Devil duo outshines Wildcats’ star

Published 11:58 pm Friday, November 16, 2012

Grabbing at air: Maplesville’s Anthony Johnson breaks a tackle attempt by St. Luke’s Aaron Bryant before outrunning the rest of the defense for a 48-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter Friday.

St. Luke’s senior running back George Payne came into Friday night’s second-round playoff contest at Maplesville with all the hype and the statistics to back it up.

But Maplesville’s tandem of Damian Mitchell and Brintain Hill stole the show, rushing for 310 yards and five touchdowns as the Red Devils won, 41-21.

Fourth-ranked MHS (11-1) will travel in the third round to face McIntosh (7-5), which defeated Notasulga on Friday, 32-16.

Maplesville won the coin toss Friday and took the ball. The Devils scored touchdowns on their first three possessions, thanks to a 2-yard run by Hill, a 48-yard catch-and-run by Anthony Johnson and a 13-yard run by Hill.

“We’ve tried to take the ball every chance we get early,” MHS coach Brent Hubbert said. “We did that this time and were able to get a touchdown. Then, the defense stepped up, and we were able to put the ball back in the end zone.”

St. Luke’s, meanwhile, didn’t pick up a first down until there was 3:30 left in the first half, but the Wildcats turned that first down into a drive.

Maplesville stopped Payne on the 2-yard line as the final seconds ticked off the clock, and the host team went into the locker room for halftime with a 21-0 lead.

“We didn’t need to let them get any kind of momentum,” Hubbert said.

Mitchell struck for runs of 85 yards and 60 yards in the second half, which helped MHS overcome a few St. Luke’s scores.

Hill added Maplesville’s final touchdown with 6:18 remaining in the game.

Hill rushed 18 times for 100 yards and three touchdowns, and Mitchell had 210 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.

Payne rushed 23 times for 132 yards in a losing effort.

MHS quarterback Colby Chambers completed eight-of-12 passes for 121 yards. Johnson caught four of those passes for 84 yards.