PREP FOOTBALL: Addison collects 26-6 region win over Sheffield

Addison running back Weston Smith (43) breaks free during the Bulldogs’ 26-6 win over Sheffield Friday night. (Photo courtesy of Cindy Luker)

ADDISON, Ala. – On an absolutely gorgeous night for high school football, two teams, Addison and Sheffield, met in an important early season region matchup in beautiful Addison, Alabama. Addison came in at 2-2 (0-1) while Sheffield was 3-1 (1-0).

Addison received the opening kickoff and went into a “heavy offense” for the majority of the first half. Grant Rice started in place of Christian Roberts at quarterback and Addison loaded the backfield, having no receivers out wide. Addison basically told Sheffield, “We are going to run the ball and we don’t think you can stop us.”

Addison pounded the football, running between the tackles, and Sheffield could not stop the power running of the bulldogs.  Addison chalked up a 14 play, 68-yard drive of all runs. Addison had a fourth and four from Sheffield’s 9-yard line and it appeared that Luke Chambers was about to score on an impressive run when the ball was punched out of his arms at the 3-yard line and rolled into the end zone. Sheffield recovered the ball at the 4:47 mark of the first quarter.

Sheffield had difficulty moving against the stout Addison defense. Addison was consistently able to generate a pass rush using only three down linemen. Nelson Hernandez, Jeb Robinson and Jake Wilson pressured the Sheffield quarterback, Khori Bowling, all night. Bowling was probably the largest quarterback Addison will face all year. He reminded me of the old Kentucky Quarterback Jarod Lorenzen. Bowling was about 5’10” and at least 230lbs. Bowling was surprisingly agile for a beefy signal caller.

After a Sheffield punt, Addison took over at their own 13. 10 pounding running plays later, Weston Smith took it in for the touchdown from 3-yards out. The two-point conversion was no good and the score stood at Addison 6, Sheffield 0 at the 6:13 mark of the second quarter.

Sheffield took the ball at their own 38yard line and had their most consistent drive of the evening. Using a combination of short passes, Sheffield drove to the Addison 4-yard line. Then facing a crucial third down and 4-yards to go, the shotgun snap sailed over the head of Bowling and was recovered by him at the Addison 21-yard line. A fourth-down incompletion pretty much settled the first half.

Addison led 6-0 at the break.

Sheffield took the opening kickoff and after two quick plays, Bowling threw an interception on a long pass. The pass was intercepted at Addison’s 40-yard line by Quentin Barley.

After an exchange of possessions, Addison took over at their own 32. The Bulldogs drove 10 plays for 68 yards when Weston Smith scored again, running it in from the 3-yard line. The two-point try was no good and the score stood at Addison 12, Sheffield 0 with 4:37 remaining in the third quarter.

Then the Bulldogs’ special teams took over the game. Addison converted an on-sides kick and took possession at the Sheffield 47-yard line. Addison then drove 47 yards for the touchdown. Christian Roberts, who had started the second half at quarterback, ran it in from 2-yards out. The two-point conversion was good, and Addison led 20-0 at the 9:30 mark of the fourth quarter.

Coach David Smothers again called for another onside kick and it too was successful. Addison took over at the Sheffield 46 and cashed another short field into a touchdown. Caleb Crider ran it in from 9-yards out but the PAT was no good so Addison led 26-0 at 5:51 of the 4th quarter.

Addison tried another onside kick, but Sheffield was ready for this on and recovered it. Sheffield the drove 47 yards on six plays. Bowling found Devin Doss all alone on a 26-yard pass play. The two-point attempt was no good and that is how the final score was 26-6.

The unofficial stats for the game are as follows: Addison ran the ball 54 times for 310 yards. Addison completed three passes for 42 yards. Total yardage for Addison was 59 plays for 352 total yards. Addison did suffer three turnovers.

The Addison defense was extremely stingy this evening, holding Sheffield to 53 rushing yards on 26 attempts. Sheffield did complete 8-of-17 passes for 91 yards. Sheffield had a total offensive output of 43 plays for 144 total yards. Sheffield also turned the ball over three times.

Individual stats for Addison: Christian Roberts completed 3-of-5 passes for 42 yards and an interception. The Addison Bulldogs running backs were used as a committee this evening. Weston Smith had nine carries for 58 yards and two touchdowns, Nelson Martin ran seven times for 58 yards, Grant Rice had nine carries for 55 yards, Crider had seven carries for 51 yards and a touchdown, Chambers seven carries for 44 yards.

Chambers had two catches for 25 yards and Brody Dollar snagged one ball for 17 yards.

The outstanding Bulldog defense was a total team effort tonight, but the individual leaders were Crider with six tackles, Jeb Robinson with five tackles and a sack, Nelson Hernandez with four tackles and a sack and Justin Mather and Quentin Barley, each with four tackles. Dylan Norman had a sack as well. Barley also had one interception.

All in all, this was a good region win for the Bulldogs and it gets them back on the winning track at 3-2 (1-1 region). The Bulldogs showed marked improvement in execution and in cutting their penalties numbers dramatically. The turnovers were still an issue, but you must give the coaching staff great credit for an excellent game plan which used the power running game to simply take Sheffield’s speed advantage away.

Excellent overall ball game.

Addison travels to Vinemont next Friday while Sheffield will face R.A. Hubbard on the road.

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