Yellowjackets Sting Blue Devils: Aliceville Advances To Round 3
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The Aliceville Yellowjackets (11-1, 6-0) advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class 2A State Playoffs by defeating the Falkville Blue Devils (7-5, 4-2) at home by a score of 38-21.
The Yellowjackets were led by senior quarterback Ty'Jarian Williams and his band of weapons as well as a strong defensive effort to get Aliceville into the final eight of the Class 2A Playoffs.
"We played a phenomenal game, in spurts. We had a couple of drives that we didn't capitalize on but that goes back to a well-coach and disciplined Falkville team. We knew they were going to come out and kick the onside kicks, we knew 33 is their guy, that kid is amazing. Their quarterback is pretty good as well. I feel our guys did a good job containing both of those players," said Aliceville head coach Grady Griffin.
The Blue Devils fought hard and made the final score look prettier than the game was on the field. Falkville just didn't have the athletes nor the beef to hang with Aliceville, who is considered one of the top teams in the class in the state.
However, regardless of the result the Blue Devils opened the scoring in this Round 2 matchup. Falkville capped off a 10-play, 91 yard drive on its second possession of the game with an 8-yard scramble from senior quarterback Caden Burnett.
That drive proved to be an anomaly for the Blue Devils as it was the only effort in the first half Falkville made that got threatened the Aliceville scoring zone. Falkville punted on four-of-its-five drives in the first half, putting a lot of pressure on its defense to keep the Aliceville offense contained.
The pressure proved too great as the Yellowjackets utilized a multitude of weapons to light up the scoreboard. Aliceville answered the initial Falkville touchdown two drives later with a long drive of its own, going 87-yard on nine plays, finishing it off with the first of Williams's three touchdown passes. A 42-yard strike to Jatavis Coleman.
Williams got on the board a second time in the half on the next drive, taking advantage of good field position due to poor Falkville punting. The senior quarterback found Shawnderrick Coleman for 29 yards, then took a carry for 14 yards and finally finished off the drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Keanthony Wilder. Wilder proved to be one of Williams's go-to guys as he hauled in four receptions for 41 yards and the score.
Good field position after a failed onside kick set the Yellowjackets up with just 53-yards to cover till pay dirt. It only took Williams two plays to cover the distance on two carries.
"Ty Williams, we call him Ty Money. Our offensive coordinator calls him Cheese. Ty is another coach on the field with shoulder pads on. He sees it well. He's been doing it for four years now, two-time all-state. To have a kid like that, heck 6-foot-3, 235? That's amazing to have that at quarterback and he can throw it as well. Ty is our leader," said Griffin.
The drive stung any Blue Devil hopes that a second-half comeback would be possible but Williams wasn't finished. The Aliceville defense once again set up the offense with good field position, creating a three-and-out on its opening series of the second half.
Williams led a penalty laden drive as both the offense and the defense incurred two penalties each in the later stages of the third quarter. The Falkville penalty proved more costly as it came on 4th-and-33 with a roughing the punter call to keep the drive alive. Williams utilized his legs and arm to find senior Jordan Sterling for his third and final touchdown pass of the game.
The senior quarterback completed his night 13-of-23 passing for 212 yards for three touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing, taking 12 carries for 109 yards and another touchdown.
"We didn't tackle 11(Williams) very well. We had chances in the backfield to get him, he's a really a good football player. He's probably the best, or most mobile guy we've seen all year and he just hurt us with his feet. We just couldn't tackle him," said Falkville head coach Seth Ward.
Williams spread the ball around as his 13 completions came to six different receivers throughout the evening, creating headaches for opposing defenses.
Fans must credit Falkville as they never stopped fighting, despite facing a deficit of 23-points. Its senior quarterback found the endzone for the second time on a quarterback carry. Burnett finished his night 6-of-16 for 136 yards and one touchdown. He took seven carries for 35 yards and two scores. Burnett was aided by senior running back Lawson Tew who carried the ball 22 times for 76 yards.
Unfortunately for the Blue Devils it wasn't quite enough as they never could stop the Yellowjackets. An 8-play, 50-yard drive was capped of by Kirkland, marking his second score of the game and proving to Falkville once and for all that they were outmatched.
Aliceville went for two after every score but the final conversion was something special. The Yellowjackets threw a pass to the wide receiver short and to the flat, and offensive tackle Ayden Gibson ran behind him, received the backwards pitch and tumbled into the endzone.
"That kid, who we threw the tackle throw-back to? His dad is a legend here. The kid's name's Ayden, we call him "Blue" Gibson. His dad is Kendell Gibson. He was a legend here on the 2000 State Championship team. So we just wanted to give a little love to the Gibson family and give his baby boy a little fun in the spotlight," said Griffin.
A final credit goes to the Blue Devils as they did make the final dent on the scoreboard on the game's biggest play. Burnett found fellow senior Isaiah Warnick for a 65-yard touchdown pass which saw Warnick take a medium-range pass over the middle and race past the defense.
Aliceville will continue its journey in the Class 2A Quarterfinals next week as the Yellowjackets hit the road for the first time in the playoffs. Aliceville will travel to play the Pisgah Eagles (10-2, 6-1), who finished second in region behind perennial power Fyffe. The Eagles were considered the No. 8 school in the AHSAA Rankings to close out the season while the Yellowjackets entered the playoffs ranked No. 4.
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