Perfect 9

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Coach Brent Hubbert Thursday night was talking in Maplesville’s postgame huddle like his team’s most recent victory was already a distant memory.

He was talking about starting over and all the playoffs teams this year being on clean slates.

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Fifteen minutes later, he joined his players as they rolled the trees behind the Maplesville softball field.

It was quite a transition and quite a way to celebrate an undefeated regular season.

The Red Devils (9-0) came out with force after a shaky first half and stunned visiting Woodland in a 21-0 win.

Maplesville’s defense dominated the ground game, holding Woodland to eight rushing yards.

Despite beginning four of their seven first-half drives in Woodland territory, the Devils scored just one touchdown and led 7-0 at halftime.

“I wasn’t too worried about scoring just one touchdown,” Hubbert said. “We knew they had a good defense. We didn’t really throw and catch the ball like we normally do. I think we could have capitalized on some more opportunities, but I can’t say I was disappointed with it.”

Whether it was the cold weather or just nerves getting to them, it was a rough start for both teams.

A low snap that was mishandled by quarterback John Andrews resulted in a loss of 10 yards on the first play of the game. The Devils fumbled three more times in the half and lost one of them.

The Bobcats (8-2) fumbled on the first play of their opening drive, as well.

But Andrews and his team responded well and in just enough time to get on the scoreboard going into the locker room. With .6 seconds left on the clock, Andrews connected with receiver M.J. Wilson for an 11-yard touchdown. Andrews finished the half 11-for-16 passing and was 17-for-27 with 157 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the game.

A penalty denied Maplesville a chance to score earlier in the night. Nick Andrews intercepted a Colton McCain pass on Woodland’s first possession and returned it 67 yards to the end zone. A block in the back negated the score, however.

On the possession before Maplesville’s score, Brad Pike fought his way inside the Woodland 5-yard line on a 7-yard carry, but fumbled the ball into the end zone, resulting in a touchback.

With momentum at a stalwart for an entire quarter, Maplesville took control of things in the fourth.

John Andrews found Wilson again, this time on a 21-yard hookup that put the Devils ahead 14-0 with 8:42 left to play. Wilson caught nine passes for 94 yards.

On its very next possession, Maplesville sealed up the game and a perfect regular season.

Pike redeemed himself of his earlier turnover and took a ball in from nine yards away with 2:48 left. He ran for 64 yards on 15 carries.

The Bobcats began their following possession on their own 21 and got to the Devils’ red zone. A fourth-down conversion came up shy by inches, and all that was left was for John Andrews to take a couple of knees.

Nick Andrews had seven receptions and 71 yards.

Defensive ends Regis Laister and Korey Hatcher each had two quarterback sacks for the Red Devils.