LESTER — Facing a big disadvantage in time of possession, Rogers made the most of its opportunities Friday evening. After watching West Limestone convert four fourth-down conversions in the game and control the ball for 34:09, the Pirates took advantage of a 45-yard interception return and a pair of 2-point conversion stops to pull out a 21-19 regional road win.
Trailing 14-7, the host Wildcats used a 19-play, 80-yard drive that took up the majority of the third quarter and the first 3:35 of the fourth quarter. A 10-yard pass from Caleb McConnell to Alex Ritterbush capped the march and pulled West Limestone to within a single point.
Dillon Miller, however, was stopped short on the 2-point try, preserving the Rogers lead.
West Limestone had one last chance to pull even. After a three-yard touchdown run by Miller made the score 21-19 with just 21.2 second remaining, the Pirate defense rose to the occasion again, stuffing Miller just shy of the goal line.
“It wasn’t pretty but it was a win,” said Rogers head coach Randall Martin. “West Limestone really did a good job of controlling the clock tonight. We just couldn’t get off the field on defense. They made several conversions by a few links of chain. We will take this win, thought. We need to win the rest of our region games to have a shot at the playoffs.”
With the win, Rogers improves to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in Class 4A, Region 8. West Limestone falls to 3-4, 1-4.
West Limestone got on the board first, taking the game’s opening possession and marching 77 yards on 11 plays. McConnell capped the drive by finding Drake Lopez over the middle for and 18-yard touchdown.
Rogers needed only 2:40 to answer on its first possession of the game. Austin Kerr found Dustin Blackburn for a 20-yard gain. The senior quarterback also had a 33-yard run before getting the touchdown on a four-yard scamper. The PAT by Jacob Duncan tied the game at 7 with 3:50 remaining in the first quarter.
A big defensive play set up the Pirates for their second score. A 45-yard interception return by Ande Whitten stopped a promising West Limestone drive and gave Rogers a first down at the Wildcats’ 25-yard line. Four plays later, Kerr rushed up the middle for a five-yard touchdown and Rogers had a 14-7 lead with 1:34 remaining in the second quarter.
Rogers had a chance to add to its lead before the half after recovering a muffed return on the ensuing kickoff. Kerr hit Hank Thigpen for a 33-yard gain, but the Pirates were stuffed on third-and-goal from the one on the final play of the half.
Haleyville 63, Priceville 38
HALEYVILLE — Tanner Ivey threw for
six touchdown passes to lead the Lions (5-2, 3-2) to a win over the Bulldogs (3-4, 0-5).
The win snaps a two-game region losing streak for the Lions and keeps them in the playoff hunt.
Ivey posted an incredible stat line for the night, going 24-for-38 for 496 yards.
Ivey threw TD passes of 79, 67 and 1 yards in the first quarter alone, as the Lions built a 28-14 lead after one. Ivey then hit Matt Smith for a 54-yard TD in the second quarter, and Haleyville led 42-28 at the half.
Ivey threw two more TDs in the third quarter to put the Lions up 56-28 before Priceville could score again.