New team to open season Saturday

Published 7:20 pm Friday, March 4, 2011

Huddle up: Central Alabama quarterback Allen Edwards (12) receives a play call from the sidelines while his Red Devil teammates form a huddle during the team’s preseason game at Marietta, Ga., on Feb. 26.

The Central Alabama Red Devils open their season Saturday with a home game to be played at Maplesville’s George Walker Jr. Stadium.

The Red Devils will play fellow first-year team Clay County at 6 p.m., weather permitting (forecasts at press time called for a 100 percent chance of rain associated with thunderstorms).

The Devils compete in the National Developmental Football League.

Central Alabama player/coach Josh Jones said he doesn’t know much about Clay County, except that the Hawks will feature many players from the Clay County High School teams that won three state championships during a streak that included a state record 55 consecutive wins in the mid-1990s.

In a preseason game on Feb. 26, the Red Devils didn’t play like a start-up program.

Central Alabama lost to the Georgia Bandits, 21-13, at Marietta, Ga., but the Devils led for most of the game against a squad in its fourth year together and that had already played five preseason games (and won each of them).

“We were a little bit better than I expected,” Jones said. “We found out what some of us can do. I was really happy with what we accomplished.

Jones said four fumbles cost Central Alabama the game—two came when the Devils were driving into scoring range.

“Those pretty much shot us in the foot,” Jones said.

Quarterback Allen Edwards was the most productive player on offense, completing nine passes in 13 attempts for 122 yards.

Running back Jamar Hopson scored on a 48-yard touchdown run, and Wesley Morrow returned an interception for Central Alabama’s other touchdown.

Jones said the Devils were playing basic schemes and trying to get everyone playing time in the preseason game, but the focus will be winning on Saturday.

Jones said fans should expect to see size and hitting not common to the high school football they might be used to.

Concessions will be sold, as will team merchandise during most home games.

Tickets cost $7 for adults, $5 for high school students, and children age 12 and under get in free.