Yellow Jackets Sting Stampede
The McAdory Yellow Jackets (1-3, 1-0) started region play off on the right foot, defeating the Paul Bryant Stampede (0-4, 0-2) tonight 18-8. The victory gives the Yellow Jackets its first win of the season.
"To go through what these kids are going through just to play, to do all the sacrificing, to wear the mask, to stay social distanced, to stay away from their buddies in a lot of cases and to come and work as hard as they've worked and get this W, I can't be more proud of our coaches and our players," said McAdory head coach Bart Sessions.
The Yellow Jackets relied on its running game tonight utilizing three running backs to produce 162 yards and two of its touchdowns. Sophomore running back Peyton Ryans rushed for 82 yards on 17 carries and scored the games initial touchdown, sophomore Rod Thomas chipped in with 49 yards on the ground on 10 carries and junior running back Jaylon Kater added 31 yards on seven carries and scored the Yellow Jackets' final touchdown.
"We've been playing all year without the guy that going in, we thought might start at tailback and a couple offensive lineman. We just hadn't gelled in the run-game yet, I thought tonight those kids finally kind of got it together and really just, executed well. I'm very proud of our offensive line and very proud of those backs, ball security was key, obviously, so I couldn't be more proud of those kids," said Sessions.
The McAdory offense was balanced by junior quarterback, Cameron Shepherd who completed 12-19 passes for 103 yards and one touchdown. His 17-yard connection with senior receiver Savion Hadley for a touchdown put the Yellow Jackets up 12-0 going into halftime. Hadley caught four passes for 43 yards and the score.
The Stampede struggled offensively to find rhythm as they were held scoreless through the first half. Bryant was able to gain 26 yards of offense as a team for two first downs in five possessions of offense in the first half.
"We were just so flat in the first half and I'm trying to figure it out, we tried to get them there early during school, we normally have them during school so this past week we tried to bring them in early, we're just trying to figure out a way to get them ready to fire in the first quarter. We always get punched in the mouth and then we're ready so we've got to figure that out and like I said, we've got to do the basic stuff good," said Bryant head coach Eldrick Hill.
McAdory senior linebacker, Marques Thomas disrupted the Stampede offense in the first half accumulating three sacks and deflecting a pass.
"He really came to play tonight, and that's what we expect out of our seniors. We've been waiting on him to have that breakout game and he really did tonight. Couldn't be more proud of Marques, he is a fine ball player, a lot of speed and going to be hard to handle down the stretch," said Sessions.
Bryant was able to get into the endzone thanks to a 45-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Cameron Ellis to junior utility player Tobias Burrell. Ellis found Burrell on a short pass and the versatile Burrell weaved his way through the Yellow Jackets defense to score. Burrell completed the drive by scoring the 2-point conversion to make the score 18-8.
Ellis finished his night 7-13 passing for 67 yards passing with the touchdown. Junior running back led Bryant on the ground with 22 carries for 68 yards. Burrell did a bit of everything on offense, he hauled in six receptions for 64 yards and the touchdown, rushed for 30 yards on five carries, completed one pass for eight yards and even recovered a fumble on defense as a cornerback.
Next week McAdory stays in region play when they will host Bessemer City (1-3, 1-1).
Bryant will look for its first win next week as the Stampede will take on the Holt Ironmen (1-3, 1-1).