Keith survives close call

Published 1:00 am Saturday, October 22, 2011

Keith High School’s Rodney Ellis goes airborn to pick up extra yards in the 21-13 win over Autaugaville. -- Robert Hudson

By Robert Hudson

The Selma Times-Journal

ORRVILLE — With the third seed in the region on the line, the Keith Bears were able to come out on top in a hard-fought battle and remain unbeaten at home, as they defeated the Autaugaville Eagles 21-13.

Email newsletter signup

Keith head coach Harry Crum said the Bears (7-2, 5-2) relied on their toughness to beat the Eagles (4-5, 4-3) and clinched the third seed in Class 1A Region 4.

“We showed toughness and played smash mouth football tonight,” Crum said. “It think we only threw two passes tonight. It was just smash mouth.”

The Bears pounded the Eagles early with their rushing attack, driving 90 yards on 18 plays and eating up 8:16 on the first possession of the game.

The long drive was capped off by a 3-yard Rodney Ellis touchdown run to put the Bears up 7-0 after the extra point with 3:42 left in the first.

The Bears would force the Eagles to go three and out four times in the half.

Autaugaville would not threaten until the end of the half, when an Eagles defender recovered an Ellis fumble at the Bears’ 19-yard line with 1:05 left in the second.

Four plays later Eagles quarterback DeMarcus Nixon found receiver James Jones in the back of the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7 after the successful extra point.

Coming out of halftime tied, the Bears forced the Eagles to punt, and on the ensuing possession Keith quarterback Maurice Crumpton snuck it in from 2 yards out to cap off the drive and give Keith a 15-7 lead after the two-point conversion.

The Eagles would answer back in the quarter, but missed their extra point, making the score 15-13 going into the fourth.

But the Bears would answer again, as Crumpton snuck it in from 1 yard out to complete another successful drive and extend Keith’s lead to 21-13 with 11:29 left in the game.

The Eagles weren’t done yet, as their defense came up big when Dillon Howard intercepted a Crumpton pass and returned it to the Bears’ 20-yard line, and an unsportsmanlike penalty on Keith during the play added more yardage to put the Eagles at the Bears’ 8-yard line. Keith held strong for three plays and on fourth down, denied the Eagles final chance to make a comeback when Bears’ defender Charles Johnson tipped a Nixon pass away from an open receiver to seal the victory with 5:23 left in the game.

The Bears will hit the road next week to play Marengo County Friday at 7 p.m.

Keith will play in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 1A state playoffs the following week at Sweet Water.
Print Friendly and PDF