PREP FOOTBALL: Arab shuts out Scottsboro 35-0 at home

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Arab's Ed Johnson finished with 144 passing yards and a score and added 50 more on the ground and a pair of touchdowns during the Knights' 35-0 win over Scottsboro. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

ARAB, Ala. — After picking up a road win in their region opener against Fort Payne last Friday, Arab looked to make it 2-0 in the region as they welcomed Scottsboro to town in search of their first win over the Wildcats since 2014. Behind a balanced offensive attack and a big day by the defense, the Knights picked up a huge 35-0 region win over Scottsboro.

Scottsboro picked up a first down on fourth down on their opening drive and after allowing another first down later in the drive, the Knight defense stiffened and forced a punt. Arab got off to a strong offensively as Drew Puccio picked up 17 yards on the first play and then Ed Johnson found Hayden O’Reilly for 19 more, but on the next play, the Knights coughed up the ball and Scottsboro recovered. Three Scottsboro penalties was key on their next series, and they were forced to punt. 

The Knights got the passing game going on its next series as Ed Johnson completed huge passes to Wes Johnson (15 and 10 yards), Dakota NeSmith (seven yards) and Brody McCain (eight yards). Ed Johnson finished 7/7 for 66 yards during the drive and finished off the 16-play, 61-yard drive with a 15-yard, tough-nosed run to give the Knights a 7-0 lead with 8:39 remaining in the first half. The Knight defense forced a turnover on downs on its next series, but they gave the ball right back on a fumble on the first play. Arab, though, hung tough and forced yet another turnover on downs and quickly found the end zone on just three plays as Ed Johnson scored on a 1-yard run to give the Knights a 14-0 lead with 3:21 remaining in the first half.

A bad penalty by the Wildcats on third down saw their drive quickly come to an end as they were forced to punt. Ed Johnson continued to have success through the air as he found Wes Johnson for nine yards and McCain for 25 more. A huge 10-yard run by O’Reilly gave Arab another first down during the drive and later on, the drive ended with Ed Johnson finding Wes Johnson for an eight-yard score to put the Knights on top 21-0 and that was the score at the half.

Arab quickly went three-and-out to start out the second half, but the Knight defense forced a turnover as Mitchell Duquette recovered a fumble at the 41-yard line. For the second time, it didn’t take long for Arab to find the end zone as on the fourth play of the series, O’Reilly found the end zone as he took off down the left sideline and scored on an 18-yard run to increase the Knight lead to 28-0. Neither team would find the end zone until late in the final period as Adian Cox scored on an eight-yard quarterback keeper to put the final score at 35-0. This is Arab’s first win over Scottsboro since 2014 and they are now 3-1 on the season and 2-0 in the region.

Ed Johnson finished the night going 13/18 for 144 yards and a touchdown; he added 50 more on the ground and a pair of touchdowns. O’Reilly added 41 yards on the ground and a touchdown. Drake Franklin ended up with 40 rushing yards. Wes Johnson finished with 60 yards on five receptions and a touchdown. McCain added 47 receiving yards and Duquette recovered a fumble as Arab’s defense pitched their second shutout in three games at home. They’ve only allowed seven combined points in three home games so far this season.

The Knights will look to keep things going next week when they will travel to Southside-Gadsden for another huge region game.

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