Mustangs out power Red Devils on the road

Published 10:18 pm Friday, September 1, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Isabella High School flexed its muscle early and often in route to a 34-14 win over Maplesville High School on a soggy and wet Sept. 1. It was the Mustangs first game of the season, and they needed only 84 seconds to open the scoring as quarterback Eli Kendrick found Dre’Von Lee on an 89-yard touchdown pass. Lee was the game’s leading receiver hauling in four catches for 101 yards.

“This is our first four quarter game, and I thought we executed pretty well,” Isabella head coach Tate Leonard said. “At times, we got fatigued and had some mental lapses, but Maplesville is a great program and they played hard so it was certainly a challenge tonight. I am proud of the guys for finishing the game.”

Isabella doubled their lead the ensuing possession on a 31-yard touchdown run by Jediah Works to go up 14-0 with three minutes left in the first quarter. Works was the leading rusher in the game going for 118 yards on 18 carries, and he had a sack on defense. Isabella as a team outgained Maplesville 377-152.

Maplesville got its offense going and drove inside the Isabella 30-yard line before Kendrick intercepted a pass over the middle and returned it inside the Red Devils’ red zone. Kendrick called his own number for a six-yard touchdown run to extend the advantage to 20-0 after the first period. Kendrick used his feet and arm against Maplesville going 7-for-16 for 165 yards passing and added 51 rushing yards on 10 carries.

Maplesville responded in the second quarter as quarterback Bradlee Padgett found Aidan Abbott for a short touchdown pass to get on the board at 20-6 after the failed two-point conversion. Kendrick found Austin Porter for a big gain into Maplesville territory, but the drive was halted on fourth and goal when the Red Devils’ Darrin Elliot sliced through the line to make a tackle for loss and send the game to halftime at 20-6.

Isabella got its second pick off of Padgett to start the second half as Kaden Tuttle pulled down the tipped pass. Padgett was 7-for-22 for 119 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He posted a game-high 10 tackles on defense.

Garrett Price punched in a one-yard touchdown run to restore the Mustangs three score lead at 28-6 after three quarters. Price had a tough 30 yards rushing in the game, all that seemed to come between the tackles on the line.

“Our goal, and we are not there yet, is to be the most physical team in the state,” Leonard said. “We want to be a mentally tough and disciplined football team who is very physical, and it is a working progress. We are going to keep working at it.”

Abbott hauled in his second touchdown grab for Maplesville in the final frame to cut it to a two-touchdown deficit. Abbott had three catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns.

As Isabella tried to bleed the rest of the clock out, Price was stopped at the line of scrimmage by a gang of Maplesville defenders. Kendrick looped behind him, and Price lateraled him the ball to send him 41 yards down the sideline for a touchdown and to put the game away.

Isabella (1-0) will jump into AHSAA Class 2A Region 4 play in their next game traveling to county-rival Thorsby High School on Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. Maplesville (0-2) will also step into region play, AHSAA Class 1A Region 4, and host Central High School-Hayneville on the same day and time.