PREP FOOTBALL: Arab hammers Boaz 45-14 on the road in regular season finale

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(Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

BOAZ, Ala. – After shutting out Springville at home last week, the Arabian Knights hit the road Friday night for a wet, rainy matchup at Boaz to cap off the regular season. Arab came out of the gates hot and built an early lead over the Pirates in the first quarter and the Knights maintained their lead throughout most of the night, pulling away to beat Boaz 45-14 and finish the regular season with a record of 8-2.

The Knights mishandled the game’s opening kickoff and started their first possession from inside their own 5-yard line, but they picked up a huge gain on a pass from quarterback Ed Johnson to Dakota NeSmith that got Arab across midfield. Another pass to Wes Johnson moved the Knights down inside the Boaz 15-yard line and the Knights finished off the 97-yard scoring drive with a quarterback draw from Johnson into the end zone and took a 7-0 lead. Arab recovered a muffed kick on the ensuing kickoff and a couple of plays later, Hayden O’Reilly ran one in from 18 yards out to make it a 14-0 game midway through the first quarter.

The Knights defense forced a three-and-out the first time they hit the field and after a short punt from the Pirates, Arab added to its lead. Drew Puccio picked up a big gain on a screen pass to get the Knights inside the 10-yard line and on a fourth and goal play, Johnson punched in his second touchdown of the night from the 1-yard line to give Arab a 21-0 lead with 4:29 remaining in the first. The Knights continued to move the ball on their next possession and put six more points on the board when Ed Johnson connected with Wes Johnson on a screen pass, and he took it across the goal line for another touchdown. Arab moved ahead 28-0 after the extra point and led by four touchdowns going into the second quarter.

The Knights added to their lead on their fifth possession of the night but couldn’t finish the drive in the end zone. Gavin Currier knocked through a 33-yard field goal to make it a 31-0 game early in the second quarter. Arab continued to pour it on in the second when Josh Roe picked off a Pirates pass and ran it back 31 yards for a touchdown to stretch the lead to 38-0 midway through the second, but Boaz responded with a scoring drive after that to cut the lead to 38-7 late in the period. The Knights were putting together a drive in the final minute of the half but decided to take a 38-7 lead into the locker room at the break.

The Pirates were forced to punt on their first possession of the third quarter but a missed field goal from Arab kept the score at 38-7 midway through the period. The Knights got back into the red zone after a big pass completion to Brody McCain and they capped off another scoring drive when Johnson hit NeSmith in the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point extended the lead to 45-7 with less than two minutes to play in the third.

Arab went into the final frame with a commanding, 38-point lead over the Pirates and even though Boaz was able to get another touchdown on the board, it wasn’t enough to catch up with the Knights and they held on to win it over the Pirates 45-14.

Arab finishes the regular season 8-2 and will be back home next week to host Homewood in the opening round of the 6A State Playoffs.

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