Clanton Middle School football opens season with win

Published 3:47 pm Friday, September 4, 2015

By Ryan Poe | Special to the Advertiser

The Clanton Middle School football team has eagerly awaited the start of the 2015 football season, and it showed Thursday night in a season-opening 14-6 win over Jemison.

Following the middle school game, the seventh grade team played a 20-minute untimed quarter that saw them come away with a 22-0 victory.

“We feel confident our players will do a good job,” assistant coach Chad Lapp said. “We have several returning players that had a lot of playing time last year.

“It was a typical first game–lots of good, lots of bad. We were pleased defensively.”

The Tigers scored a touchdown off an interception, and Tucker Price had a couple of picks.

The defense garnered several tackles for loss against the visiting Panthers as well.

Offensively, Devonte Robinson had over 100 yards rushing, including a 50-yard scamper for a score.

Justin Liveoak had several receptions from the arm of Shakiem Laister to add to the offensive output.

Lapp said he likes the squad he and head coach Dewayne Kervin will field this year, but they were cautious entering the season opener.

“The injury bug has bitten us up front with two linemen not being to play in our first game,” Lapp said. “However, our line is anchored by Garrett Connell, who was a starter as a seventh grader and has become a leader of this team.”

To help shore up any deficiencies the offense may have, the Tigers have been adding some wrinkles to their defense.

“Defensively, we have changed our system and have focused on speed and movement,” he said. “The kids have done a great job learning the new fronts and coverages and are playing well together. “The defense is led by Justin Liveoak and Connor Bradford at safeties. Our defensive front will have Garrett Connell on the line backed up at linebacker by Jace Rogers and Brody Smitherman.”

Smitherman, Ben Shirah and Baily Beedlecomb played well in the seventh grade game, according to Lapp.

Beedlecomb had a 70-yard touchdown run, and Shirah picked off a screen pass for another touchdown.

“We are looking forward to this year and hope everyone will come out and support CMS football.”

The next contest for the middle school will be on the road against Montevallo on Sept. 10.

The schedule for the rest of the season is below:

•Sept. 10: at Montevallo

•Sept. 15: at Bibb Co.

•Sept. 22: Marbury

•Sept. 29: Martin Middle (homecoming)

•Oct. 8: at Marbury

•Oct. 13: at Jemison

–all games begin at 5:30 p.m., except the Bibb County game, which begins at 6 p.m.