Red Devils Keep Dancing
By HARRISON TARR
FOR THE OBSERVER
The 2021 high school football season is nearing its conclusion as fans watched the second round of playoffs rid yet another wave of teams of their state championship dreams.
For enthusiasts in Lee County, Alabama, a handful of local programs remain standing with chances to leave a lasting legacy on their respective communities. The Auburn Tigers and Opelika Bulldogs are preparing for state semifinal matchups, the Red Devils of Central seek to continue on their warpath and other teams will be watching from home.
Here’s how teams in the local area competed in round two:
Unlike their round-one beat down of Daphne, the Red Devils were given somewhat of a run for their money in last week’s contest against Theodore. The Bobcats entered the matchup at 10-1 and were out to prove that they were not going down without a fight, posting their first touchdown in just 20 seconds of game time on the opening drive and keeping the game even at 14 through the first quarter. The Red Devils were not held at bay for long.
From the beginning of the second quarter on, Caleb Nix and the Central offense found their rhythm while the Red Devil defense simultaneously figured out how to keep its opponents from moving the ball. Nix tossed a pair touchdowns on nine completions while posting another four on the ground, standout running back Jamiel Johnson tallied 141 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and the Red Devil offense took complete control of the contest, hanging 77 points on the Bobcats.
Only one team stands between Central and a state-championship birth: the 10-2 Tigers of Auburn High School. The Red Devils seek to take down their region foe for the second time in as many games this year on Friday at Garrett-Harrison Stadium at 7 p.m. CST.
The play of 5-star cornerback A.J. Harris alone was not enough to will the Gators past the 10-1 Patriots of Pike Liberal Arts in Troy, Alabama, on Friday. From the opening of the contest, the orange and green struggled to get anything going on offense and was unable to keep up with its opponent’s pacing, falling behind 21-0 by the end of the third period of play. The Gators did not go down in shutout fashion, posting a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, but were seemingly never within striking distance of their opponents. In the end, Glenwood fell to Pike for the second time in as many games on Friday, losing 29-6.
It’s a disappointing way to end the season for the Gators, who advanced unbeaten all the way the the AISA Class 3 Championship Game last season before falling to Pike. Glenwood will now focus on player development in the off-season and gearing up to improve on its final record of 6-5 going into 2022.
Heartbreak struck the fans of the Blue Devils when Notasulga traveled to Orrvile, Alabama, to take on the Keith Bears on Friday night. Anthony Jones’ highly regarded defense delivered in the early going, forcing the Bears into a safety on the game’s opening drive. The Blue Devil offense, however, was unable to compliment the unit’s play, struggling to piece together any resemblance of rhythm and never finding its way back onto the scoreboard. By game’s end, the Blue Devils fell 19-2 to the Bears. Notasulga walks away from 2021 having progressed one round further in the playoffs than the team did last season, and with a final record of 9-2.