PREP FOOTBALL: Addison moves past Tharptown 37-7

The Addison Bulldogs defeated Tharptown at home 37-7 Friday night. (Photo courtesy of Cindy Luker)

ADDISON, Ala. – It was homecoming week at Addison as the Bulldogs hosted region foe Tharptown at A.G. Hicks Stadium. After Addison senior Macey Butler was crowned 2019 Homecoming Queen, she got to oversee her hometown Bulldogs sleepwalk through a game that was not as close as the score would indicate.

Addison came into the game 6-2 (3-1 in region) while Tharptown was struggling at 1-5 (0-4 in region).

Addison kicked off and Tharptown began what was its longest drive of the night. It started at the Wildcats’ own 25-yard line and 16 plays and only 46 yards later ended at the Addison 29-yard line. Tharptown ran on every single play and was assisted by two Addison penalties and two successful fourth-down tries. Addison finally stopped the Wildcats when linebacker Matthew Harris stuffed Tharptown’s 250-pound fullback, Ruben Alfaro, on their third fourth-down try. The opening Wildcat drive consumed almost eight minutes of the first quarter.

Addison came out throwing the ball with quarterback Christian Roberts completing three straight passes for 58 yards. A Luke Chambers fumble, after a nice 36-yard catch and run, stopped Addison at the Tharptown 16-yard line.

Addison’s defense, which played solidly all night, stopped the Wildcats for a three-and-out. Addison got the ball back at the Wildcat 43-yard line. Seven plays later, Roberts hit running back Nelson Martin on a screen pass and Martin took it in from 20 yards out. The 2-point conversion was good, and at the 11:30 mark of the second quarter, Addison led 8-0.

After another Wildcat three-and-out, they punted and “Mr. Versatile” Grant Rice took the punt to the house. Rice returned the punt 42 yards for the touchdown and after the 2-point conversion, Addison led 16-0.

The rest of the half played out with Tharptown unable to move the ball and punting to Addison.  Addison couldn’t stop getting penalties long enough to do anything either. The half ended with Roberts throwing an interception deep in Wildcat territory.

At halftime, it was a surprisingly close score. Addison only led 16-0.

Tharptown came out and surprised the ‘Dawgs with an onside kick to start the half and recovered the ball at the Bulldog 46-yard line.

On Tharptown’s first play of the second half, quarterback Dominic Baker found Preston Bailey for a 46-yard touchdown pass down the sideline. This play accounted for half of Tharptown’s total yardage for the night. The extra point was good and at the 11:45 mark of the third quarter, Tharptown had cut the Bulldog lead to 16-7.

After a nice pep talk from Head Coach David Smothers, Addison immediately responded by taking charge of the game.  The ensuing kickoff had Addison starting at its 39. Addison only needed three plays: a Chambers run for 25 yards, a Roberts run for 3 yards and a Chambers scoring run from 33 yards out. The 2-point conversion was good and Addison led 24-7 with 10:17 left in the third.

Tharptown’s next drive ended with a Rice interception of a deep Wildcat pass.

Addison took over at its own 19. Then seven minutes, 13 plays and 81 yards later, senior running back J.P. Pellicer took it in from the 1-yard line. Pellicer has battled injuries for two consecutive years and was just cleared to play yesterday. Smothers inserted Pellicer, and he immediately responded by scoring on his only carry. This was a special moment for the Bulldogs as they all eagerly awaited to congratulate him on the sideline.

The Pellicer score made it Addison, 31-7. The extra point was kicked by Eli Howse.

Another Tharptown three-and-out yielded a one-play Addison drive. Roberts hit freshman running back Sage Smothers on a screen pass and a nifty move and some good downfield blocking resulted in a 47-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was no good and Addison led 37-7 at the midway point of the fourth quarter.

Coach Smothers emptied the bench and the “young pups” played the rest of the game.

The final score was Addison 37, and a game but undermanned Tharptown team, 7.

Unofficial team stats are as follows: Addison had 22 carries for 122 yards. Addison completed 8-of-17 passes for 158 yards. Addison ran 39 total plays for 280 total yards. The biggest factor for Addison was the awful 13 penalties for 120 total yards. Addison had three turnovers.

Tharptown had 42 carries for only 63 yards. Tharptown completed only three passes for 46 yards. Tharptown had 45 plays for 109 total yards. Tharptown had three penalties for 35 yards. It had one turnover.

Unofficial individual stats are as follows: Roberts was 8-of-16 for 158 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Chambers led the ‘Dawgs in rushing with two carries for 63 yards and a touchdown, Roberts had three carries for 34 yards, Rice had three for 34 yards, Weston Smith had five for 30 yards and Smothers had three for 23 yards.

The receivers were led by Chambers who had three catches for 52 yards, Martin had one grab for 20 yards and a score, Smothers with one grab for 47 yards and a score.

Defensively it was a collective effort. The stout ‘Dawg defense held the Wildcats to barely over 100 yards. Matthew Harris led with seven tackles, Justin Mather had six tackles, Caleb Crider, Jeb Robinson and Tim Trussell each had four.

Addison improved to 7-2 (4-1 region) while Tharptown fell to 1-6 (0-5 region). Addison travels to Hatton next week where it will look to lock up the second seed in the region.  It doesn’t get any easier for Tharptown as it will host region-leading Red Bay.

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