Selma running back Cinque Coles looks for running room against Sidney Lanier. Thursday at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery. -- Daniel Evans
Selma running back Cinque Coles looks for running room against Sidney Lanier. Thursday at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery. -- Daniel Evans

Offenses shine as Selma moves past Poets

Published 11:45pm Thursday, September 26, 2013

MONTGOMERY — Selma marked Sidney Lanier’s homecoming with its own celebration Thursday night at the Cramton Bowl, beating the Poets 48-34 in a game where the offenses had little trouble lighting up the scoreboard.

The Saints finished the game with 341 total yards, with all but 63 of those coming on the ground. But, the biggest plays of the night were made by the Selma defense, which seemed to come up with a big turnover every time the momentum started to shift Sidney Lanier’s way in the second half.

Selma led 12-6 at halftime, but added three touchdowns in the first five minutes of the second half to break the game wide open. Selma’s Navarius Walker returned an interception 65-yards to give Selma a 20-6 with 10:40 remaining in the third quarter. Just a handful of plays later, Selma’s Davion Dubose ran in a 1-yard touchdown run to extend the Saints lead to 27-6. On the first play of Sidney Lanier’s next drive, quarterback Tristian Buyck fumbled and the Saints recovered. Selma turned it into points on the next play, when Jesse Boggs threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kendarious Merchant to put the game out of reach at 34-6.

“We went in at halftime and we have been big on trying to finish the ballgame,” said Selma head coach Leroy Miles. “That’s what we said at halftime, ‘Just play hard for us.’ We thought we had a chance to win the game. We thought we had talent that could match up with them after watching film.”

After losing 35-12 to Demopolis last week, Miles said 60 players showed up for a film session on Sunday where the team vowed to recommit themselves to try to get the Saints back on the right track.

“I think our kids came up here with a good mindset and trying to turn our program around,” Miles said. “They came out tonight and played their hearts out. That’s all we ask them to do, to play hard for us.”

The Saints have now followed up their two losses — to Jackson and Demopolis — with dominating wins.

“They came out here tonight and they grew up a lot,” Miles said. “To come on the road and beat a 6A school says a lot and it means a lot to us to come up here and be competitive with Lanier after they beat us the last two years.”

The game looked like it might become a shootout after the first three drives of the game resulted in touchdowns and a 12-6 Saints lead. The second quarter was the complete opposite, with both teams failing to score in a sloppy, sluggish quarter.

Selma put together a long drive to end the half, but Sidney Lanier held the Saints on four downs from the 10-yard line, keeping the Poets within striking distance going into the second half.

However, any momentum Sidney Lanier gained from that stop dissolved quickly after Selma scored three times in the first five minutes of the second half to turn a close game into a laugher.

Sidney Lanier tried its best to get back in the game after digging a 35-6 hole. Buyck threw a 1-yard touchdown to Javorous Lacy with 6:18 left in the third quarter, but Selma answered with a 10-yard touchdown run by Charvis Woods to make the score 41-14 Saints.

The Poets added two more scores in the fourth quarter, but Boggs 57-yard touchdown run put the game out of reach for good.

Boggs ran nine times in the game for 102 yards. He also threw two touchdown passes to Merchant and finished with 63 yards passing.

Next week, Selma travels to play Saraland.

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