Red Devils earn date with Linden

Published 11:06 pm Friday, November 12, 2010

MAPLESVILLE – Pickens County provided Maplesville its toughest test of the season on Oct. 8.

The Red Devils passed, 39-27. On Friday, the Red Devils aced that same exam with a 36-12 win over Pickens.

Home field advantage no doubt played a role—the Devils were at George Walker Jr. Stadium on Friday but traveled to Reform when the teams met in the regular season—but top-ranked Maplesville (12-0) also sent a notice that it may be ready to compete with the elite teams in Class 1A.

With most of the same players, the Devils last season against their two best opponents: Linden in the regular season and Loachapoka in the second round of the state playoffs.

Now that Maplesville has proven it can win a playoff game against top-notch competition, the Devils draw none other than Linden in the third round.

Linden defeated third-ranked and previously unbeaten McKenzie, 47-14.

But Maplesville was focused Friday on a better performance against Pickens than it gave in their first meeting, when senior quarterback Jematric Curry rushed for 162 yards against a Maplesville defense that hadn’t allowed a single point in its first five games.

This time, MHS held Pickens (7-5) to 88 total rushing yards and six first downs while sacking Curry six times.

“We did a lot better job of executing and doing what we need to do to advance,” Maplesville coach Brent Hubbert said. “That’s what this time of year is about: executing and advancing.”

But Pickens scored the game’s first points, on a 60-yard touchdown pass from Curry to senior Demarko Hall to conclude the first possession of the game.

The visitors would record only 12 more passing yards the rest of the night.
Maplesville tied the game at 6 on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Matt Hamner to fellow senior James Madsen with 3:26 remaining in the first quarter.

The second quarter began with Pickens taking possession of the football on its own 5-yard line.

Less than one minute into the quarter, Maplesville took the lead on a safety thanks to an errant snap.

Senior Hunter McCay found the end zone from four yards out with 4:10 left on the clock, and the hosts added another score with 1:09 remaining in the half on a 41 yards strike from Hamner to junior Cameron Morrow.

Maplesville’s productive passing game helped it overcome four turnovers and several costly penalties in the half.

Hamner completed 10 passes in 12 attempts for 328 yards. His leading receiver was Morrow, who caught two passes for 50 yards.

The Devils received the kickoff to begin the second half, and the drive ended with McCay taking it in from 31 yards out.

Following the score, Hamner, the holder on place kicks, stood up, rolled right and threw to Madsen for a successful 2-point conversion that made the score 30-6 and seemed to break Pickens’ spirit.

With McCay out of the game with a minor injury, sophomore Brintain Hill, freshman Damian Mitchell and junior Jared White carried Maplesville down the field for another score with 6:38 left in the game. Hamner punched it in from the 4-yard line on an option keeper.

McCay finished with 117 yards rushing.

Curry scrambled and scored for Pickens with 3:28 left, but the outcome had already been decided.