Maplesville’s season comes to an end at McIntosh

Published 11:27 pm Friday, November 23, 2012

By Arthur L. Mack | Special to the Advertiser

Demarcus Barnes ran 11 times for 111 yards and touchdown runs of 45 and 3 yards as McIntosh used a strong second-half ground game and a stout defense to stun No. 4 Maplesville 28-18 in Class 1A quarterfinal action at McIntosh’s H.H. Wiggins Stadium on Friday night.

Barnes’ scoring runs helped the Blue Demons improve to 8-5 and make the semifinals for the first time in school history. The Blue Demons will go on the road to face Brantley, which defeated Linden in another 1A quarterfinal matchup.

McIntosh finally got its running game going after being held to 27 yards rushing in the first half.

Shaquille Law scored on a 92-yard fumble return and Darius Adams scored on a 51-yard run on a quarterback keeper for McIntosh.

“Coach (Renard) Davis just told us at the half to keep playing like it was our last game of the season,” said Barnes. “We played our hearts out. Everybody doubted we could do it (beat Maplesville) but we did it.”

“I’m very much surprised at the margin of victory,” said Davis. “I was also surprised at the victory, because they were a very well coached team.”

Brintain Hill had 64 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown for Maplesville, and Colby Chambers went 9 of 18 passing for 39 yards, but was also intercepted once.

Damian Mitchell drew the Red Devils to within two when he scored from 2 yards out with 9:42 left in the game. But Barnes’ 45-yard run two possessions later pushed the Blue Demons’ lead back to 10.

Anthony Johnson scored on a 7-yard run on Maplesville’s ensuing possession to make it 22-18 with 2:51 left in the game, but Barnes set up his next score with a 46-yard run down the left sideline to the Red Devil 6, and scored three plays later for the final margin.

Chambers completed 4 of 5 passes on Maplesville’s final possession, but was held to no gain on a scramble as the McIntosh defense prevented the Red Devils from getting into scoring position and setting up a possible onside kick.

“Our defense was really something else tonight,” said Davis. “Maplesville has a strong football and baseball tradition, but tonight, we were just the better team.”

Maplesville went up 6-0 on its second possession of the game when Hill scored on a 1-yard run. The touchdown capped a five-play, 23-yard drive that was set up when the Red Devil special teams stopped Law for no gain on a run out of punt formation.

Law made up for his mistake in the second quarter when he returned Mitchell’s fumble 92 yards for a touchdown. Barnes’ 2 point conversion run put the Blue Demons up 8-6.

“That was the turning point of the game,” said Davis. “We figured that if we could keep a team from running away (from us) we had a chance to win.”

McIntosh made it 14-6 in the third quarter on Adams’ quarterback keeper. It would be a sign of things to come, as both teams combined for 26 points in the fourth quarter.