Selma High School quarterback Jesse Harris (12) scrambles for yardage during Friday’s game at Memorial Stadium against Ellwood Christian Academy. -- Robert Hudson

Saints win 26-0 over Eagles in first meeting of local teams

Published 12:23am Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Selma Saints set the tone early and never let up, as they defeated the Ellwood Christian Academy Eagles 26-0 on Friday to close out their season on a high note.

Selma head football coach Leroy Miles said the Saints (4-6, Class 5A-Region 3) found success in establishing the run.

“We were able to control the football, run the football and not make a whole lot of mistakes and I think it helped us,” Miles said. “Ellwood is coming. They’re just now getting in the Alabama High School Athletic Association. They’re doing well. We’re a 5A school and they’re a 1A school, so we have more athletes to choose from and I think that played a big part in our victory.”

Mike Stokes, head football coach of Ellwood Christian Academy (5-5, 4-3 Class 1A-Region 3), said the Eagles played well overall, but couldn’t get it going offensively.

“We played a good game. I mean, you’ve got a 1A against a 5A, so I’m proud of how we played,” Stokes said. “Our offense didn’t do what I expected, but other than that we played good.”

The Saints got it going early, driving 60 yards on their opening drive and scoring on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Jesse Harris, as Deondis Mendenhall tacked on the extra point to put Selma ahead 7-0 with 7:25 left in the first.

The Saints’ defense held tough and forced a three-and-out, then the Selma offense proceeded to march down the field once more, with Harris finding a wide-open Mendenhall on a go route from the tight-end possession for a 20-yard touchdown that made it 13-0 with 2:38 left in the first.

The Eagles were forced to punt again on the following possession deep in their own territory, but a botched snap helped the Saints gain possession at the Ellwood 11-yard line.

Three plays later, Selma fullback Maurice Averhart pounded it in from 2-yards out to push the Saints’ lead to 19-0 with 10:59 left in the first half.

Selma added one more score in the half, as running back Adam Bruno ran in from 7-yards out with 1:26 left in the first half and Mendenhall added the extra point to make it 26-0.

The win ends the season on a high note for the Saints, while Ellwood will now turn its attention to next Friday and the first round of the AHSAA Class 1A state playoffs when it’ll travel to Notasulga with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

  • Concerned Saint

    Selma shouldn’t be playing Ellwood Christian. There’s too much talent in Selma to continuously water down the schedule for the sake of making a few extra dollars. Until we can call our Saints 5A “contenders” we should be scheduling tougher opponents than even those in our region to build the program. There’s no reason why the Saints haven’t competed for a title in 20+ years (perhaps longer).

    • http://www.selmatimesjournal.com/ Tim Reeves

      With struggling economic conditions, which has forced school systems to question every expenditure, including travel costs, scheduling a team in your own town makes perfect economic sense. Right now, the talent level between the two schools is not so different, but rather the numbers of those participating is. The depth Selma has is far greater than that of Ellwood, and likely will continue to be. This is a budding rivalry and one that we should celebrate and encourage.

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