PREP FOOTBALL: Addison comes up just short at Red Bay

The Addison Bulldogs fell at Red Bay in a tight, regional matchup Friday night. (Photo courtesy of Cindy Luker)

RED BAY, Ala. – In an important region game, two fine football teams met in Red Bay Friday night to decide who would get a leg up on the region championship. Addison came in with a 2-1 record and Red Bay came in, untested, but undefeated as well.

A full house sat in humid and hot conditions to watch a penalty-marred football game. The game was exciting and both teams had their chances, but neither could pull away from the other.

The first quarter ended scoreless as neither team’s offense could accomplish much against the other’s defense.

Red Bay struck first in the second quarter as quarterback Jaylen Vinson ran in in from 10 yards out to put Red Bay on the board. The 2-point conversion was good and Red Bay was up 8-0 at the 7:36 mark. The drive came on a short field as Red Bay took over possession, after a short punt, at the Addison 45-yard line.

Addison came right back on the legs of quarterback Christian Roberts who scampered for 25 yards down to the Red Bay 5-yard line. Red Bay’s defense stiffened and held Addison to a 27-yard Eli Howse field goal at the one-minute mark of the second quarter. The half ended with Red Bay up 8-3.

The second half started with Addison receiving the ball and had a drive that brought back memories of old-time Addison Smash Mouth Football. Addison took the ball at its own 35 and began its best drive of the night. Using Roberts and running backs, Caleb Crider and Weston Smith Addison used 10 plays and drove 65 yards for a touchdown. Coach David Smothers, after eight consecutive running plays, called for a pass and Roberts hit Luke Chambers for 25 yards down to the Red Bay 5-yard line. Chambers made an amazing grab between two Red Bay defenders.  Roberts took the ball in for the score two plays later from 4 yards out for the touchdown. After Howse kicked the extra point, Addison took its first lead of the night, 10-8, at 8:05 in the third quarter.

The momentum seemed to be with the Dawgs but to Red Bay’s credit, their kids didn’t quit and drove 78 yards against the Bulldog defense on 15 plays. Red Bay went for the touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the Addison 1 and running back Logan Scott ran it in for the score. The 2-point conversion was good and at 11:55 in the fourth quarter, Red Bay was back on top 16-10.

Red Bay got the ball back and after a penalty fest of a drive ended up at the Addison 19-yard line. Red Bay went for it again on fourth-and-9. This time, linebacker Crider made an outstanding deflection of a Vinson pass headed to a wide-open Red Bay receiver to stop the drive. Addison took over at its own 19-yard line for what would prove to be the final drive of the night.

Addison had 3:22 on the clock and a long way to go. After two completions and a few nice runs, Addison got down to the Red Bay 6-yard line facing a second down and goal to go. With no timeouts left and only 17 seconds on the clock, Addison’s Roberts dropped back to pass but a furious pass rush forced him to scramble to the Red Bay 4. Addison was unable to stop the clock and the last few seconds ran off with the Bulldogs knocking at the door.

Addison took a tough region loss, 16-10, and is now 2-2 on the season (0-1 region). Red Bay is 4-0 (1-0 region).

Addison stays at home this week with Sheffield coming to town.

Notable stats: Addison had 36 rush attempts for 169 yards and 93 passing yards for a total of 262 yards of offense. Red Bay had 25 rush attempts for 68 yards and 194 passing yards for a total of 262 yards of offense. There were no turnovers in the game, but Addison had nine penalties to Red Bay’s 15.

Individual numbers were quarterback Roberts was 7 completions on 12 attempts for 93 yards with no picks and no touchdowns.

Crider led the team in rushing with 11 carries for 57 yards, Roberts had nine carries for 50 yards and a touchdown. Weston Smith finished with 41 yards on 10 carries.

Chambers had four catches for 55 yards, Rice had two catches for 32 yards and Crider had one catch for 8 yards.

On defense, Crider led the Bulldogs with six tackles, Quentin Barley had five and Chambers and Justin Mather had four tackles each. Matthew Harris had three tackles and a sack.

Overall, the team played hard, but penalties continue to plague this squad. Addison ran into a Red Bay team that had a good athlete playing quarterback who could extend plays and found the open receivers. The playoffs are still in the mix as well as the region championship for this team, but mental mistakes must be corrected for this season to reach its full potential.

Addison will be back home next week to face Sheffield and Red Bay will host Belmont (MS).

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