Central loses in semis for third straight season

McGill-Toolen does it again
Nov. 30, 2017

Ouch, this one hurt the most.

McGill-Toolen High’s Bryceson Massey got his fingertips on just enough of Zach Johnson’s extra point kick in overtime to give his team a 27-26 victory over the Red Devils and put his team in the Dec. 6 Class 7A title game against Hoover High. And, Massey’s heroic effort ended Central High’s football season for the third consecutive year.

“It hurts. I don’t know. I don’t know... I’m proud of our kids. I’m proud of how they played. They had a great year. It’s my fault and I have to figure it out. And, I haven’t done a very good job of that now. You can’t be here three years in a row and to come up short. Going undefeated and all that stuff is great, but we’re here to win championships at Central and championships is what we’ve got to have. I have to figure this out,” Central coach Jamey DuBose said after the season-ending loss to the Yellow Jackets.

McGill-Toolen, which had never reached the championship game before 2015, has beaten Central each of the last three seasons – 2015 by a 26-21 score and 35-21 last season in addition to this season’s overtime victory. The Red Devils are now 1-4 against the Yellow Jackets.

Massey’s blocked kick, his first of the season, came immediately following one of the most athletic plays for a touchdown of the season. On second-and-goal at the 13-yardline, an errant snap sent Central quarterback Peter Parrish scrambling to pick up the loose ball and to avoid a heavy McGill-Toolen rush. Parrish went to his right and was at the sideline when he released a pass to the front of the end zone to Justyn Ross. Ross hauled in the ball between defenders for what potentially was the tying touchdown.

However, on the extra point attempt, Massey ran in for the block unobstructed.

“Ross made a tremendous play and Peter made an even better play. You know...I don’t know, we had a run through on the right side it looked like. Their guys believed they could make the block and they did and we are right back where we were last year. We’ll have to go back this offseason and figure this thing out,” DuBose said.

Central had a chance to win the game in overtime – and appeared to have done that. After McGill-Toolen’s Chase Mahler kicked a 23-yard field goal to tie the contest at 20-20, the Red Devils drove from their own 20 to the McGill-Toolen 13 with 23 seconds to play. Johnson entered the game and nailed a 31-yard field goal – an apparent game-winning kick in regulation. Central’s celebration after the kick was cut short when the kick was waved off with the clock showing 22 seconds as game officials granted a timeout called by McGill-Toolen coach Earnest Hill. Johnson’s second attempt was wide left and the teams went into overtime.

McGill-Toolen scored on its second play of the overtime with a 10-yard pass from Sheldon Layman to Bo Hightower. Mahler added the extra point kick for the deciding margin of victory for the Yellow Jackets.

The fourth ranked Yellow Jackets played even on the scoreboard with No. 1 ranked Central in regulation. McGill-Toolen took the early lead with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Layman to Zach Workman to cap a 95-yard scoring drive with its second possession. The Yellow Jackets led 7-0 as the first quarter closed.

Central’s first offensive possession went from it 20 to the McGill-Toolen 35 before three losses on runs forced the Red Devils to punt. Its second possession tied the game. Central drove from its 20 to the end zone in 14 plays – seven were runs by A’montae Spivey for 58 yards, including the final seven yards for the touchdown with 11:35 left in the half.

The Yellow Jackets next possession was a short one, but resulted in points. McGill-Toolen’s Chris Davis returned the kickoff following the Central touchdown 52 yards to the Red Devils’ 38. Layman got his second touchdown pass of the night on a 7-yard toss to Turner McLaughlin with 7:06 remaining in the second quarter.

Central fumbled on its ensuing possession, but got the ball back one play after the error when Damon Jones intercepted a Layman pass and returned it 47 yards to the Central 49. A 15-yard penalty gave Central the ball at its 34, where it began its second scoring drive. 

It took 12 plays before A’montae Spivey scored on another 7-yard run. The half ended with the score tied.

McGill-Toolen opened the second half with a 13-play drive that resulted in a 26-yard field goal by Mahler to give the Yellow Jackets a 17-14 advantage. 

A short punt to end Central’s next possession gave McGill-Toolen another short field, starting at its own 45. Eight plays later, the Yellow Jackets were stopped on fourth-and-goal from less than a yard from the Central end zone.

The Red Devils drove the length of the field in six plays to take the lead for the only time at 20-17. Jamaar Spivey had a 74-yard run to get Central to the McGill-Toolen 4. On the next play, Parrish scored to make the score 20-17. The extra point kick was wide.

McGill-Toolen tied the game at 20-20 with 5:32 remaining on a 23-yard field goal by Mahler. That’s when Central took over and drove from its 20 to the McGill-Toolen 13 for the missed field goal with 22 seconds to play.

“I told the kids this hurts, but they re champions no matter what the scoreboard says. They played hard all year. They did everything I asked them to do. This is football game. In life, these guys are champions. That’s all that matters. I’m proud of every one of them. I’m proud of what they have done for this community. I’m proud of what they have done for their school. I don’t judge any team or anybody on a game. We’ll figure this thing out. Three years in a row the kids have done everything we have asked. I can’t get them past that hump right now. I don’t know. It’s not them, its me. They’ve done everything they’ve been asked. I have to do a better job. I have to figure this thing out,” DuBose said.

While Central failed to win the battle of special teams, it did play one of its best games of the season on offense and defense. The Red Devils totaled 450 yards against the Yellow Jackets. Jamaar Spivey ended the night with 112 yards on nine attempts. Parrish had 104 yards on 17 carries and threw for 110 yards while completing 13 of 17 passes. A’montae Spivey, who did not run the ball in the second half, ran 14 times for 90 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Ross, whose final catch of his senior season was for a touchdown, had five receptions for 73 yards.

Central ended the season at 11-1 overall and was the Region 2 champion for the fourth season in a row.

Central returns to the semifinals with win over R.E. Lee Generals
Red Devils will be home against McGill-Toolen

Nov. 23, 2017

A week ago, Central quarterback Peter Parrish ran his team to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter against Theodore High in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs. Friday night, Parrish used his arm to help his team to another 21-0 lead in the second round against R.E. Lee-Montgomery along the way to a 42-14 victory for his team.

“Lee just was not going to allow us to run early, but they gave us some passes and we took advantage of those,” Central coach Jamey DuBose said of his No. 1 ranked and 11-0 Red Devils. “Pete did a good job of getting the ball to the receivers. He took a shot from the blind side on that one touchdown pass. He held it a little longer than we wanted him to, but that will happen sometimes. He will be a sore tomorrow, but he will be ready for next week.”

Central will face McGill-Toolen in the semifinals for the third year in row next Friday night at Garrett-Harrison Stadium. McGill-Toolen beat Central in each of the last two seasons 26-21 and 35-21. McGill-Toolen has beaten Central three of the four times they have met. In 2007, the Yellow Jackets won 36-0. Central won in 2011 by a 41-0 score.

“There is no doubt McGill-Toolen will come in here angry. They have been ranked No. 5 most of the year and they haven’t lost a game since the title game last year. But, everybody who comes in here is angry and wants to win. We will have to play our best to get to the championship game. It’s all about winning on Friday night at this point. We need to win on another one next week,” DuBose said after his team’s victory over R.E. Lee’s Generals.

Central opened up the game’s scoring with its second offensive play. Parrish connected with Justyn Ross over the middle and the state’s top prospect weaved his way to the end zone on a 34-yard play with 9:12 left in the first quarter.

Parrish’s second pass of the night was for 62 yards and another touchdown. Central’s Derrick Moore took the pass about 10 yards up the field and then outraced two Generals the final 52 yards for the points with 6:50 left in the first quarter.

Parrish finished the first quarter with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Ross to give the Red Devils a 21-0 lead.

The Generals cut the margin to 21-7 on a 45-yard run by Tedarrian Murray with 11:39 left in the half.

Before the half ended, Parrish and Ross teamed up on a short 7-yard touchdown pass that was the highlight of the night. Ross, being held by a General defender, caught the ball one-handed in the back of the end zone for his third of the game with 56 seconds remaining before the intermission. Central led 28-7.

Ross had four catches for 61 yards with three touchdowns for the night.

The Red Devils opened the second half with a 6-play, 68-yard drive. Parrish started the drive with three passes to three different receivers for 60 of the 68 yards. He ran the last six yards for the touchdown with 9:45 remaining in the third quarter.

Parrish finished the night with eight carries for 19 yards with a touchdown and was 8-of-12 passing for 183 yards with four touchdowns.

The Generals drove 63 yards in nine plays to cut the margin to 35-14 with 1:52 left in the third quarter on a 19-yard run by Kaniaus Johnson.

R.E. Lee drove to the Central 3-yard line with 6:40 to play, but turned the ball over on downs. 

The defensive stop set up Central’s final touchdown of the night – a 97-yard touchdown run by Amontae Spivey. Spivey’s brother, Jamaar, was the lead blocker on the play and along with the Red Devil offensive line gave the younger Spivey all the room he needed to race to the end zone.

For the evening, Amontae Spivey had seven carries for 150 yards with a touchdown. He had 157 yards on 12 carries with three touchdowns the first time the two teams met during the regular season.

Central’s offense had 506 total yards to R.E. Lee’s 310 total yards.

Kickoff next Friday is set for 8 p.m. EST at Garrett-Harrison Stadium.

Red Devils rout Bobcats, face a region foe in second round of playoff games
Nov. 16, 2017

Central High quarterback was a man with a mission last Friday evening as he led the No. 1 ranked Red Devils to a 42-13 victory over Theodore at Garrett-Harrison Stadium. The Red Devils will now face R.E. Lee-Montgomery in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs tomorrow night.

“You never like a second time match up. But, you know, we are just proud to be there. Whoever it is we just have to go play. That’s the thing in the Alabama high school playoffs, you are going to get the best team every week. That’s just how it is. You can wish for whoever or you can think whatever. We knew this was going to happen. We knew our region was better than their region and that’s what it sounds like tonight. We have three teams advancing and they have one.” DuBose said.

Central defeated the Generals 52-30 in a rare Saturday morning game at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery. Amonte Spivey and Parrish both had big games against the Generals, Spivey ran for 154 yards with three touchdowns and Parrish hd 179 yards rushing with three touchdowns as well in a shootout.

“We will have to play them very well. And, we could very well have to play another team from our region the next week. Right now, we have to play a talented R.E. Lee team. We are going to have to go back and evaluate what they did and I’m sure they will go back and look at us,” DuBose said.

Central faced the Generals in the playoffs in the second round of the playoffs in 2015 and won in overtime 20-13. The Red Devils have beaten the Generals in their last 11 meetings dating back to 1998. They have faced in the playoffs three previous times and won each – 1997 (14-9), 2002 (34-7) and 2015 which was decided in overtime. Central is 19-6 overall against R.E. Lee.

Before Central could focus on a second round opponent, they had to dispose of Theodore in the first round. Central jumped out quickly and put the game way in the first half.

“We had good week of practice. That was the reason for the fast start. The fast start was ultimately the reason for the win. That’s what you have to do in the playoffs. You have to jump out front, tke control of the game and take control of the tempo. I think we did that tonight,” DuBose said.

Parrish, a junior, scored three first quarter touchdowns before being relegated to the sideline for the remainder of the contest with a calf injury. The injury was not serious, but Central Coach Jamey DuBose decided to take no chances when backup Tucker Melton showed no signs of letting up on the offensive pressure on the Bobcats.

“We had the lead and there wasn’t any reason to take any chances of really getting him injured further. We don’t feel like we were going to a second string quarterback with Tucker on the field. He’s our other No. 1 quarterback. They are No. 1 and No. A1,” DuBose said.

Parrish scored on Central’s second offensive play on a 14-yard run with 9:35 on the opening quarter’s clock. He scored his second touchdown on a 7-yard run with 6:07 left in the quarter. His third touchdown came on a 16-yard run with 3:21 left to give the Red Devils a 21-0 lead.

Parrish left the game with five carries for 41 yards with three touchdowns.

On the final play of the first quarter, Justyn Ross returned a punt 64 yards for the Red Devils to put them at the Theodore 16. Three plays later, Ross caught a 10-yard TD pass from Melton to up Central’s lead to 28-0. That was the final time Ross would touch the ball Friday night.

Ross opened the game with a 22-yard run on a sweep. He caught two passes for 15 yards with a TD. With the 64-yard punt return he had four touches for 101 all-purpose yards.

Melton connected with Will Clanton on a 30-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-10 from the Theodore 30 with 9:53 left in the first quarter. Central led 35-0.

Theodore’s Trevor Andrews scored the first of his two touchdowns in the game with a 9-yard run to cap a 27-yard drive following an interception. The Bobcats trailed 35-7.

With 2:51 left in the half, Central’s Devonte Mathews picked off an Andrews pass to set up a final touchdown for the Red Devils before the halftime intermission. Freshman Joseph McKay ran 40 yards for the touchdown to give the Red Devils a 42-7 halftime advantage.

In the second half, Central’s offense sputtered as Theodore’s defense packed the box to stop the Red Devils from running the football.

“We got a win. I’m a little disappointed up front. We got beat at the point of attack in the second half. I don’t know if we took it easy. We had some good drives. Got the ball inside the 10 and couldn’t convert on a fourth-and-one. I don’t know why. I’ll have to go back and see the film. They put a bunch in the box. They knew we weren’t going to throw it. We tried to get a couple of throws out of there. We didn’t play bad, but we didn’t play good offensively in the second half. Got to get better. Use this game as a stepping stone. It was another good team win though,” DuBose said.

Theodore managed one more score in the game - a 1-yard run by Andrews with 5:09 left in the third quarter.

Central’s defense picked off two Theodore passes and recovered a pair of fumbles for the night. The Red Devil defenders also held the Bobcats to one catch in 15 pass attempts for one yard. The Bobcats got 98 yards rushing from Roy Tookes and 81 from Andrews in the loss.

Jamaar Spivey ran 8 times for 59 yards and McKay had 65 yards on 10 carries for Central.

Central and R.E. Lee will meet Friday night at Garrett-Harrison Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. EST.

Red Devils face familiar foe in first round of 7A playoffs
Nov. 9, 2017

Friday night will mark the fourth time the Central High Red Devils have faced a Theodore High football team in the postseason. All three of the previous encounters, the Red Devils came out victorious. But, none of that matters now.

“The fourth time is the one that matters. I am glad we are 3-0 against them, but I hope we are 4-0 after this week,” Central coach Jamey DuBose said earlier this week. 

The last time Central met Theodore was in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs in 2000. Central won that game 26-7. The two schools first met in 1994 in Theodore with the Red Devils taking a 28-10 victory. Central defeated Theodore in 1997 at Garrett-Harrison Stadium 13-0.

Theodore made this year’s playoffs as the No. 4 seeded team from Region 1. The Bobcats beat Foley 28-0 last Friday night to earn the final playoff slot from their region. Central finished the season at 9-0 overall and 6-0 in region play and is the No. 1 seeded team from Region 2. 

“You really do not know what a team will do until you get to the game, but the coaches have watched film of them and they are a strong defensive team,” DuBose said. “They have allowed 12.2 points per game and I think that is second in Class 7A behind Auburn, which had allowed about eight points per game. They have a big nose guard. He will clog up the middle. They have been successful in stopping the run. They are real physical on defense. Their offense doesn’t have any stars. They just play good solid football. They are more methodical and like to play slowdown. We like to keep things up tempo.”

Central has been potent on offense all season, using a balance of running and throwing the football. The Red Devils’ running game may be hampered with the potential loss of leading rusher Amontae Spivey. Spivey suffered a high ankle sprain on his second run of the Red Devils’ 56-20 win over Prattville. The junior is questionable for tomorrow night’s game. DuBose said he will be a game time decision.

“He may be able to go, but we might not use him if we don’t need to. We want him at 100 percent when we put him back on the field,” DuBose said.

But, Amontae Spivey is only one of Central’s running backs who have contributed to the offense this season. Freshman Joseph McKay and senior Jamaal Spivey have seen considerable time on the field this season. There are also others.

If the Central running game falters, the Red Devils can turn to their passing game and the state’s top prospect Justyn Ross. Ross leads a group of receivers who have caught 119 passes for 1,887 yards with 21 touchdowns from two quarterbacks – junior Peter Parrish and sophomore Tyler Melton. Both quarterbacks are gaining attention from college recruiters – Parrish has offers from Mississippi State, Indiana and Virginia; and Melton is early in the recruiting process and has received attention from Clemson.

“Theodore likes to blitz and play zone coverage in the secondary. They don’t like to play man coverage and run all over the place. They try to create some confusion in the secondary. From what we have seen, they have not had to face a lot of teams that pass the ball. In the Mobile area, they tend to run the ball more,” DuBose said.

While the Red Devils spent the past week relaxing, as they had no game, there were plenty of activities going on at the school. Ross was presented with his jersey for the Under Armour All American Game to be played Jan. 4, 2018 in Orlando. Ray Thornton received an offer from Duke. Several other players have gotten recruiting attention over the period.

“We’re used to the recruiting process. We talk to the kids all of the time about staying focused on our team and staying humble. We just have to deal with that,” DuBose said. “Last week was a week to relax. It was the end of the regular season. I am a firm believer in having an ending to things. We ended the regular season and now will start thinking about the playoffs. This is a whole new season. Everybody is 0-0. The end of the year rankings are done. The playoff games are set. It’s all about winning now. It does not matter if you win by 50 point or one point as long as you find a way to win. If you win each of the next four games by a single point and play badly, but win, no one will care. You will be the champions. We will be working this week to find a way to win against Theodore. We have to plan for everything they have done. We have to be ready for whatever they do. You have to stay focused to get through the playoffs. That is what we have to do now.”

Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. EST tomorrow night at Garrett-Harrison Stadium.

Red Devils end season undefeated

It’s only the fourth team in school history to achieve that feat
 Nov. 2, 2017


he 2017 edition of the Central High Red Devils reached a level only four teams in the school’s 90-year history of football last Friday night at Garrett-Harrison Stadium – the team completed a regular season schedule undefeated. Central, 9-0, defeated Prattville High 56-20 to achieve the feat. Only the 1944 (9-0), 1988 (10-0) and 1995 (10-0) teams have completed a regular season without a loss.

And, the victory gave Central a perfect Region 2 record for the third time in four years. The Red Devils are 23-1 over the past four seasons under Head Coach Jamey DuBose. 

“It is always nice to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time. On a personal note, I’ve never had an undefeated season as a head coach. We were all chasing something tonight and I’m proud of it. I’m proud of the team. I was a little worried about coming in here and having a letdown. We were playing a team that was already knocked out of the playoffs and we had already clinched. We played sloppy football tonight, but we won. We found a way to win and I’m proud of that. Now these guys are ready to get into the playoffs,” DuBose said following the victory over the team he coached from 2008-2011 and won two state titles.

Central will play host to the winner of the Foley vs. Theodore game this week in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs that begin next week.

The Lions did perform unexpectedly in the first few minutes of the contest with the Red Devils, mainly due to the sloppy and unfocused play DuBose feared. As the first quarter ended, Central held a 1-point advantage at 14-13.

“Tonight was . . . you are just going to have some of these kinds of games sometimes. We got off the bus a little behind. We were lethargic. I kind of feared that. To tell the truth, we did not have a very great week of practice this week. They are 15-, 16-, 17-year-old guys. Sometimes they get caught up with the pats on the backs. They get caught up with looking at the numbers. You get caught up in the scores and you can’t forget you have to play the football games. Prattville had a good plan and they hit us in the mouth early,” DuBose said.

Central scored on the first offensive play of the game on an 80-yard pass and run play. Justyn Ross caught the pass from Peter Parrish about 10-yards up field and then weaved his way to the end zone for the touchdown with 11:46 left in the first quarter. With Zack Johnson’s kick, Central led 7-0.

Prattville responded with a 76-yard scoring drive that took 15 plays. Tra Edwards tossed a 20yard pass to Tray Pettway for the touchdown with 9:10 left on the clock in the first quarter. The extra-point attempt was blocked. Prattville trailed 7-6.

Central went 80 yards in six plays to pull away by eight points at 14-6. Parrish threw a 24-yard pass to Will Clanton for the touchdown.

Prattville scored on a 54-yard run by Edwards one play following the ensuing kickoff to make the score 14-13. 

Prattville used an onsides kickoff to regain possession following its touchdown, but could not move the ball and was forced to punt. The kick backed Central to its 2-yard line to start its next possession.

The Red Devils, directed by Tucker Melton on this possession instead of Parrish, went the distance in 15 plays. Melton tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Ross for the points. Central led 21-13 with 11:50 remaining in the half.

Central added another touchdown with its following possession. The Red Devils took over at the Prattville 45 after a short punt. It was only four plays before they put the points on the scoreboard. Parrish ran 35 yards for the touchdown with 8:23 left in the half to make the score 28-13.

Central’s Devontae Mathews intercepted a Prattville pass at the Red Devils’ 5-yard line to stop the Lions from cutting into his team’s lead. Melton stepped in to relieve Parrish and threw an incomplete pass and hit Will Clanton with a 15-yard pass before ending the drive with an 80-yard touchdown pass to Ross. With Johnson’s kick, Central led 35-13 with 5:35 left in the half.

In the third quarter, Central scored its final offensive touchdown on a 17-yard wide receiver reverse run  by Drake Holloway with 5:02 on the clock. Central was ahead 42-13.

The next Central points were put up with a 14-yard return after Jamaar Spivey blocked a Prattville punt attempt. Ray Thornton scooped up the ball and ran to the end zone with 3:09 left in the quarter. Central was in the lead at 49-13.

Then before the quarter could end, Central’s Jalen McWhite picked off a Prattville pass and returned it 72 yards for a touchdown with 1:06 remaining in the third quarter. Central led 56-13.

Prattville scored a touchdown late following a Central fumble. Edwards ran 4 yards for the points. With the extra point, the final score was 56-20.

Central will be off this week and will take time to rest before jumping into the playoffs.

“I’m excited about getting into the playoffs. We’re going to take next week off, not off-off. We’re just going to work on us. We are not going to talk about who we will play next. We are not going to talk about the playoffs. We are just going to go to work and get things fundamentally better. We’re going to get recharged for the playoffs and hopefully come out that next week with some excitement,” DuBose said. “From a coaching standpoint, tonight was a sloppy win. Sometimes you need some of these type games and get through them to understand you have to come focused. We have some things to clean up before our next game.”


First Quarter

Central – 80 yards, 1 play: Peter Parrish 80 pass to Justyn Ross for touchdown (Zack Johnson kick), 11:46. 7-0

Prattville – 76 yards, 11 plays: Incomplete pass; Incomplete pass; Tra Edwards 31 run; 15-yard penalty on Central; Incomplete pass; 10-yard penalty on Prattville; Edwards 15 pass to Tray Pettway; Edwards 6 run; 5-yard penalty on Prattville; Incomplete pass; Incomplete pass; Edwards 20 pass to Malik Smith; Edwards 0 run; 2-yard penalty on Central; Edwards 2 pass to Pettway for touchdown (kick blocked), 9:10. 7-6

Central – 80 yards, 6 plays: Kylin Brooks 2 run; Peter Parrish 41 pass to Eddie Gilmore; Incomplete pass; Parrish 5 run; Jamaar Spivey 3 run; Parrish 24 pass to Will Clanton (Johnson kick), 6:59. 14-6

Prattville – 54 yards, 1 play: Edward 54 run (Noah Sheets kick), 6:40. 14-13

Second Quarter

Central – 98 yards, 15 plays: Tucker Melton 6 pass to Brooks; Incomplete pass; Melton 15 pass to Brooks; 5-yard penalty on Central; Anthony Miles 5 run;  Amontae Spivey 4 run; A. Spivey 12 run; Melton 9 pass to Clanton; 10-yard penalty on Central; Incomplete pass; Melton 19 pass to Ross; Melton 2 run; Melton 1 run; Incomplete pass; Melton 5 pass to Ross for touchdown (Johnson kick), 11:50. 21-13

Central – 45 yards, 4 plays: Joseph McKay 8 run; McKay 4 run; McKay minus-2 run; Parrish 35 run for touchdown (Johnson kick), 8:23. 28-13

Central – 95 yards, 3 plays: Incomplete pass; Melton 15 pass to Clanton; Melton 80 pass to Ross for touchdown (Johnson kick), 5:35. 35-13

Third Quarter

Central – 18 yards, 3 plays: Following an interception by M.J. Woods; McKay minus-1 run; McKay 2 run; Drake Holloway 17 run for touchdown (Johnson kick), 5:02. 42-13

Central – 14 yards, 1 play: J. Spivey blocked Prattville punt; Ray Thornton 14 fumble return for touchdown (Johnson kick), 3:09. 49-13

Central – 72 yards, 1 play: Jalen McWhite 72 interception return for touchdown (Noah Pell). 56-13

Fourth Quarter
Prattville – 14 yards, 3 plays: Edwards 10 run; Incomplete pass; Edwards 4 run for touchdown (Sheets kick). 56-20

Devils win fourth region title in a row
Win over R.E. Lee sets another school record
Oct. 26, 2017


entral High Coach Jamey DuBose has stressed to his Red Devils all season to play as a team. They did that when it was most important last Saturday at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl to leave the stadium with their fourth consecutive Region 2 Class 7A football title. The four titles in a row broke the school record the team set last season when it won its third in a row for the first time.

Central defeated R.E. Lee 52-30 in a one-half shoot out to claim the title and thus earned home field advantage in the playoffs that begin in two weeks. Central will play the fourth place team from Region 1 in the opening round. The winner of the Foley vs. Theodore game will be traveling to Phenix City for the opening round of the playoffs. The other team will be eliminated. Davidson has a lock on third place and will face Auburn. Fairhope and McGill-Toolen are both undefeated in region play and will face each other in the final week. The winner will take first place and play Jeff Davis. The loser will be second and play R.E. Lee. The last two games will be played in Mobile.

But, before the Red Devils can look ahead to the playoffs, they have to finish out the regular season tomorrow night at home against Prattville High. Prattville lost to Jeff Davis High last week to be eliminated from the playoff picture.

“I don’t know what kind of team we’ll see yet. Prattville has only two or three wins this season and got eliminated from the playoffs last Thursday by Jeff Davis. It has to be disappointing to not be playing in the playoffs. But, they could be a motivated team. They are playing a team that is ranked No. 1 in the state and beating us would be bog for them going into the off-season. Then, again, they could be down and not want to play at all,” DuBose said of his former team which he took to a pair of state titles.

Tomorrow night will also be Senior Night for Central. Over the past four seasons, those players who joined the varsity as freshmen have compiled a 37-8 overall record, a 22-1 region record, won the region title four consecutive seasons and make the playoffs in each year.

Central earned that fourth region title under DuBose last Saturday in Montgomery with its victory over R.E. Lee’s Generals. The game was much closer than the coach had hoped, but he never felt it was out of hand even though the first half was a bit of a shoot out between a pair of gunslinger quarterbacks.

Central’s Peter Parrish ran for 90 yards and two touchdowns in the first half while General quarterback Kaniaus Johnson ran for 97 yards with a pair of touchdowns in the first two quarters. When the game ended, Parrish had 179 yards on 12 carries with three touchdowns. Johnson ran for 153 yards with three touchdowns.

“We stress that this is a team game. Today, the offense started quickly and kept us ahead until the defense figured it out. The defense settled down and made adjustment at the half. The second half was very different. I really did not expect there to be a shoot out here today,” DuBose said after the game which gives his team a 22-1 record in region play over the past four seasons.

“We were glad to get out of there with the region title and not have to figure out all those tiebreakers. We didn’t want to go through all that. We wanted to be able to control our own destiny and we have earned that. Now, we can go finish out the regular season and get ready for the playoffs. Our offense seems to be clicking well. Our defense has played well all season. We need to get out of tomorrow night’s game without any injuries. We need to get some people rested and be ready for the playoffs,” DuBose added.

Central opened the contest with R.E. Lee by marching 68 yards in five plays to take a 7-0 lead. On a second-and-8 from the R.E. Lee 48, Red Devil quarterback Peter Parrish raced the distance with 10:42 left in the first quarter.

The Generals answered with a 73-yard drive in nine plays to tie the score on a 42-yard run by R.E. Lee quarterback Kaniaus Johnson with 8:14 left in the opening quarter. The game was at 7-7.

Three plays following the ensuing kickoff, Parrish ran 35 yards for his second touchdown with 5:53 remaining in the quarter. With Zack Johnson’s second extra point kick, Central led 14-7.

Central took a 21-7 lead with 10:40 left in the first half. Amontae Spivey capped a three-play, 69-yard drive with an 11-yard run for a touchdown.

The Generals were not ready to concede the game to the Red Devils yet. With their next possession, the Generals went 67 yards in five plays to cut Central’s lead to 21-14. TeDarrian Murray ran 31 yards for the points with 8:20 left in the half.

R.E. Lee tied the game with 4:46 on the second quarter clock when Johnson ran 30 yards to end a four-play, 56-yard drive.

Central, however, took the lead into the halftime intermission as the Red Devils drove 65 yards in nine plays for another touchdown and a 28-21 lead. A. Spivey scored on a 24-yard run with 32 seconds left on the halftime clock.

After Central’s defense stopped R.E. Lee for a three-and-out series to start the second half, Justyn Ross stepped back to receive a Generals’ punt near the 10-yard line. Ross stepped away when the ball bounced over his head and was hit by a Generals player near the 7-yard line. The official on the spot ruled the ball down at the 7 and with Central having possession. The other officials overruled him and the Generals had the ball at the 7. 

The Red Devil defenders dropped the Generals for three 4-yard losses over the next three plays and R.E. Lee opted to attempt a 36-yard field goal. The kick was good and R.E. Lee had cut Central’s lead to 28-24 with 8:30 left in the third quarter.

The four-point deficit became an 11-point deficit when Amontae Spivey ran 72 yards for a touchdown on the first play of Central’s ensuing possession. With Johnson’s kick, the Red Devils were on top 35-24.

R.E. Lee came right back with a 79-yard drive that lasted eight plays to score. Johnson ran the ball into the end zone from 23 yards out with 5:04 remaining in the third quarter. After a failed two-point pass attempt, Central remained ahead 35-30.

Two plays following the ensuing kickoff, Parrish fake a handoff up the middle and sprinted 83 yards to put Central back up by 12 points at 42-30 with 4:10 left in the quarter.

Central failed to score a touchdown from the R.E. Lee 1-yard line following a 59-yard punt return by Ross with 6:38 left in the game, but did manage to put points on the scoreboard with a 20-yard Johnson field goal with 5:08 left to play. Central led 45-30.

Central closed out the scoring with a two-play, 36-yard drive. Ross made a one-handed catch on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Parrish with 3:21 to play. The senior receiver looked back and grabbed the ball then ran the rest of the yards to the end zone with the ball still in the one hand.

Amontae Spivey ran 12 times for 154 yards with three touchdowns for the Red Devils. Central’s offense, which set a school record with over 600 rushing yards and over 700 total yards against R.E. Lee last season, had another productive day with 532 total yards, 387 running the ball and another 145 passing. The Generals had 402 total yards, 233 in the first half. Parrish threw for 145 yards on 8-of-12 passing with no interceptions and one touchdown.

Kickoff tomorrow night at Garrett-Harrison Stadium is set for 8 p.m. EDT.


First Quarter

Central – 5 plays, 63 yards: Drake Holloway 9 run; Jamaar Spivey 4 run; Peter Parrish 2 run, fumble 3 Tem yards; J. Spivey 2 run; Parrish 48 run for touchdown (Zack Johnson kick), 10:42. 7-0

R.E. Lee – 9 plays, 73 yards: TeDarrian Murray 2 run; Murray 16 run; Murray 2 run; Murray 5 run; Landry Little 2 run; Kaniaus Johnson 1 run; Murray 2 run; Murray 1 run; Johnson 42 run for touchdown (Justin Lott kick), 6:31. 7-7

Central – 3 plays, 61 yards: Incomplete pass; Parrish 26 pass to Anthony Miles; Parrish 30 run for touchdown (Johnson kick), 5:53 14-7

Second Quarter

Central – 3 plays, 69 yards: Amontae Spivey 10 run; Parrish 48 pass to Miles; A. Spivey 11 run for touchdown (Johnson kick), 10:40. 21-7

R.E. Lee – 5 plays, 67 yards: Johnson 2 run; Johnson 5 run; Johnson 25 run; Johnson 4 pass to Little; Murray 31 run for touchdown (Lott kick), 8:20. 21-14

R.E. Lee – 4 plays, 56 yards: Johnson 11 pass to Chad Howard; Johnson 12 pass to Howard; Johnson 3 run; Johnson 30 run (Lott kick), 4:46. 21-21

Central – 9 plays, 65 yards: J. Spivey 3 run, 10-yard penalty on Central; Parrish 15 pass to Derrick Moore; J. Spivey run no gain; A. Spivey 4 run; 5-yard penalty on R.E. Lee; 5-yard penalty on Central; A. Spivey 10 run; Parrish 6 run; A. Spivey 13 run; Parrish run no gain; A. Spivey 24 run for touchdown (Johnson kick), :32. 28-21

Third Quarter

R.E. Lee – 3 plays, minus-12 yards: Murray minus-4 run; Johnson minus-4 run; Johnson minus-4 run; Lott 36-yard field goal, 8:30. 28-24

Central – 1 play, 72 yards: A. Spivey 72 run for touchdown (Johnson kick), 8:30. 35-24

R.E. Lee – 8 plays, 79 yards: Johnson 25 run; Kevontae Ruggs 2 run; Johnson 12 run; Shonderrick Nelson 9 run; Johnson 7 run; Incomplete pass; Incomplete pass; Johnson 23 run for touchdown (Pass failed), 5:04. 35-30

Central – 2 plays, 89 yards: J. Spivey 6 run; Parrish 83 run for touchdown (Johnson kick), 4:10. 42-30

Fourth Quarter

Central – 3 plays, minus-2 yards: Parrish minus-1 run; Parrish minus-1 run; Incomplete pass; Johnson 20-yard field goal, 5:08. 45-30

Central – 2 plays, 36 yards: Deonte Williams 6 run; Parrish 30 pass to Justyn Ross (Johnson kick), 3:21. 52-30

It’s for all the marbles on Saturday
Red Devils face R.E. Lee in game that could determine title
Oct. 19, 2017

For the Central High Red Devils, history is on the line Saturday afternoon when the No. 1 ranked Class 7A team takes on R.E. Lee High at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl. With a victory, the Red Devils will claim the Region 2 title for the fourth season in a row under head coach Jamey DuBose. No Central football team has ever won that many region titles in a row.

The Red Devils enter the game with a perfect 7-0 overall record and 4-0 in Region 2. R.E. Lee is 5-2 overall and 3-1 in Region 2. A loss by the Red Devils could potentially create a three-way tie for the region’s top spot as Auburn High is also 3-1 in the region. Of course, that only happens with a Central loss to R.E. Lee and wins over Smiths Station and Jeff Davis by Auburn, the Generals finishing the season with a victory over Enterprise and Central beating Prattville next week.

A three-way tie would mean the region title will be determined by the Alabama High School Athletic Association rule book and will go past the first tie-breaker to see which team gets the top spot.

“It’s going to be a big contest on the road playing at their house. It’s for all the marbles. We gotta get that win. We get that win and we accomplish one of the goals we set out for and we’ll move on and try to finish the year and get ready for the playoffs. But the whole key is we try to get three games at home in the playoffs. The way to get that done or to secure that is to get a big win over there next week. We will be playing a very explosive Lee team. I know Auburn beat them, but I hope we come out and play really, really well and get a win ourselves,” DuBose said.

A year ago, Central defeated R.E. Lee at Garrett-Harrison Stadium 59-28 while setting a new record for total offense with more than 700 yards, more than 600 of which have come via the running game.

The Generals have wins over two opponents Central has also defeated – Smiths Station and Jeff Davis. The Generals lost to Auburn 27-0 while Central beat the Tigers 34-28. R.E. Lee’s other loss this season came at the hands of Sidney Lanier 28-13. R.E. Lee beat Smiths Station 40-0 and Jeff Davis 42-19. Central beat Smiths Station 62-7 and Jeff Davis 55-18. 

“Lee is Lee. They are very athletic. They are very fast on defense like us. They have an explosive quarterback that can do a lot of things and a good running back. They have a good running game. They are good up front on the offensive line. We have two things we have to do to next week to be successful. We have to have a good running game and stop the run. We do those things and we will come off the field next week happy,” DuBose said.

Before Central could look ahead to playing the Generals, they had to take care of Jeff Davis. The Red Devils took care of that in short order. After stopping the Vols’ initial game drive, Central’s Jamaar Spivey blocked their punt attempt. Central took over control of the football at the Jeff Davis 10-yard line. One play later, Peter Parrish ran the 10 yards into the end zone for Central’s first touchdown of the night with 10:53 left in the first quarter.

Central upped its lead to 14-0 after the Red Devils stopped the second Vols possession with a fumble recovery at the 36-yard line. It took the Red Devils six plays to cover the 64 yards. Anthony Miles scored on a wide receiver sweep of six yards with 8:33 remaining in the first quarter.

Central’s third possession covered 86 yards in four plays. Amontae Spivey, who rested with bruised ribs last week against Enterprise, ran twice for 81 of those yards. He had runs of 24 and 57 yards following an incomplete pass. Tucker Melton ran the final five yards to give Central its third touchdown with 5:57 left in the quarter.

With 1;36 left in the first quarter, Central’s special team dropped the Jeff Davis punter before he could get off a kick at the 19. Melton connected with Derrick Moore on a 19-yard pass on the drive’s first play to put Central ahead 27-0.

Central went 80 yards in four plays to up the score to 34-0 with Amontae Spivey taking a pitch from Parrish as he took off around the right end on a fourth-and-1 for 71 yards for a touchdown with 8;30 left in the half.

After allowing the Vols to score with 4:54 left in the second quarter, Central took the ensuing kickoff and mounted an 80-yard drive of five plays for another touchdown. Melton teamed up with Miles on a 54-yard touchdown pass with 2:43 left in the half. Central led 41-6. Melton avoided a Jeff Davis safety blitz on the play and got the pass off while being hit.

Jeff Davis scored once more before the half ended to go into the halftime intermission trailing 41-12.

“We probably could have had three running backs with over a hundred yards tonight, but we got away from the running game and tried to work on some other things in our passing game. That throw by Tucker to Anthony for the touchdown was probably the most athletic play a quarterback has made for me as a coach. Jeff Davis came on a safety blitz on the backside and we didn’t have anything to stop them. Tucker got the ball off and threw a strike to Anthony. You know we rested Amontae last week and it helped him this week. We really did not run it too much, but he had a good night,” DuBose said.

Amontae Spivey had 156 yards on five carries at the half. He finished the night with 172 yards on six carries. Central had 302 rushing yards against the Vols on 37 attempts. Central had three quarterbacks combine for 238 yards while completing 17 of 26 passes. Parrish was 10 of 16 for 118 yards. Melton completed 6 of 8 passes for 109 yards with a pair of touchdowns. A.J. Horton was 1 of 2 for 11 yards with a touchdown.

In the second half, Central marched 80 yards in five plays with its first possession to add to its point total. Parrish scored on a 7-yard run with 9:55 left in the third quarter. The Red Devils led 48-12. 

In the fourth quarter, Horton connected with E.J. Williams on an 11-yard touchdown pass with 6:50 remaining in the contest to end his team’s scoring. Jeff Davis added a touchdown with 30.7 seconds to play to make the final score 55-18.

Kickoff Saturday at Cramton Bowl is set for 12:30 p.m. EDT.


First Quarter

Central: 1 play, 10 yards – Peter Parrish 10 run for touchdown. Zack Johnson kick, 10:53. 7-0

Central: 6 plays, 70 yards – Parrish 11 pass to Kylin Brooks. Jamaar Spivey 12 run. Parrish 19 pass to Deonte Williams. Parrish 17 pass to Amontae Spivey. Amontae Spivey 5 run. Anthony Miles 6 run for touchdown. Johnson kick, 8:33. 14-0

Central: 4 plays, 86 yards – Incomplete pass. Amontae Spivey 24 run. Amontae Spivey 57 run. Tucker Melton 5 run for touchdown. Johnson kick, 5:57. 20-0

Central: 1 play, 19 yards – Melton 19 pass to Derrick Moore for touchdown. Johnson kick, 1:30. 27-0

Second Quarter

Central: 4 plays, 80 yards – Parrish 2 run. Amontae Spivey minus-1 run. Parrish 8 pass to Will Clanton. Amontae Spivey 71 run for touchdown. Johnson kick, 8:18. 34-0

Jeff Davis: 4 plays, 32 yards – Jaquan Williams 25 pass to Deontay Campbell. Williams 1 run. 3-yard penalty on Central. Incomplete pass. Williams 3 pass to Brandon Sanders for touchdown. Kick blocked, 4:54. 34-6

Central: 5 plays, 80 yards – Melton 6 pass to Kylin Brooks. Jamaar Spivey minus-1 run. Melton 17 pass to Jamaar Spivey. Melton 4 run. Melton 54 pass to Miles for touchdown. Noah Pell kick, 2:43. 41-6

Jeff Davis: 4 plays, 79 yards – Williams 12 pass to Sanders. Williams 36 pass to Campbell. Williams 30 pass to Sanders. Williams 1 run for touchdown. Pass failed, 1:10. 41-12

Third Quarter

Central: 7 plays, 80 yards – Incomplete pass. Jamaar Spivey 1 run. Parrish 28 pass to Drake Holloway. Parrish 24 pass to Justyn Ross. Jamaar Spivey 5 run. Jamaar Spivey 5 run. Parrish 7 run for touchdown. Pell kick, 9:55. 48-12

Fourth Quarter

Central – 5 plays, 55 yards – A.J. Horton 15 run. Horton 13 run. Dexter Wright minus-3 run. Horton 4 run. Horton 11 pass to E.J. Williams for touchdown. Pell kick, 6:50. 55-12

Jeff Davis: 4 plays, 75 yards – Jaquon White 4 pass to Sanders. White 6 run. White 1 run. White 65 pass to Sanders. Kick blocked, :30.7. 55-18

Next two games important to Red Devils
Jeff Davis, R.E. Lee contests will decide Central’s fate in region race
Oct. 12, 2017

There will be a lot of distractions this week as Central High celebrates Homecoming and that is just an added burden for the No. 1 Class 7A Red Devils as they prepare to play the Jeff Davis High Volunteers. The Red Devils need victories in the next two weeks to secure their fourth consecutive Region 2 title under the guidance of Coach Jamey DuBose.

Central defeated Enterprise High’s Wildcats last Friday night on the road at Wildcats Stadium 55-7 to remain undefeated in Region 2 at 3-0 and overall at 6-0.

“We have two big, important games at home left, but I think our season rides in the next two weeks. All these wins have been nice, but you lose the next two and it is all for naught. Our season is the next two games. If we’re a really good team we’ll come out and play next week at home. It’s homecoming I hope we have a lot people back for Homecoming. I hope there will be a lot of fans in there to support us and we take care of business and get this thing down to one. The magic number will be one then. I want us to give it to Prattville. Of course we want to win the Prattville game and go undefeated again in region play and have an undefeated season. That’s one of our goals as a team. But at the end of the, you know, we’re still two games away from that and that’s the biggest thing. We can’t look down the road, man. We have to keep doing what got us here and that is JD and that’s next on our sites,” DuBose said following his team’s blow out of Enterprise.

Jeff Davis is 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the region. They lost last Saturday to R.E. Lee 42-19. After Jeff Davis, Central will be on the road the next Saturday to play R.E. Lee at Cramton Bowl. The Generals are 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the region. Prattville is 3-3 overall and 2-2 in Region 2. Central closes the regular season at home against Prattville.

Enterprise win give DuBose revenge

Traveling back to Enterprise last Friday night was somewhat traumatic for DuBose. Two seasons ago, the Red Devils lost to Enterprise 17-14 on the final play of the game at Wildcat Stadium. It was the only region loss the team had lost to any Region 2 team under DuBose. Central is 20-1 against Region 2 teams under DuBose including last Friday evening’s win.

DuBose admitted to having some periods of sleeplessness during the nights leading up to his team’s return to Enterprise. His wife, Tracy, said DuBose was suffering from PTED – Post Traumatic Enterprise Disorder.

“I think I’m over it now. My wife kept telling me I was talking and yelling in my sleep. I was tossing and turning. The last trip down here was not a good one,” DuBose said.

There was no reason for DuBose to be worried about anything happening to deny his team a victory this time in Wildcats Stadium. The Red Devils scored on five of their first six possessions of the first half to take a 35-7 lead into halftime.

Halfbacks Jamaar Spivey and Joseph McKay each had a pair of touchdowns in the first half to help Central take its lead. McKay, a freshman, scored the Red Devils’ first touchdown on a 4-yard run with 7:30 left in the first quarter. Following a 26-yard touchdown pass from Central’s Peter Parrish to Justyn Ross to make the score 14-0, McKay score on an 18-yard run with 36.9 seconds remaining in the opening quarter to give Central a 21-7 advantage.

In the second quarter, Spivey, a senior, scored on a 45-yard run with 11:02 left in the first half. He then scored on a 1-yard run with 6:55 left in the second quarter to make the score 35-7. 

The next three Central drives were ended by interceptions, but Enterprise could not take advantage of any of them to reach the end zone for more points.

On their second possession of the second half, McKay got his third touchdown of the evening for the Red Devils on a 13-yard run with 7:07 left in the quarter. Spivey got his third touchdown on an 11-yard run with 6:24 left in the third quarter following a fumble recovery by Latavius Calhoun at the Enterprise 11-yard line.

Central’s final points came with 1:11 left in the game on a 5-yard run by A.J. Horton to leave the final score at 55-7.

McKay led Central’s runners with 119 yards on eight carries with his three touchdowns. McKay got the starting nod on Friday as DuBose elected to rest junior running back Amontae Spivey, the team’s leading rusher, because of bruised ribs.

“We wanted to give Amontae some time to heal so that the injury would not be a nagging thing the rest of the season. We want him at his best as we make this final run. We were also looking to develop another running back or two that could help us. I think Joseph McKay did a good job tonight and I think we saw some things from some others who can help us,” DuBose said.

It was the first 100-yard plus night for McKay in his brief career. He has earned the nickname “Pop” not because he appears older than he is, but rather for the sound of his hits on defensive players as he runs the ball. 

Spivey’s older brother, Jamaar, had 85 yards on eight carries with three touchdowns as well. The Red Devils ran 36 times for 333 yards and completed 14-of-27 passes for 155 yards with a TD and three interceptions.

“Jamaar had a good night for us as well. I hate he had that long run taken away from him in the second half when we got a penalty. He worked very hard to get those yards,” DuBose said.

DuBose used a combination of players on each offensive drive through the first three quarters, giving both of his quarterbacks a chance for snaps with the first team unit. Ross was limited after a pair of catches and punt returns to get younger players into the contest to earn experience.

“We planned to do what we did tonight with our rotations. We feel good about our kids. We have six or seven offensive linemen that we can rotate in and out when we need and feel like our offense stays the same. Our first and second team defensive players are doing well. I’m pleased with what I have seen, but we know there is still room for us to improve,” DuBose said.

Central’s defense held Enterprise to 115 total yards – 106 rushing yards and 9 passing yards. Without the 89-yard touchdown run the Wildcats made in the first quarter, Enterprise would have had 26 rushing yards to go with their 9 passing yards.


First Quarter

Central – 61 yards, 6 plays: Jamaar Spivey 4 run, Spivey 3 run, Spivey 5 run, 5-yard penalty on Central, Peter Parrish 11-yard pass to Justyn Ross, Parrish `3-yard pass to Will Clanton, 4-yard penalty against Enterprise, Joseph McKay 4 run for touchdown at 7:30. (Zack Johnson kick) 7-0

Central – 43 yards, 5 plays: Incomplete pass, Parrish run for no gain, Parrish 12 run, Parrish 5-yard pass to Drake Holloway, Parrish 26-yard pass to Ross for touchdown at 3:12. (Johnson kick) 14-0

Enterprise – 85 yards, 2 plays: Grant Thornton 1-yard pass to Kyan Horne, 5-yard penalty on Enterprise, LaZarieus Leonard 89 run for touchdown at 1:35 (Andrew Osteen kick) 14-7

Central – 75 yards, 4 plays: Tucker Melton 5-yard pass to Anthony Miles, Melton 33 run, Melton 19-yard pass to Deonte Williams, McKay 18 run for touchdown at :36.9. (Johnson kick) 21-7

Second Quarter

Central – 58 yards, 3 plays: Incomplete pass, Parrish 13-yard pass to Clanton, Spivey 45 run at 11:02. (Johnson kick) 28-7

Central – 46 yards, 8 plays: Melton 11-yard pass to Kylin Brooks, Incomplete pass, McKay 8 run, Melton 14-yard pass to D. Williams, Holloway 2 run, 10-yard penalty on Central, Incomplete pass, 5-yard penalty on Enterprise, Melton 15 run, Spivey 1 run for touchdown at 6:55. (Noah Pell kick) 35-7

Third Quarter

Central – 56 yards, 4 plays: McKay 6 run, Melton 3-yard pass to Derrick Moore, McKay 34 run, McKay 13 run for touchdown at 7:07. (Pell kick) 42-7

Central – 11 yards, 1 play: Following a fumble recovery by Latavious Calhoun, Spivey 11 run for touchdown at 6:24. (Pell kick) 49-7

Fourth Quarter

Central – 26 yards, 5 plays: Dexter Wright 12 run, 7-yard penalty on Enterprise, 1-yard penalty on Enterprise, 10-yard penalty on Central, Wright run for no gain, Wright 6 run, Dominick Scott 2 run, A.J. Horton 5 run for touchdown at 1:11. (kick failed) 55-7

Red Devils seek revenge for lone region loss under Dubose, goes to 5-0 with victory over Opelika

Oct. 5, 2017


t is not quite like hearing the words, “Remember the Alamo.” But, what the Central coaches have expressed this week in practice is for the team not to forget what happened the last time they traveled to Enterprise to face the Wildcats in a region battle. Enterprise stuffed the Red Devils on a fourth-and-goal on the game’s final play to clinch a 17-14 victory – the only region loss the Red Devils have suffered since Jamey DuBose became head coach in 2014.

“Our coaches have got to go back to the drawing board to get us a plan for Enterprise. Got to go on the road. My one loss in region over the last four years here has come at Enterprise. So, we have got a little motivation to go down there and play well,” DuBose said after last Friday night’s rout of Opelika, 46-19, at Garrett Harrison Stadium.

The victory over Opelika gave Central its 43rd win in the 75-game history of the oldest series for the Red Devils. The series began in 1926 – Central’s first year of the sport of football.

Central is 19-1 in region play since DuBose took over the program in 2014. The Red Devils have won the last three region titles with DuBose as head coach. A win over Enterprise would be a good push in the direction of a fourth consecutive region title. Central is 2-0 in the region standings as it enters this week and 5-0 overall. The Red Devils have been ranked No. 1 since beating Bob Jones High in the first game of the season – the longest stretch for Central in holding on to the top spot in the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll of Class 7A teams in school history.

“A lot of our guys that are seniors now were sophomores when we lost to Enterprise down there. We’re going to go down there and get a win and they’ll be fine. We’ve got to go on the road and it is always a chore when you have as many people as we have to travel, but it will be a lot of fun. Enterprise has a beautiful stadium. So, we’ll go down there next Friday night and see what we can do,” DuBose said of tomorrow night’s game with the Wildcats.

The Wildcats’ stadium has a grass playing field and it will be the only one the Red Devils will play on during the regular season. Five of the teams in Region 3 have artificial turf playing fields while Enterprise and Smiths Station still have grass surfaces.

In order for Central to reach the Enterprise game with an unblemished record, the Red Devils had to get past a tough rivalry opponent in Opelika. It was the Bulldogs’ hopes to remain close on the scoreboard to have a chance to win in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs have had several injuries reduce their depth on offense and have relied heavily on their defense to keep games close.

The Opelika defense did well in the first quarter, limiting Central to seven points – and those came with 1:06 left in the period. Amontae Spivey scored on a 4-yard run to give Central the lead at 7-0 with Zach Johnson’s kick. Spivey’s run capped a 10-play, 70-yard drive.

Central upped its lead to 14-0 with a 43-yard pass from Peter Parrish to Justyn Ross with 1:52 remaining in the half. The drive took nine plays to cover 75 yards.

The Red Devils went ahead 16-0 when Opelika’s quarterback had to recover a bad snap in the Bulldogs’ end zone with 1:34 left in the half.

Opelika’s Brantan Barnett cut Central’s lead to 16-6 with a touchdown on a 29-yard screen pass from Malik Finley with 25.6 seconds left to play in the half. The two-point pass attempt failed.

Both teams were plagued by penalty flags in the first half. Central had 10 yellow flags thrown their way for 105 yards while Opelika had eight penalties for 83 yards. When the night ended, the two combined for 25 penalty flags that totaled 240 yards – 145 against Central and 95 against Opelika. The flags stifled several potential scoring drives.

“We left a lot of points on the field tonight with penalties. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot in the first half. We talked about it at halftime and reminded them of what happened when we got in that situation in Auburn,” DuBose said. Central cut their penalties in half in the final two quarters as they pulled away from Opelika on the scoreboard.

Ross got the crowd excited – and his teammates too – with a 57-yard punt return for a touchdown with 7:50 left in the third quarter to give the Red Devils a 23-6 lead.

Parrish then guided Central on a 6-play, 80-yard march for another touchdown that ended with an 8-yard pass for the points to Jamaar Spivey with 1:00 left in the third quarter. Central was on top 30-6.

Tucker Melton came in to play quarterback in the fourth quarter and tossed a perfect strike to Derrick Moore between two Opelika defensive backs for a 56-yard touchdown with 11:28 left to play. Central led 37-6.

Opelika cut the margin to 37-12, going 80 yards in four plays. Malik Wilson scored on a 2-yard run with 9:18 left in the game.

Central’s next points came when Opelika’s long snapper sent the ball out of the end zone for another safety, giving the Red Devils a 39-12 lead.

The final points of the night for Central came on a 5-yard run by Dominick Scott with 3:20 to play. The run for the points ended a 50-yard drive that took six plays.

Opelika scored one more time when Barnett took off on a 63-yard run with 3:01 remaining. Cole Lazzari kicked the extra point for the Bulldogs.

While the Red Devils travel to Enterprise for a Region 3 contest tomorrow night, Opelika will head home to face Helena in a Class 6A region game.


First Quarter

Central – 10 plays, 75 yards: Amontae Spivey 10 run, A. Spivey 4 run, incomplete pass, Peter Parrish 14 run, incomplete pass, A. Spivey 21 run, A. Spivey 1 run, Parrish 8 run, A. Spivey 3 run, A. Spivey 4 run for touchdown. 1:06 (Zach Johnson kick) 7-0

Second Quarter

Central – 9 plays, 75 yards: Parrish 2 run, A. Spivey minus-1 run, Parrish 18 pass to Drake Holloway, A. Spivey 4 run, A. Spivey 3 run, 5-yard penalty on Central, Parrish minus-5 pass to Jamaar Spivey, 15-yard penalty on Opelika, Parrish 3 pass to Derrick Moore, incomplete pass, Parrish 43 pass to Justyn Ross for touchdown. 1:52 (Johnson kick) 14-0

Central – 1 play, minus-7 yards: Safety. Opelika quarterback recovers bad snap in Opelika end zone. 1:34. 16-0

Opelika – 5 plays, 49 yards following an interception: Incomplete pass, incomplete pass, Brantan Barnett 23 run, Malik Finley 29 pass to Barnett for touchdown. :25.6 (Pass failed) 16-6

Third Quarter

Central – 1 play, 57 yards: Ross returns punt 57 yards for touchdown. 7:50 (Johnson kick) 23-6.

Central – 6 plays, 80 yards: Parrish 13 pass to Ross, A. Spivey 7 run, Parrish 18 pass to Ross, 5-yard penalty on Opelika, J. Spivey 23 run, J. Spivey 6 run, Parrish 8 pass to J. Spivey for touchdown. 1:00 (Johnson kick) 30-6

Fourth Quarter

Central – 1 play, 56 yards: Tucker Melton 56 pass to Moore for touchdown. 11:28 (Johnson kick) 37-6

Opelika – 4 plays, 80 yards: Keri Kellum 10 run, Kellum 2 run, Jordan Heard 64 run, Malik Wilson 4 run for touchdown. 9:18 (kick failed) 37-12

Central – 1 play, minus-11 yards: Opelika snaps ball out of end zone on punt attempt for a safety. 6:15. 39-12

Central – 6 plays, 50 yards: Joseph McKay 4 run, Robert Marsh 6 run, McKay 29 run, Melton 1 run, Dominick Scott 5 run, Scott 5 run for touchdown. 3:20 (Johnson kick) 46-12

Opelika – 1 play, 63 yards: Barnett 63 run for touchdown. 3:01 (Cole Lazzari kick) 46-19

Communities unite to recite The Lord’s Prayer in protest of recent decision by Lee Co. BOE
Sept. 28, 2017

The Lee County Board of Education, at the direction of the Huntsville based law firm of Lanier Ford Shaver and Payne in a letter on Sept. 11, has instructed its schools to not allow student-led prayers before athletic events. The decision was made after an Opelika parent who attended the Smiths Station High season opening high school football game with the Bulldogs filed a complaint with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, saying the parent was offended.

But Friday night at Garrett-Harrison Stadium before the annual Backyard Brawl game between rival schools Smiths Station and Central, the student sections of both schools recited The Lord’s Prayer loud and clear to express their feelings about the unpopular decision.

Lee County Superintendent Dr. Mac McCoy, according to the letter responding to the complaint that was signed by attorney William Sanderson stated, he had informed the principals he expects all Lee County schools to comply with current law with respect to prayer at football games held in Lee County.

“The school system was facing litigation that we felt as though would not rule in our favor, if we continued with prayer over our public address system,” Dr. McCoy said in a statement issued last week. “Our response to the demand letter has been slightly delayed due to our conversations with legal counsel and conducting research on the matter. I was simply trying to find a way for our students to continue to do what they have been doing with student-led prayer. Unfortunately, I was not successful in that matter.”

Smiths Station has had student-led prayer before its games for years while Central has opted for a moment of silence. The moment of silence on Friday night was when the student bodies of both schools made their statement. The event was spread through the two communities through the social media website Facebook. News stations attended from as far away as Atlanta. FOX 5’s Natalie Fultz reported live from the stadium for the channel’s 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. broadcasts. The story has also been picked up by the Associated Press and has gained national coverage. The news site AL.com ran stories about the ban as well.

“The issue isn’t praying before the game. It’s how it’s being done. The Freedom From Religion Foundation says the school has broken the law because they are allowing students to use the school’s equipment and also they have allotted a specific time for this prayer to take place. Now the community says they have been doing this for decades and they’re pretty upset,” Fultz said in her early report.

Students and parents of the schools asked those who attended the contest to recite the prayer following the Central alma mater and the moment of silence. After the emotional moment, the crowd on both sides of the stadium erupted in applause for the youngsters.

Most people asked about the demonstration sided with the students saying government, the courts nor outside groups had any business trying to dictate the community standards and morals of Smiths Station and Phenix City.

The Opelika-Auburn News reported Beauregard High also stood to recite the Lord’s Prayer at its Homecoming game with Talladega High. The stadium announcer informed the crowd of the prayer ban and then told those in attendance they could recite the Lord’s Prayer at the third strike of the drum, if they so desired, the newspaper stated.

The Lee County BOE received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation after the Opelika parent’s complaint. The letter stated, “The District must take immediate action to end the practice of scheduling prayer at school-sponsored events and end the use of District equipment to project prayers to the public.” The board was threatened with a law suit if the prayers did not stop as directed. The organization, from Madison, Wisc., cited several decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding student prayer in its Aug. 31 letter. The Smiths Station-Opelika game was Aug. 25.

More student and parent demonstrations against the decision to ban the student-led prayer are expected in weeks to come. Smiths Station students have invited those who wish to pray to gather around the fence at Panther Stadium in a prayer line with the possible use of a student-owned megaphone being used to recite a prayer for the safety of the players as the students have done over the years.

Central faces real rival this week

Red Devils battle with Opelika Bulldogs for 75th time since 1928
​Sept. 28, 2017
​Central High scored on its first eight offensive possessions and a punt return to put winless Smiths Station High out of its misery quickly last Friday night in what is billed as the annual Backyard Brawl between the two neighboring schools. The final score was 62-7 in the 26th meeting since 1992. Central leads the series against its local rival 21-5.

Now, the Red Devils must prepare to play their real rival this week – Opelika High. Opelika and Central have met 74 times previously since 1926 when the Red Devils began their football program. Central leads this series with 42 wins to 32 wins for the Bulldogs. The Red Devils have not defeated Opelika in Phenix City since 2010. All three of Central’s victories over Opelika since 2010 have been on the road at Bulldog Stadium. Opelika last won a home game in the series in 2014.

“The Opelika game, since I have been here, has been more of a rival game than Smiths Station. That’s how it goes sometimes when you have schools that are close in proximity. I would say of the three schools, Auburn, Opelika and Smiths, maybe the Opelika-Central game has been a lot bigger game of any of the three even though we have had more match-ups with Auburn than any of the three in the region and everything else. I kind of feel, after being in it, the Opelika-Central game has been a lot bigger rivalry,” DuBose said of this week’s opponent.

Central will enter the game with Opelika sporting a perfect 4-0 record and holding on to the No. 1 ranking in Class 7A. Opelika is 3-2 overall and enters the game after losing 19-14 to Benjamin Russell last week. Opelika has been in the Class 6A Top 10 all season, rising as high as No. 5.

Adding to this season’s rivalry, the Bulldogs have a new coach – Caleb Ross, the former coach at McGill-Toolen. Ross’ McGill-Toolen team eliminated Central from the Class 7A playoffs in each of the last two seasons by scores of 26-21 in 2015 and 35-21 last season. 

The Bulldogs and Red Devils have had two common opponents this season – Smiths Station and Auburn. Opelika defeated Smiths Station 51-0 in its season opener and lost 17-13 to Auburn in the second week. Central defeated Auburn 34-28 and Smiths Station 62-7.

“We have got to get better running the football if we want a chance to beat Opelika. I was proud of what we worked on and could show tonight, but we are going to have to run the football and control the ball and continue to play good solid defense,” DuBose said. “I’m proud of our defense. We are still playing solid with our ones and twos. We cannot turn the ball over and avoid penalties. Penalties kill you like they did us against Auburn. We’re going to have to play good clean football. We’ve got to start out strong and stay that way.

Central did not use its run game against Smiths Station as much as it has against previous opponents this season. DuBose said he wanted to take the opportunity to work on his team’s passing game against the Panthers. The work was successful.

Between Central’s two quarterbacks – Peter Parrish and Tucker Melton – the Red Devils combined for 12-of-17 passing for 222 yards and five touchdowns. Parrish was 7-of-10 for 143 yards with three TD tosses and Melton completed 5-for-7 passes for 79 yards with two TD throws.

Parrish got Central on the scoreboard first with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Justyn Ross. He then connected with Derrick Moore for his second TD pass on the second offensive possession for the Red Devils. Melton entered the game and threw a TD pass to Will Clanton. Parrish found Clanton for another touchdown pass on the next offensive possession and Melton ended the night’s touchdown passing with another one to Moore.

Ross, who caught three passes for 55 yards with a TD also returned a punt 43 yards for a touchdown. He had two punt returns for 53 yards on the night. The senior, who is considered the top prospect in the state, sat out the balance of the contest after his punt return touchdown with 10:04 remaining in the first half.

Clanton and Moore both joined Ross on the sideline before the third quarter was over. Clanton finished with four catches for 53 yards with his two TDs and Moore had two catches for 53 yards for two touchdowns.

Dominick Scott had two carries for 34 yards with two touchdowns against Smiths Station. Melton had a rushing touchdown as well.

Freshman Joseph McKay led Central runners with two carries for 67 yards, both in the second half on the Red Devils’ first scoring drive.

“We got reps for a lot of our guys tonight that were quality reps. We were able to play a lot of kids and they gained some experience that will help us as the season goes along. We escaped tonight without any injuries. That was good to see. We did what we could tonight to finish. It was a region game and we got a win. I’m proud of my guys. I’m proud of their guys finishing. It took a lot of guts to finish and to break through and score. Now, we’re ready to look to Opelika. We have to get ready,” DuBose said.

Smiths Station scored its first offensive points of the season with 4:04 remaining in the game when Alex Londano ran around left end and outran Central’s defenders on a 75-yard touchdown sprint. Tripp Vining kicked the extra point to make the final score 62-7.

Scoring Drives:

First Quarter

Central – Incomplete pass. Will Clanton 10-yard run. Peter Parrish 22-yard pass to Drake Holloway. Incomplete pass. Parrish 13-yard pass to Justyn Ross. Parrish 9-yard pass to Ross for touchdown, 6:46. (Zack Johnson kick). 7-0

Central – Parrish 33-yard pass to Ross. Incomplete pass. Parrish 23-yard pass to Derrick Moore for touchdown, 2:48. (Johnson kick). 14-0

Second Quarter

Central – Tucker Melton 14-yard pass to Clanton. Melton 9-yard pass to Clanton. Amontae Spivey 10-yard run. Melton 14-yard pass to Clanton for touchdown, 11:40. (Johnson kick). 21-0

Central – Ross 43-yard punt return for touchdown, 10:04. (Noah Pell kick). 28-0

Central – Parrish 19-yard run. Jamaar Spivey minus-1 yard run. Anthony Miles 11-yard run. 15-yard penalty on Central. Parrish 27-yard pass to J. Spivey. Parrish 16-yard pass to Clanton for touchdown, 6:03. (kick failed). 34-0

Central – Melton 12-yard pass to E.J. Williams. Incomplete pass. 5-yard penalty on Central. Melton 30-yard pass to Moore for touchdown, 3:10. (Pell kick). 41-0

Central – Following Malcolm Waller fumble recovery for Central. 11-yard penalty on Central. Melton 4-yard run. Dominick Scott 9-yard run for touchdown, 1:26. (Pell kick). 48-0

Third Quarter

Central – Incomplete pass. Joseph McKay 7-yard run. McKay 60-yard run. Melton 2-yard run for touchdown, 9:18. (Pell kick). 54-0

Central – Robert Marsh 5-yard run. Scott 18-yard run for touchdown, 4:50. (Pell kick). 62-0

Fourth Quarter

Smiths Station – Edward Payne 2-yard run. LC Harris 6-yard run. Matthew Turnbull minus-5 yard run. Alex Londano 75-yard run for touchdown, 4:04. (Tripp Vining kick). 62-7

Off week not exactly what Central wanted before playing annual Backyard Brawl 
Sept. 21, 2017

​Hurricane Irma put a kink in Central High’s plans following a tough victory over Auburn High two weeks ago, 34-28. The storm left the Red Devils without a game to play in the week before stepping on to the field at Garrett-Harrison Stadium to face Smiths Station High in the annual Backyard Brawl.

The Red Devils had been scheduled to play Kathleen High of Lakeland, Fla., last Friday night, but instead were left with an off week when the opposing team of Red Devils could not make the trip to Phenix City. Lakeland is located between Tampa and Orlando and was right in the path of Irma. According to Central coach Jamey DuBose, the school was designated a shelter during the storm and, because of that and a shortage of fuel, the Florida school felt it would be better to cancel the trip.

“They did the right thing. Their school was a shelter for people who were trying to find a safe location during the storm. They did not even know if they would be able to return to classes last week or where their players would be. They also did not feel it would be right to make the trip with the shortage of fuel in the state caused by the storm,” DuBose said.

So instead of playing a game last week, the Red Devils themselves took some time off due to the storm and then returned to their school for classes and to work on fundamentals during football practice.

“Having a week off was good in that it allowed us the time to go back and work on fundamentals. It was time we spent worrying about ourselves instead of an opponent. We had some good practices, but practice speed and game speed are two different things. Practice is not like a game. The last three years we have had off weeks during the season and the kids are used to them now. The key to an off week is keeping the kids focused. We have to keep our timing and pace of play going as if we were playing. We really did need to play because in our first two games, we used our starters for only a half. We played them all four quarters against Auburn for the first time this season. We will have to see how the week off affects us. We were not looking for an open week. We didn’t ask for it,” DuBose said.

Central, ranked No. 1 in Class 7A by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, is 3-0 overall and 1-0 in region play. The Red Devils will take on Smiths Station in their second region game of the season. The Panthers are 0-4 overall and 0-2 in region play with losses to Jeff Davis and R.E. Lee.

“We are ready to get into region play. Five of our next six games are region games. We play Smiths Station in a region game this week and then a non-region game with Opelika before we play four more region games in a row. These five region games will determine where we stand as far as the playoffs are concerned,” DuBose said.

Central is currently riding an eight-game winning streak over the Panthers. It is the longest winning streak of the 26-year history of the series which began in 1992. Central leads the series with 20 victories to Smiths Station’s five. Central has outscored Smiths Station 350-114 over the last eight Backyard Brawls, an average score of 43.75 to 14.25. So far this season, Central has outscored its opponents this season 129-35 while Smiths Station has been outscored 163-2. the Panthers have not scored an offensive point this season.

“This far into the season, both teams know the things they are good at. We understand what we can expect from our lines and our skill people. Playing Smiths Station this week is important to us because it is our next game and it is a region game. If you look at it as a rivalry, you do not want to be the team that loses this game. We have got to take care of business this week. We’re going to work to win this game. The last few years do not mean anything. Every year things are different. We are going to focus on Smiths Station and no other opponents in the future,” DuBose said.

DuBose happy team survived Auburn
​Irma gives Red Devils an extra week off
​Sept. 14, 2017

The top-ranked Central High Red Devils were scheduled to face another team of Red Devils tomorrow night at Garrett-Harrison Stadium, but that is not going to happen. Because of Hurricane Irma, Central’s game against Kathleen High of Lakeland, Fla., has been cancelled. There are no immediate plans for Central to reschedule the contest with the team that shares its nickname and colors.

Lakeland sits between Tampa and Orlando and was in the direct path of the hurricane as it made its destructive way through Florida.

The week away from the playing field will give the Red Devils a few days of rest before starting a six-game run of region contests that begins next week with the annual Backyard Brawl rivalry with Smiths Station on Sept. 22 at Garrett-Harrison Stadium. Central leads the series with the Panthers 20-5 and has won the last eight games in a row.

No. 1 ranked Central is going into the off week after surviving last week against No. 8 ranked Auburn High in the first region game for the two teams of 2017. With the victory, Central now has five consecutive wins over the Tigers under DuBose, including two games last season.

“We survived. That’s all I’m going to call it. I’m proud of the way our kids continued to fight, continued to overcome situations we were in. We have to correct a lot of things. We had penalties all over the field. I take the blame for the penalties. We can’t be penalized that much in big ballgames and expect to win. So, we’ve got a lot to work on. When you play a great team, when you play a good team, you’re going to find things to work on and we needed that. I’m just proud to survive tonight. We got a win and we’ll move on. They showed me we got a little heart over there, got a little heart,” DuBose said.

“I did see some good things at the end that allowed us to finish the win. A lot of what went on tonight goes to Auburn’s efforts. Everyone was telling me they were a good team and they were. In games like this, if you can win, just survive them, you’re happy. To tell the truth, I feared this game all week. One reason is when you have success over a team over several years, you get a little comfortable. We talked about respecting your opponent with the kids and they didn’t understand that. Auburn was a much improved football team. I’m not saying they were not a good team last year, because they were. They are just a better team this year. Tonight was a big environment, a big game, and we had some kids lose their composure. We have to correct that going forward.”

The Red Devils scored on their first possession of the contest with Auburn, going 48 yards in six plays. Central quarterback Peter Parrish ran 13 yards for the first touchdown of the night. The points came with 9:04 remaining in the first quarter. Before the quarter ended, the two teams had scored four times.

Auburn tied the game with a 36-yard run by Jay Walker with 5:59 left in the quarter. The Tigers took the lead with its next possession, driving 43 yards in four plays. Brooks Fuller tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to JaMarcus Knight with 3:15 on the first quarter clock. 

Central tied the game when it completed an 80-yard drive to the end zone in nine plays. Amontae Spivey, who would score four touchdowns in the game, ran in for the points from five yards out as time expired to make the score 14-14.

“Amontae made some plays on his own tonight. We did not block very well at times and he just made some breaks, made some folks miss, and then used his speed to get down the field. He made some pretty good runs. I was proud of him. He did an excellent job,” DuBose said.

Auburn used 19 plays to cover 94 yards to take a 21-14 lead with five seconds remaining in the half. Fuller threw a 6-yard pass to Trey Elston for the go ahead touchdown.

At the half, the Red Devils had 10 penalties for 100 yards, including four of which proved costly on a possible scoring threat. After driving from their own 32 to the Auburn 10, the Red Devils were hit with four penalties which took them from a first-and-goal from 10 yards away to third-and-goal from 46 yards away.

Central came out quickly in the second half and tied the game’s score with its first possession. The Red Devils went 80 yards in eight plays with Spivey scoring on a 43-yard run with 9:56 left in the third quarter.

Central defensive back Devonte Mathews set up the Red Devils next score with an interception that gave his team the ball at its own 21. Spivey took the football 79 yards on the first play following the turnover for a touchdown with 3:15 left in the third quarter. Central led 28-21.

Central drive from its 32 to the Auburn 10 with its next possession, but turned the ball over to the Tigers with a fumble with 7:49 left in the game. But, one play later, the Red Devils got the ball back on an interception off a tipped ball by Ray Thornton. Thornton returned the interception 34 yards to the Auburn 20. Spivey carried it in on the next play for a 20-yard touchdown with 7:27 to play. The extra point failed, but Central led 34-21.

Auburn took over at its 9-yard line with 4:34 left and drive the distance in 12 plays to cut the margin to 34-28. Fuller connected with Knight on an 18-yard touchdown pass with 1:55 left in the game.

Auburn then got the ball right back with an onsides kick at the Central 43 with 1:53 to play. Central’s defense stopped the Tigers on two plays for no total gain and forced Auburn into a third-and-10 situation. Fuller’s pass was incomplete, but Central gave the Tigers new life with a pass interference penalty. Fuller fumbled on first down at the Central 28, but recovered the ball at the 30 with 31.8 seconds to play. The next three pass attempts by Fuller fell incomplete and Central took control of the ball with 19.2 seconds left. A kneel down ran out the clock to preserve the Central victory.

Spivey finished the game with 12 carries for 173 yards with four touchdowns. Parrish ran 16 times for 101 yards with one touchdown and completed 12 of 19 passes for 115 yards before leaving the game with an injury with 7:49 to play.


First Quarter

Central – 6 plays, 48 yards: Peter Parrish 7-yard pass to Anthony Miles. Jamaar Spivey 16-yard run. J. Spivey 2-yard run. J. Spivey 5-yard run. Parrish 5-yard pass to Will Clanton. Parrish 13-yard run for touchdown at 9:04. (Zach Johnson kick), 7-0

Auburn – 6 plays, 81 yards: Brooks Fuller 9-yard pass to JaMarcus Knight. Jay Walker 2-yard run. 5-yard penalty on Auburn. Fuller 22-yard pass to Knight. Garrett Morris 20yard run. Morris 4-yard run. 5-yard penalty on Auburn. Offsetting penalties. 15-yard penalty on Central. Walker 36-yard run for touchdown at 5:59. (Avery Atkins kick). 7-7.

Auburn – 4 plays, 43 yards: 5-yard penalty on Central. Walker 7-yard run. Walker 1-yard run. Walker run for no gain. Fuller 30-yard pass to Knight at 3:15. (Atkins kick). 14-7

Central – 9 plays, 80 yards: Parrish 15-yard pass to Justyn Ross. Parrish 20-yard run. Amontae Spivey 1-yard run. 10-yard penalty on Central. Drake Holloway 4-yard run. Parrish 14-yard run. Ross 2-yard run. Parrish 9-yard pass to Ross. Parrish 15-yard run. A. Spivey 5-yard run for touchdown at :00. (Johnson kick). 14-14

Second Quarter

Auburn – 19 plays, 94 yards: Incomplete pass. Walker 3-yard run. 15-yard penalty on Central. Walker 4-yard run. Walker 2-yard run. Fuller 10-yard pass to Garrett Jones. Walker 7-yard run. Walker 7-yard run. Walker 6-yard run. Josh Norris 1-yard run. Fuller 8-yard run. Walker run for no gain. Fuller 3-yard pass to Knight. Fuller 12-yard pass to Jones. Walker 3-yard run. Walker run for no gain. Fuller 6-yard pass to Trey Elston. Fuller 1-yard run. Incomplete pass. Fuller 6-yard pass to Elston for touchdown at :05. (Atkins kick). 21-14.

Third Quarter

Central – 8 plays, 80 yards: J. Spivey 3-yard run. Parrish 18-yard pass to Ross. Parrish 5-yard pass to Ross. Parrish minus-3-yard pass to Derrick Moore. Parrish 7-yard run. Parrish 7-yard run. Incomplete pass. A.Spivey 43-yard run for touchdown at 9:56. (Johnson kick). 21-21.

Central – 1 play, 79 yards: Following an interception by Devonte Matthews, A. Spivey 79-yard run for touchdown at 3:15. (Johnson kick). 28-21.

Fourth Quarter

Central – 1 play, 20 yards: Following a Ray Thornton interception, A. Spivey 20-yard run for touchdown at 7:20. (kick failed). 34-21

Auburn – 12 plays, 91 yards: Fuller 9-yard pass to Jones. Walker 27-yard run. Walker 3-yard run. Incomplete pass. Fuller 10-yard pass to Jones. Walker 2-yard run. 5-yard penalty on Auburn. Incomplete pass. Fuller 11-yard pass to Tommy Nesmith. Fuller 3-yard run. 5-yard penalty on Auburn. Incomplete pass. Fuller 18-yard pass to Walker. Fuller 18-yard pass to Knight for touchdown at 1:55. (Atkins kick). 34-28

By the numbers

Central and Auburn combined for 846 total yards and 62 points. The Red Devils had 451 total yards – 336 yards running the ball and 115 yards passing. The Tigers had 191 yards on the ground and 196 passing for 395 total yards. Central had 34 points to Auburn’s 28 in the victory for the Red Devils. The 62 combined points was the most scored between the two schools since 2014 when Central won 47-17 in a game that totaled 64 points. Central leads the series 36-14-3. The two schools first played each other in 1930. Auburn won that first game 18-6.

Doubling up on the century mark

In Central’s 34-28 victory over Auburn, two Red Devils ran for over 100 yards. Amontae Spivey had 12 carries for 173 yards with four touchdowns on runs of 5, 43, 79 and 20 yards. Peter Parrish ran 101 yards on 16 carries with one touchdown run of 13 yards.

Flag-fest at the Duck

Neither Central nor Auburn played up to their full potential as they combined for 24 penalties for 229 yards at Duck Samford Stadium last Friday. The Tigers had 11 flags for 94 yards while Central had 13 for 135 yards. During one drive, the Red Devils drove from their own 32-yard line to the Auburn 10 and had first-and-goal from there. On third down – after four penalties against Central – the Red Devils faced third-and-goal from the Auburn 46.

Central begins defense of region crown at Auburn
​Red Devils rout hapless Fairfield Lions, 62-0

Sept. 7, 2017

After a 62-0 win over Fairfield High last week at Garrett-Harrison Stadium, Central coach Jamey DuBose said he did not know a lot about this week’s opponent, Auburn High. But, you can bet he knows a lot now as his team readies itself to face the Tigers in the first region game for the two schools tomorrow night at Duck Samford Stadium in Auburn.

The Red Devils and Tigers are both 2-0 and ranked in the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 7A Top 10 poll. Central was ranked No. 1 last week and Auburn stood at No. 8. While there was no way the Red Devils could move up in the poll this week, the Tigers could – and most likely did as the ASWA poll came out after Citizen press time.

Auburn opened the season two weeks ago with a victory over Carver-Montgomery High 27-0 and then defeated its rival Opelika High, the then No. 5 ranked team in Class 6A, 17-13. This will be the 53rd time the two schools have met in the sport. Central leads the all-time series 35-14-3. Auburn last defeated Central in 2013 by a 23-17 score. Central has beaten Auburn four times in the last three seasons. Last year, Central won the regular season match-up 42-14 and then beat the Tigers 48-9 in the second round of the playoffs.

Central has won the region in each of the three seasons DuBose has been its head coach and is 17-1 overall in region play. The lone loss came to Enterprise two years ago in Enterprise.

“I don’t know a lot about Auburn right now,” DuBose said immediately following last Friday night’s victory. “I know they are picked to be good this year. That does not surprise me. Coach (Adam) Winegarden is a good coach and he will have his team ready to play this week against us. We’ll go look at film tomorrow to see where we are and then start working on getting ready to play Auburn.”

Central set an all-time record for offense in a single game last season against R.E. Lee High of Montgomery, rolling up 747 total yards with 606 coming via its running game. Last week against Fairfield, the Red Devils set new records on the opposite side of the football. The Central defense held the Lions to four total yards and minus-68 yards running the ball. The feat was particularly important at the start last week as the Red Devils took awhile to get its offense rolling.

“This is not something you expect. It just happens sometimes. One week the offense helps the defense and the next week the defense helps the offense. It’s just football,” Central defensive coordinator Mark Hurt said when told of his unit’s accomplishments. “These kids work together all the time. They do what they have to do to get everybody ready to play.”

The Central starting defense was especially ready in the first half as it held the Lions to minus-54 total yards. Fairfield had only four plays for positive yardage – three passing plays of 6, 3 and 4 yards and a 1-yard running play. 

“I was afraid of that (a sluggish start by the offense) coming out because we didn’t even show film of Fairfield all week. We were more worried about us all week. Our defense played pretty well all night. Our offense got going after they started slowly. You know, I’m proud. It was a complete win again. We’re 2-0, but our challenges are in front of us,” DuBose said. “We made a lot of mental breakdowns on blocking assignments, but it was all little things we can work on to get better. The thing I was proudest of tonight was that when a guy scored that doesn’t usually score, our leaders ran down the sideline to congratulate him. That makes me feel like I am actually doing some thing right or saying some things and I was proud to see our guys buy into that and get excited about other people doing some good things. That’s what we have talked about, not being selfish. It does not matter who is getting the honor or the award, we are winning in the end.”

Central scored its first touchdown after the defense pinned the Lions near their goal line and forced a punt. Justyn Ross returned the punt 25 yards to the Fairfield 5. After an offside penalty, Jamaar Spivey scored on a 2-yard run with 2:17 left in the first quarter. Zach Johnson’s kick made the score 7-0.

Central upped its lead to 14-0 with an 8-play, 71-yard drive. Peter Parrish scored on an 11-yard run with 11:22 remaining in the half. 

Tucker Melton connected with Ross on a 57-yard touchdown pass on the only play of its next possession to give Central a 21-0 lead with 10:07 left in the half. A little over a minute later, Devonte Mathews intercepted a Fairfield pass and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown with 8:55 on the first half clock. Central led 28-0.

Ross had a 45-yard punt return to give the Red Devils the football at the Fairfield 7-yard line to begin its next possession. It took two passes for Central to reach pay dirt – a 1-yard pass to A.J. Horton put the points on the scoreboard. Central led 34-0.

Central drove 65 yards in seven plays to increase it lead to 41-0 with Amontae Spivey scoring on a 10-yard run with 2:35 left in the half.

And the scoring was not over for the half as Parrish hit Devonte Williams with a 59-yard touchdown pass with 47.7 seconds left in the first half to give Central a 47-0 lead.

In the third quarter, Horton scored on a 7-yard run to cap a 26-yard drive of two plays with 8:02 on the running clock. That made the score 55-0. And when Horton scored his third touchdown of the night with 7:29 left to play in the game on a 1-yard run, it was the end of a 70-yard drive that took 12 plays.

The score could have been worse for Fairfield. With its final offensive possession, set up by a Byron Jenkins fumble recovery, Central moved to the Fairfield 1-yard line and then ran out the clock with three kneeling plays.

Scoring Drives:

First Quarter

Central – 1 play, 2 yards: Following a 25-yard punt return by Justyn Ross and a penalty against Fairfield, Jamaar Spivey scored on a 2-yard run for touchdown. (Zach Johnson kick), 2:17, 7-0

Second Quarter

Central – 8 plays, 71 yards. Incomplete pass. Joseph McKay 7-yard run. Pete Parrish 9-yard pass to Deonte Williams. Amontae Spivey 15-yard run. Amontae Spivey 15-yard run. Incomplete pass. Parrish 14-yard pass to Anthony Miles. Parrish 11-yard run for touchdown. (Johnson kick), 11:15, 14-0

Central – 1 play 57 yards. Tucker Melton 57-yard pass to Ross for touchdown. (Johnson kick), 10:07, 21-0

Central – 1 play, 22 yards. Devonte Mathews 22-yard interception return for touchdown. (Johnson kick), 8:55, 28-0

Central – 2 plays, 6 yards. Following a 45-yard punt return by Ross, Parrish 6-yard pass to Drake Holloway. Parrish 1-yard pass to A.J. Horton for touchdown. (Kick failed), 5:48, 34-0

Central – 7 plays, 65 yards. McKay 3-yard run. Melton 17-yard pass to Miles. Incomplete pass. Melton 40-yard pass to Tommy Vickers. Incomplete pass. 5-yard penalty against Central. Incomplete pass. Amontae Spivey 10-yard run for touchdown. (Noah Pell kick), 2:35, 41-0

Central – 1 play, 59 yards. Parrish 59-yard pass to Deonte Williams for touchdown. (Jamieson Douglas kick), :47.7, 47-0

Third Quarter

Central – 2 plays, 26 yards. Robert Marsh 19-yard run. Horton 7-yard run for touchdown. (Kick failed), 8:02, 55-0.

Fourth Quarter

Central – 12 plays, 70 yards. Derrick Scott 5-yard run. Dexter Wright 4-yard run. Horton 6-yard run. Louis Hicks run for no gain. Horton 39-yard pass to Willis Hatcher. Wright 7-yard run. Scott 1-yard run. Scott 4-yard run. Scott -3 yards on run. Wright 2-yard run. Horton 4-yard run. Horton 1-yard run for touchdown. (Pell kick), 7:29, 62-0

Central errors are correctable

Red Devils play host to Fairfield tomorrow night
Aug. 31, 2017

After a pair of touchdowns as the first half came to a close, Central High coach Jamey DuBose pulled his starting unit and began thinking about his team’s second game of the season. He also began to take note of the things his team needed to improve before taking on its second opponent of the 2017 season.

The two touchdowns just minutes before the first half ended gave the Red Devils a 26-7 lead in what would become a 33-7 victory for the No. 2 ranked Red Devils over No. 8 Bob Jones. Now, the Red Devils are looking to their Week 2 opponent – Fairfield High, a team it defeated last season 36-0.

“The one thing I know we have to work on, that took two or three touchdowns off the board, is the new rule on blocking the defenseless player downfield – the great block the crowd loves and goes ‘ooh’ - you can’t do anymore. We told our guys about it. We saw it tonight. We got flagged for it five or six times. You gotta use your hands downfield. We have got to do a better job of coaching, getting our guys more prepared downfield to get that done. They are all correctable mistakes tonight. On defense we blew one assignment in the secondary. That was that big play that gave them that touchdown. We were supposed to have a safety back in the middle of the field. We got confused back there in the long coverage and blew it. That’s one of those first game deals. You know, we got to play a lot of guys against a really good football team tonight. There’s good and bad to it. I wanted to come out here and put some numbers up for some of our guys, but at the same time when you get up you have to pull a Justyn Ross with a long season left in you. You can’t use him in that situation and we gotta build depth. We have a lot of players and got a lot of people who need the work. We got to see a lot of people tonight. Hopefully, next week, it will be the same show,” DuBose said of the Red Devils’ efforts against Bob Jones.

Last season’s game between the Red Devils and Lions marked the return of L.C. Cole, Dubose’s defensive coordinator in his first season at Central. But, after two years at Fairfield, Cole is gone and Keon Handley is the new coach. Kickoff for tomorrow night is 8 p.m. EDT.

“We’ll take it one week at the time. You know that is what I told our guys. We’re going to stay tight together. We’re going to take it one week at a time and see where it carries us,” DuBose said. “Our coaches do a great job of getting us ready. We always have a good plan. The challenge of great teams is to forget one and move on to the second one. We talk about that all the time. I would be shocked if we don’t move on. Moving on is a part of our game. This was one step. We know we have nine more to go to get to where we want to play at the end.”

Though Central scored on its first two possessions against Bob Jones to lead 12-0, the Red Devils found they were still in a fight as the first quarter came to a close. Bob Jones cut the margin to 12-7.  Amontae Spivey scored Central’s first two touchdowns. First he scored on a six-yard run and then on a 25-yard screen pass from Peter Parrish. Bob Jones scored on a 13-yard pass from Caden Rose to Troy commit Damontrez Brown.

But, the fight was taken out of the Patriots as Central scored twice more in the final 2:38 of the half. Jamaar Spivey ran three yards for a touchdown with 2:38 left. Parrish then connected with Kylin Brooks on a two-point pass to make the score 20-7. Jamaar Spivey scored again with 26.5 seconds remaining in the half on a six-yard run. Central led 26-7.

The Red Devils scored once more in the third quarter when Joseph McKay capped a seven-play, 76-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run with 4:56 to play in the quarter.

Parrish was 13 of 23 passing for 152 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also ran for 48 yards on seven carries. Jamaar Spivey had 49 yards on 10 attempts with a pair of touchdowns. Anthony Miles led Central’s receivers with five catches for 56 yards. Defensive lineman Sedrick Alexander recovered a pair of fumbles for the Red Devils.

Scoring Drives

First Quarter

Central: 8 plays, 57 yards. Peter Parrish 8-yard pass to Anthony Miles. Amontae Spivey 9-yard run. Parrish 12-yard pass to Miles. Parrish 3-yard pass to Will Clanton. Parrish 11-yard pass to Deonte Williams. Parrish 12-yard run. Parrish -3 yards on run. Amontae Spivey 6 run for touchdown 7:30. Extra-point kick blocked. 6-0 Central.

Central: 8 plays, 70 yards. Parrish 12-yard pass to Justyn Ross. Parrish 2-yard pass to Williams. Jamaar Spivey 5-yard run. 5-yard penalty against Bob Jones. Kylin Brooks 14-yard run. Parrish 13-yard run. Incomplete pass. Jamaar Spivey -6 yards on run. Parrish 25-yard pass to Amontae Spivey for touchdown 4:02. Kick failed. 12-0 Central.

Bob Jones: 4 plays, 65 yards. Jayden Williams -1 yard on run. Caden Rose 56-yard pass to Damontrez Brown. Isaiah Hatchett 2-yard run. 5-yard penalty against Bob Jones. Rose 13-yard pass to Brown for touchdown 2:14. Jacob Fruehwald kick. 12-7 Central.

Second Quarter

Central: 7 plays, 59 yards. Amontae Spivey 3-yard run. Parrish 13-yard pass to Miles. Parrish 19-yard pass to Tommy Vickers. Parrish 13-yard run. Incomplete pass. Jamaar Spivey 8-yard run. Jamaar Spivey 3-yard run for touchdown 2:38. Parrish pass to Brooks for 2-point conversion. 20-7 Central.

Central: 7 plays, 50 yards. Parrish 21-yard pass to Ross. Parrish 9-yard pass to Drake Holloway. Incomplete pass. Amontae Spivey 6-yard run. Incomplete pass. Jamaar Spivey 8-yard run. Jamaar Spivey 6-yard run for touchdown :26.5. Pass failed. 26-7 Central.

Third Quarter

Central: 7 plays, 76 yards. Tucker Melton 18-yard pass to Holloway. Melton 21-yard pass to Vickers. Offsetting penalties. Jamaar Spivey 11-yard run. McKay -6 yards on run. Brooks 4-yard run. Brooks 8-yard run. McKay 2-yard run for touchdown 4:56. Zach Johnson kick. 33-7 Central.

No tradition, but a big game anyway

Aug. 24, 2017

When Central High steps on to the turf of Wayne Trawick Field at Garrett-Harrison Stadium tomorrow night, it will mark the first time the Red Devils have faced the Bob Jones Patriots in football. There is no tradition at stake. There is no long streak of wins or losses to end. There is nothing special, unless you are just looking for a big time high school football game to begin the 2017 season. The Red Devils enter the season as the No. 2 ranked team in Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 7A by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. Bob Jones gets the nod as the No. 8 team in Class 7A in the same preseason poll. And, if both coaches have their way, the teams will just be giving a preview of what they hope will be a successful season and the first meeting this year. A second meeting between the two will make both coaches quite happy as they only way that can happen is if the two teams reach the Class 7A state championship game.

“I would love to say we will be playing them again later in the year because it would be in the championship game. It is difficult to beat a team twice in the same year, but we would sure like to be in that position,” Central coach Jamey DuBose said of his team’s initial opponent of the season.

While Central has no experience playing Bob Jones, DuBose does. The Red Devils’ coach met the Patriots twice during his two seasons at Florence High before moving to Central. In both games, DuBose’s team was on the losing end, 48-42 and 13-7.

So with the experience he received while at Florence, DuBose felt Bob Jones would be a perfect team to begin the 2017 season against.

“I really like to play good teams to start the season. It gives you an idea of what you need to improve. Even in a win, you see the things where you need improvement. Believe me, I will see things we do that I do not like and will work to get better at doing those things. The biggest thing I like is starting the season against a well-coached team. Bob Jones is well-coached,” DuBose said.

The Patriots also have good players – several among the state’s top 100 in 2017. Two of its players, linebacker Kade Koler and wide receiver Demontrez Brown, have already committed to play college football. Koler has committed to South Alabama and Brown to Troy University. Two other players, defensive back Jaydon Hill and defensive end Gavin Lewis, are still sorting out their options. Hill has offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Memphis. Lewis has already received offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Colorado and Purdue.

Central features the state’s top prospect in wide receiver Justyn Ross. Ross has narrowed his choices to Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Clemson. Central also has several others who are gaining the attention of various Division I schools. Junior quarterback Pete Parrish has an offer from Mississippi State. Ray Thornton also has an offer from Mississippi State and is still receiving contacts from Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Clemson and Georgia.

“The game will not be much when it comes to tradition between the two schools, but it will be a good game between two powerhouse football teams from Alabama. Tradition does not mean a lot to our kids in this game. I doubt any of the kids could have told you what colors Bob Jones wore before we started looking at film. All they know is this will be a game between two ranked teams and that makes it a big game for them,’ DuBose said.

DuBose wanted this game or one like it to begin 2017 because he wants his team tested before stepping into its region schedule. He says he could easily have gotten a lesser opponent to play in the first game, but it would not give his team the kind of game it needed before facing Auburn High in the third game of the year.

“We could have played a weaker team and won by a rout and then played Fairfield and had a game like last year. That would have given us a 2-0 record heading to play Auburn and we would not know a thing about what we needed to do to improve. Last season, we played Hoover first and lost. We saw things we needed to do to improve and then ripped off 10-straight wins. We played well after Hoover until the fourth quarter against McGill-Toolen. We lost to the two teams that made it to the title game last year,” DuBose said. “Win or lose, I hope nobody will judge us by how we played against Bob Jones. I hope we get better and better each week after Bob Jones.”

DuBose also says he wants to put on a good show for the fans.

“I know if I’m a fan, a Central fan, I want to see a good game. As a coach, I want to see my players perform well, but this is the start of the season and not the end,” DuBose said.