PREP FOOTBALL: Addison edges Aliceville 19-18 in region opener

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The Addison Bulldogs defeated Aliceville 19-18 at home Friday night. (Courtesy of Cindy Luker)

ADDISON, Ala. — Addison hosted Area 5 region foe and 2A power Aliceville at beautiful A.G. Hicks stadium on Friday night. Addison came away with a hard fought 19-18 victory but what was more important than the victory was the heart that these Bulldogs showed as they were missing five starters and several coaches, to include Head Coach David Smothers. The missing players and coaches were all medically related and they should return next week.   

Addison and Aliceville began the game a little tight as they went through several unsuccessful possessions and swapped turnovers. Addison’s game plan was clear, they were going to run the ball down the Aliceville defenses throat, and everyone knew it. Addison lined up in a T formation, three running backs and two tight ends and pounded the football. They would throw only two passes all night and they dominated the time of possession.   

On Addison’s third possession of the first quarter, the Dawgs ran eight plays, all runs, with Justin “Rocky” Mather taking it in from 1-yard out.Addison had taken over at the Aliceville 30-yard line after Yellow Jacket fumble. Eli “Curly” Howse and Mather carried the rock on five of the eight plays. The two-point attempt was no good and at the 1:30 mark of the first quarter, Addison led 6-0.

Aliceville took over near midfield after the ensuing kickoff. The Yellow Jackets and their Cam Newton lookalike quarterback, Tyjarian Williams drove down to the Dawg 5-yard line. After two Yellow Jacket penalties pushed the ball back to the Dawg 18-yard line, they were held on a fourth down try as Williams, 6’2″ 230lbs, was tackled by Christian “Ice Man” Roberts to give the ball back to the Dawgs at the 7.

Addison looked like they were about to drive in for another score but after running twelve plays and getting down to the Aliceville 35-yard line, a fumble was picked up by Yellow Jacket Cornelius Burns who rambled 65 yards for an Aliceville touchdown. The extra point was no good and at the 5:25 mark of the second quarter the score was all tied up at 6. This would be how the half ended with the score knotted at 6.

Aliceville’s coach must have lit a fire underneath his Jackets, as they came out fired up. The Jackets took the ball at their own 35 and it didn’t take them long to take the lead. Using only six plays, the Jackets went 65 yards and took the lead on a Jeremiah Brewer 9-yard run. The two-point conversion was no good and at the 12:00 minute mark, Aliceville led 12-6.

It looked bleak for Addison as they fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Aliceville recovered at the Dawg 36.

Five plays later, the Yellow Jackets tacked on six more as Williams hit Kelby Taylor on a 6-yard slant pass for the score. The extra point was no good and at 6:40 of the third quarter it looked like the hometown Dawgs were sunk. Aliceville led 18-6.

No one would have blamed the Dawgs for losing heart. They were down multiple starters, missing coaches and were playing a very good team. But you would be wrong. This Addison team showed amazing heart and stamina. Addison took over at their own 39-yard line and the drive that they needed to score on, they did. 12 running plays later, Mather steam rolled his way into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night. The Howse extra point was good, and the lead was cut to 18-13 with 1:24 to go in the third quarter.

The Dawg Pound Defense stood tall on Aliceville’s next possession as they forced an Aliceville fumble that was recovered by Mac “Golden Locks” Cagle at the Yellow Jacket 6-yard line. Two plays later, Roberts rolled in from three yards out for the touchdown. The extra point was no good and Addison had taken the lead 19-18 with 11:53 to go in the game.

Addison forced a Yellow Jacket punt on their next possession and the Dawgs took over at their own 22-yard line. The Bulldogs needed a time-consuming drive and they got one. Addison’s drive started with 9:08 to go in the game and the Dawgs ran 15 straight plays getting down to the Jacket 20-yard line. The Dawgs converted three third downs and a key fourth down, but the drive ended at the Yellow Jacket 6-yard line but only 17.4 seconds were left, and the Jackets had no time outs left.

Aliceville is a quality team and has a history of winning so you knew they wouldn’t quit, and they didn’t. After two pass completions put the ball at their own 37-yard line, the Jackets had only time for one last play. Williams cranked up a Hail-Mary pass which was completed 38-yards down the field all the way down to the Bulldog 25-yard line where Howse tackled the receiver ending the game.

This was one game where the Addison students, alumni and parents should be talking about for a long time. The game where the underdog and undermanned Bulldogs beat a good Aliceville team on grit, heart and determination.

Unofficial stats:

Addison had 65 total running plays for 305 total yards. Addison ran two pass plays for no yards. Addison had 67 total plays for 305 yards. They did fumble three times but had three rushing touchdowns.  

Aliceville had three total running plays for 155 total yards. Aliceville ran 16 pass plays with eight completions for 119 yards. Aliceville ran 39 total plays for 274 total yards. Aliceville fumbled twice.

Addison’s Roberts had 29 carries for 141 yards with a touchdown. Mather had 16 carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Howse had 10 carries for 51 yards.

Defensively, Addison was led by Hayden Holland with five tackles, Howse and “Touchdown” Tommy Lee Daniel with four tackles each. Briley Holt, Roberts and Jed Wilkins had three tackles each. Mather and Cagle each recovered a fumble.

Addison 3-0 (1-0) travels to Midfield for a region game next Friday. Aliceville hosts Sulligent in a region game. This win puts Addison in the driver’s seat for the Region title.

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