Red Devils dominant in first region win

Published 12:53 am Saturday, September 12, 2015

Buckle up: Maplesville's Corey Hall (No. 32) delivers a crushing blow to a Keith ballcarrier during Friday's game.

Buckle up: Maplesville’s Corey Hall (No. 32) delivers a crushing blow to a Keith ballcarrier during Friday’s game.

By Daniel Evans | Selma Times-Journal

Terence Dunlap scored three touchdowns Friday night to lead No. 1 Maplesville past Keith, 41-0.

The Red Devils scored three first quarter touchdowns, including a 73-yard interception return by Latravious Mixon, to put the game out of reach early.

Keith (0-3 overall, 0-2 region) moved the ball at times, but couldn’t consistently put a drive together against Maplesville (3-0, 1-0), which once again proved itself worthy of the top ranking in class 1A.

“They just dissected us, and they knew where our strengths were and they knew where our weaknesses were,” said Keith head coach Harry Crum.

However, it wasn’t all bad for the Bears.

Despite the loss, Keith played its closest game against the Red Devils since 2011.

”Watching film, we thought Keith was one of the best Keith teams we had seen, so we really had to work hard this week in preparation,” Maplesville head coach Brent Hubbert said. “Heck, I’m excited about the way our guys [played]. We struggled a couple of weeks ago on defense. We knew Domonique [Jones] was a good back so I am extremely pleased with the way our kids responded to the challenge we put in front of them on defense.”

Maplesville recovered a short kickoff at the 50 to begin the game, and the Red Devils quickly marched down the field. Dunlap received five carries on that drive and ran it in from six yards out with 10:19 left in the opening quarter to put his team up 7-0.

Keith looked as if it might answer as the Bears quickly crossed midfield on an 18-yard run by Jones. Those thoughts ended on the next play as Brian Crum’s pass was intercepted by Mixon and returned 73 yards down the visitors’ sideline for a touchdown that put the Red Devils up 14-0.

After a Bears’ punt, Maplesville went back to work on offense.

The Red Devils fed Dunlap the ball, and he scored his second touchdown on a two-yard run that put Maplesville up 21-0 with 1 minute left in the first quarter.

After a three-and-out, Keith again had to punt the ball. Back on the field, the Bears’ defense stood tall.

Keith sacked Maplesville quarterback Cole Spencer three plays in a row. Two of those sacks were caused by Devion Johnson, who was the first Bears’ player to get to the quarterback on two of the three plays.

Unfortunately, the Bears’ offense never could get anything going.

“The offense line just wasn’t performing up to par tonight,” Crum said. “We’ve got to remedy that. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board.”

Spencer scored on a two-yard run with 54.4 seconds left in the half to give the Red Devils a 27-0 lead at the break. A bad snap forced Maplesville to miss their extra point attempt.

As rain started to fall in the third quarter, Dunlap added his third touchdown on a three-yard score to push Maplesville’s advantage to 34-0.

The final touchdown of the game was scored by Ryan Morrow on a 12-yard run with 30.6 seconds left in the third quarter.

With both teams getting ready for season defining games next week, many backups got some playing time in the final quarter.

Maplesville will take on No. 2 Linden in a showdown of the teams that top the class 1A poll.