Devils win, look toward No. 1 Linden

Published 10:56 pm Friday, November 11, 2011

Not down yet: Maplesville’s Anthony Johnson makes a catch Friday and then falls on top of other players. His knee never touched the ground, so he got up and ran for a 55-yard touchdown.

Even before Maplesville’s football team could leave the field following Friday’s 35-0 win over Geneva County, the talk turned to next week’s opponent.

“The last time you lost a football game, it was at the same place you’re going to next week,” MHS coach Brent Hubbert said about Linden, ranked No. 1 in Class 1A.

Wins Friday by second-ranked Maplesville and Linden, 41-0 at Pleasant Home, set up a classic for next week in the third round of the state playoffs. The teams are a combined 23-1 this season, with the lone loss Linden’s six-point setback to Class 5A Gulf Shores, and have met one other in each of the past four seasons, with MHS winning in 2007 but then dropping three straight.

Runnin’ Red Devil: Quarterback Colby Chambers scored Maplesville’s first two touchdowns Friday, including this run for 47 yards.

But before another shot at the Patriots, Maplesville had to take care of Geneva County (6-6).

Hubbert said the Red Devils (12-0) tried some different plays on offense and may have slowed themselves down in the process. Two of Maplesville’s first three possessions resulted in a three-and-out, but those stalls were sandwiched by two drives that ended with quarterback Colby Chambers jogging into the end zone.

The first score of the game was an 18-yard Chambers keeper for a touchdown with 7:49 remaining in the first quarter, and he scored again with 5:54 left before halftime on a 47-yard run.

Brandon Morrow added the extra point after the first score, but Geneva’s Ulyssis Green blocked the second attempt.

The Devils broke the game open just less than 2 minutes before the break. Chambers threw toward Brandon Shields, but he was well covered and the ball was tipped up into the air.

Maplesville’s Anthony Johnson then made an impressive play on the ball, but he wasn’t through making jaws drop. Johnson left his feet but fell on top of Shields and a couple of Geneva defenders. Realizing his knees never touched the ground, Johnson got up and ran the rest of the way for a 55-yard scoring play.

The hosts drove down the field again in the second quarter, but an apparent touchdown pass from Chambers to Brett Walker was called back because of a penalty and the half ended with MHS leading 21-0.

Geneva used up almost all of the time in the third quarter on a drive that eventually bogged down inside the Maplesville 20-yard line, and the Devils responded with a drive that chewed up 89 yards on six first downs and lasted about 5 minutes.

It ended with a 4-yard run by Shields.

The scoring was concluded on a 14-yard run by Brintain Hill with 6:25 left in the game.

“When we ran the things that we know we can run, we executed and we did what we’re supposed to do,” Hubbert said.

The game ended on a Damian Mitchell interception. Also crucial for the Maplesville defense were a couple of sacks by Jared White.

Hill led the Devils with 78 yards on 14 carries; Chambers wasn’t far behind with 75 yards on three carries.

Chambers completed six passes in 10 attempts for 176 yards. Eighty of those yards were accounted for by Johnson, on two receptions.