Devils dropped: MHS out of playoffs with 2nd round loss
LOACHAPOKA – Maplesville on Friday fell behind early and could never catch up against a tough Loachapoka defense, falling 18-12 on the road in the second round of the state football playoffs.
The Class 1A No. 4 Red Devils did themselves no favors by making mistakes early and often.
“We weren’t ready to play, and that’s my fault,” coach Brent Hubbert said. “Mentally, I thought we’d be in better shape.
“It’s the second round of the playoffs, and we’re jumping offsides, not playing assignment football. That comes down to coaching.”
The mistakes were especially costly for a Maplesville offense that never could move the ball consistently.
The Devils’ one sustained scoring drive came in response to the No. 5 Indians (10-1) taking a 12-0 lead. Maplesville (10-2) drove 64 yards in 3:08, and the drive was capped by a 6-yard run by Hunter McCay, who pushed a pile of bodies into the end zone with 1:09 remaining in the third quarter to make it 12-6.
The hosts appeared gassed at that point, but then senior quarterback Patrick Moore turned in the play of the game. Moore kept the ball on a 3rd-and-short play from the Loachapoka 21-yard line and broke numerous tackles at the line of scrimmage before breaking free and sprinting down the right sideline for a score.
The try for points after the touchdown failed—all such attempts did in the game for both teams—but Loachapoka had an 18-6 lead Maplesville would never threaten.
The Maplesville offense turned in one of its few highlights of the night a little later, though. Junior quarterback Matt Hamner dropped a gorgeous pass in between three defenders and into the hands of sophomore receiver Chris Bailey, who picked up a block and went 75 yards for the score.
That play came with 3:36 left in the game.
Maplesville’s onside kick attempt failed, but the Devils would take possession of the ball twice more before the final buzzer. As had happened too often during the rest of the game, though, a big, fast Loachapoka defensive line poured through the Maplesville front and pressured Hamner.
Loachapoka junior Tracy Brooks intercepted Hamner as he tried to force passes downfield on both of the last two Maplesville possessions.
Loachapoka scored first on a slant pass from Moore to senior Gregory Moss on a 4th-and-goal from the 5-yard line with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
The Indians made it 12-0 on a 16-yard pass from Moore to junior Rontavis Dinkins with 4:23 left in the third quarter.