Maplesville forces five turnovers, beats Billingsley  

Published 10:05 pm Friday, October 13, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Maplesville High School used four second-half turnovers to boost them to a 43-13 win over Billingsley High School on Oct. 13 in front of their home fans. The win made it five consecutive victories for the Red Devils.

Ahead 14-7 at halftime, Maplesville’s Nehemiah McCary returned the second half kickoff 75 yards to push the score to 22-7. From there, the Red Devils’ defense locked in forcing four straight turnovers out of the Billingsley offense — three interceptions and one fumble. Aiden Abbott returned one interception 56 yards and Luke Gray returned one 47 yards for touchdowns to put the game out of reach 37-7 after the third quarter.

“We were not playing to the standard that we try to adhere to, and they knew that,” Maplesville head coach Brad Abbott said. “We went over some adjustments on defense, and on offense we had to clean some stuff, and they did. We came out and played a great second half, some really great football.”

McCary and Bryson Pickle led Maplesville with 59 yards rushing each.

Billingsley marched down the field to face a fourth and goal from just outside the Maplesville 10-yard line on the game’s first possession. Quarterback Landon Jones found Kaden Cotton at the pylon who made a fingertip grab and stretch for the opening score of the game.

Jones was 19-for-31 passing for 261 yards and two touchdowns. Kyle Boice and Nathan Gilmore each snagged eight catches for 124 yards, and Gilmore had a late touchdown grab. He also led the Bears’ defense in tackles with 11.

Maplesville’s offense took little time to respond, scampering down the field quickly, capped by a 13-yard touchdown run by Jay LaGrone. LaGrone added the two-point conversion run to give the Red Devils the lead 8-7 where it stood after the first quarter.

Billingsley began the second quarter inside the Maplesville red zone, but Nehemiah McCary put a stop to the drive with an interception in the end zone. The Red Devils methodically worked their way down the field, and McCary finished what he started with a 35-yard touchdown run to make it 14-7.

“They have worked their tails off since those first two games to get to this position, and they have gotten better every week,” Abbott said. “It is going to be a big one (Oct. 19) down in Loachapoka, definitely.”

Maplesville (5-2) travels to Loachapoka High School on Oct. 19 for the AHSAA TV Network Game of the Week. Billingsley (2-5) hosts Notasulga High School on Oct. 20 in its next matchup.