcats ran a balanced attack that gained 438 yards and were assisted by five Clarke turnovers, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

After a first half where both teams scored on every posession, both defenses seemed to slightly buckle down and get comfortable, but Edgewood’s four forced turnovers in the second half showed that their championship pedigree took over as it did the prior two seasons.

An 85-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Edgewood’s David Cayton sparked a 20-0 run, giving the Wildcats a lead that they would never relinquish.


Monroe v. Bessemer – AAA


The Monroe Academy Volunteers capped off a perfect 13-0 season with a 31-6 win over Bessemer Academy in the AISA AAA title game.

The championship is the eight in the school’s history and the school’s first since 2009.

The Volunteers jumped on the Rebels early and never looked back.

Quarterback Jake McKenzie opened the scoring for the Volunteers on a 19-yard run on a zone read play. Jacob Johnson knocked in the extra point to give Monroe a 7-0 lead that they would not relinquish.

Running back Justin Rowell scored from three yards out on Monroe’s next possession to cap off five-play 54-yard drive. Johnson was true on the extra point to put the Volunteers up by 14.

The Volunteers drove the ball down to the Rebel three-yard line on their next possession, but Bessemer forced them to a field goal try. Johnson split the uprights on the 23-yard field goal to give the Volunteers a 17-point lead.

With just under seven minutes to go in the first half, Bessemer received the ball on their own 20-yard line. Two plays layer, the Volunteers forced and recovered a fumble at the Rebel 21-yard line. McKenzie connected with Caleb Sessions on a 21-yard screen pass on the next play for another Volunteer touchdown. Johnson added the point after to put the Volunteers up by 24.

Bessemer scored their only points of the game on their ensuing possession. Receiver Josh Foles took a slant pass 54 yards to the end zone. A failed two-point conversion kept the lead at 24-6 for the Volunteers.

Monroe produced one last touchdown in the first half. McKenzie scored on a 27-yard quarterback keeper with 46 seconds remaining in the half. A Johnson extra point made the score 31-6 going in to the break.

Neither team could find the scoreboard in the second half. Bessemer drove all the way down to the Volunteer two-yard line, but they were unable to find the end zone in four attempts.

McKenzie led the way for the Volunteers rushing for 144 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. He also finished the game 4-7 for 105 yards and a touchdown.