PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: Addison’s season ends with 32-20 loss to Pickens County

The Addison Bulldogs fell to Pickens County in the first round of the state playoffs 32-20 Friday night. (Brandon Evans/The Cullman Tribune)

ADDISON, Ala. – Addison hosted the Pickens County Tornadoes in the first round of the 1A state playoffs at A.G. Hicks Stadium and in what turned out to be a fairly evenly played game, the host team came away on the short end 32-20.  Pickens County is one of the few teams in the State of Alabama that Addison has played multiple times and has never beaten. Addison’s loss tonight brings its record to 0-6 all-time against the visitors from west central Alabama.

The game could not have started out any better for the Bulldogs. Addison forced a three and out on Pickens first possession as Bradley Willette sacked the Pickens QB on third down. Addison took over at their own 36-yard line and moved down to the Pickens 36 before Addison fumbled the ball back to the Tornadoes.

Addison’s defense was playing inspired as they forced another three and out against the powerful Pickens team. It took Addison only four plays to go 72-yards for the touchdown as Jed Wilkins rambled 60-yards for the opening touchdown of the game. The two-point was no good and the Good Guys were up 6-0 with 3:27 to go in the first quarter.

On Pickens’ third possession, Wilkins intercepted a deep pass and returned it 26-yards back to midfield. Two plays later, Mr. Wilkins galloped 47-yards for the Bulldogs second touchdown and after a missed two-point conversion, the hometown Addison Bulldogs were shocking the Pickens County Tornadoes 12-0 with just 50 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Pickens responded like a state title contending team always do after getting punched in the mouth. After a short Addison kickoff, they took over at their own 47-yard line. Pickens using a mixture of run and pass, converted two third downs and then a fourth and goal from Addison’s 4-yard line. Pickens QB Kemaurion Plott found Santonio Jones for a four yard out pass and the touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good and at the 9:01 mark of the second quarter, Pickens had cut the Bulldog lead to 12-6.

The Pickens County defense responded as well as they forced Addison to punt and took over at their own 47-yard line. Pickens then stuck to the ground on this drive as they ran eight plays, all runs, to cover the 53-yards and get the touchdown. Pickens would convert another fourth down play, as they went for it on fourth and three from the Bulldog 3-yard line and Rozowicz Cunningham ran it in. Again, the two-point was no good and the score was tied at 12 with 2:51 to go in the first half.

Addison would threaten right at the end of the half as they drove down to the Pickens 4-yard line. The key play on the drive was a Wilkins to Kayden Dyson seam pass for 31-yards. The half ended with Addison on Pickens 4-yard line as Addison couldn’t get another play off before the half was up.

The second half could not have started any worse for the Bulldogs as rain started falling and on Addison’s first play of the half, a fumble ensued, and Pickens recovered the ball. Pickens defensive lineman Demarion Adams-Doss returned the recovered fumble to the Bulldog 14-yard line. Once again, Addison’s defense made Pickens earn every yard but again, the defense could not get off the field on fourth down. Pickens converted their third fourth down of the game as on fourth and one from the Bulldog four, Plott powered the ball into the endzone to give Pickens their first lead of the night. The two-point conversion was no good and with 9:50 to go in the third, Pickens County led 18-12.

Addison couldn’t answer and punted after three plays. Pickens then took only five plays to go 65-yards for another touchdown. Plott found Cunningham wide open for the 36-yard touchdown pass. Pickens Korbit Sommerville ran in the two-point conversion to put the Tornadoes up 26-12 with 5:56 to go in the third quarter.

After an exchange of punts, Addison took over at their own 45-yard line with 3:14 to go in the third quarter. In a must score drive Addison came through with a solid 11-play 55-yard touchdown drive. Wilkins and Braden Luker led the way on the ground as they accounted for 37 of the yards. Wilkins got his third touchdown of the night on a 6-yard end run to bring the Bulldogs closer. Wilkins then found Jordan Hubbert in the back corner of the endzone for the two-point conversion and at the 8:20 mark of the fourth quarter Pickens held a 26-20 lead.

Pickens then drove down to the Addison 34-yard line, even converting their fourth fourth down conversion along the way. Then a very strange play happened.  Facing a fourth and six play from the Addison 34, Pickens QB Plott found Santonio Jones on a beautiful corner route. Jones got the first down at the Bulldog 25 but there was a flag on the play. A five-minute delay of the game then ensued, and we even had an officials’ conference in the middle of the field. The officials ruled that Pickens had an ineligible man down field which resulted in a loss of down and give Addison the football back with about four minutes to go in the game.

Addison took over at their own 39-yard line with a chance to tie or go ahead. But it wasn’t to be as Addison couldn’t move the ball and after a costly penalty had to go for it on fourth and long and were unsuccessful.

Pickens took over and with Addison having to try and strip the ball from the ball-carrier instead of wrapping up, Pickens RB Sommerville broke two tackles and went 31-yards for the touchdown, sealing the win for Pickens. The extra point was no good and Addison now trailed 32-20 with less than two minutes to go in the game.

Addison’s next drive was set up nicely by Wilkins returning the kickoff 41 yards to give Addison the ball at the Pickens 39-yard line. A Bulldog Hail Mary pass was intercepted by Tornado Santonio Jones to end the game.

Addison fell 32-20 and dropped to 8-3 on the season. It was a good season for Addison but not what the Coaches or I know the players were expecting. After the disappointment of this season Addison will return a large number of starters from this year’s team. They do loose five young men who have contributed mightily to the Bulldogs success. Seniors are RB Braden Luker, RB Jacob Mauldin, LB Hayden Holland, WR Jacob McLamb and DL Isaiah Treece.

Addison will undoubtedly use this season as a teaching lesson for the many underclassmen returning for the 2024 Bulldog team and with state reclassification coming in December, who knows who the 2024 Addison Bulldogs will have the pleasure to defeat on the gridiron. Go Dawgs!

Unofficial stats

Addison had 34 running plays for 193 yards. Addison had 12 passing plays for 62 yards. Addison had 46 total plays for 255 total yards. Pickens had 33 running plays for 142 yards. Pickens had 18 passing plays for 134 yards. Pickens ran 51 total plays for 276 total yards.

Addison’s Wilkins went 6 out of 12 for 62 yards and an interception.

Addison was led in rushing by Wilkins with 13 carries for 138 yards and three touchdowns. Luker had 15 carries for 51 yards. Holland had 3 carries for 6 yards.

Addison was led in receiving by Dyson with 1 catch for 31 yards. Luker had 3 catches for 23 yards. Elijah Roberts had 1 grab for 8 yards.

On defense Addison was led by Holland with 6 tackles. Mauldin and Hubbert and Dyson had 4 each. Luker, Caleb Vintson and Bradley Willette had 3 each. Wilkins and Seth Hammack had 2 each.

Willette had a sack and Wilkins had an interception.

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