Test and tune

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 25, 2006

Dallas County, Maplesville take final runs before season begins

By George L. Jones

The Selma Times-Journal

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MAPLESVILLE -Maplesville began its jamboree game Thursday with some problems on the defensive side of the ball.

Dallas County couldn’t quite get things clicking on offense.

It set the stage for an interesting matchup when the two met in the final quarter.

The Red Devils won the quarter 7-6 to sweep both their matchups for the evening and sent the Hornets home 0-2 after their two quarters of play.

But it wasn’t the prettiest thing to watch when Maplesville was on the field.

“I was pleased with the offensive line,” Maplesville coach Brent Hubbert said. “We didn’t get to see much of the running game because on the series we were going to run the ball, we fumbled on the first play. I was pleased with the throwing and catching.

“We have to improve our defense – period. If that had been Sweet Water, they would have doubled those 400 yards from (the first-round playoff game) last year. They would have gotten 800 and looked like USC.”

Having given up a long scoring drive in the first possession of the first quarter against Calera, the Devils held strong on more than one occasion to stifle the Hornets.

A 2-point conversion that would have put Dallas County up 8-7 was stuffed by the Maplesville goal-line defense. The Hornets scored the touchdown on a 1-yard run by Anthony Caver.

Maplesville scored its touchdown on a 3-yard run by Brad Pike. He set up the Devils’ field position by breaking tackles for a 25-yard scamper earlier in the series.

In the third quarter, the Hornets lost 7-6 to Jemison.

Dallas County turned the ball over on a failed fourth-down conversion, giving the Panthers a start on the Hornets 44.

Nick Eggars ran 42 yards to the 2, and Demetrius Tompkins scored from that distance.

Randall Hamilton hooked up with Andrew Mahan for a 64-yard score on the Hornets’ next possession, but a two-point conversion fell short.

“We didn’t run the ball as well as we would have liked to,” Dallas County coach Trey Baggett said. “The passing game didn’t look bad. We did make some mistakes, but our only misses, we didn’t miss by much. The defense played well both times. I was pleased with the effort. We were gassed at the end, but we’ll take care of that.”

Baggett didn’t regret making the decision to go for the fourth-down and 2-point conversions.

“You’re not going to go for a tie in a jamboree game,” he said. “There’s going to be times when you’ve got to punch the ball in from three yards out. You have to see what you can do and what you can’t do.

“We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Maplesville overcame a first-quarter performance from its defense that was lackluster at best to beat Calera 15-14.

The Eagles used 14 plays to drive from their 35-yard line to score on an 8-yard touchdown run by Chris Cunningham.

John Andrews hit M.J. Wilson for a 31-yard pass on the ensuing possession. A successful 2-point conversion gave the Devils an 8-7 advantage.

Calera’s Earl Hayes struck 27 yards downfield to connect with Seth Merrite, putting the team ahead 14-8.

Maplesville came right back, Andrews pump faking and dropping a fade pass right over Wilson’s head for a 35-yard score.

“I thought the hustle and swarming to the ball was good,” Hubbert said. “They did a good job getting to the ball, but a poor job tackling. We’ve got to w