Billingsley losses close home game to Notasulga

Published 10:42 am Saturday, October 21, 2023

By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Billingsley High School mounted a second-half comeback that gave them lead, but some late-game drama gave Notasulga High School the 36-34 win on Oct. 20.

Down 22-7 at halftime, the message from Billingsley head coach Lanny Jones was challenging, and the Bears responded.

“We are able to move the ball, but we struggle once we get to the red zone,” Lanny Jones said. “I really challenged our guys at halftime to get to the point where we lay it all on the line and play that way … We came out in the second half like a brand new team.”

Billingsley came out fast in the second half scoring on its first drive and storming in front shortly after grabbing a 36-30 lead late in the fourth quarter.

The Bears posted 523 total yards with Landon Jones going 15-for-23 passing for 287 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He added 90 rushing yards on 11 carries to his totals.

Kaden Cotton ran for 88 yards on 10 carries, and Kyle Boice had a rushing touchdown to go along with his five-catch, 136-yard receiving performance.

Javaris Livingston also pulled down a touchdown grab and got into the end zone on the ground.

With Notasulga facing a fourth down and long, the Bears intercepted a pass in the end zone and brought it out to return it. However, a fumble occurred and Notasulga recovered near the Billingsley 10-yard line with less than a minute to go.

A few plays later, Notasulga punched in the short touchdown run to tie the game, and the two-point conversion gave them the narrow win.

“I told them I want to see us play the rest of the year like we played the second half (against Notasulga),” Lanny Jones said. “I want us to play with that leave it all on line mindset, and when you do that, it becomes more fun for you too. In these last two games, go play hard, have fun and make these last few games the best time of your life playing football, especially for the seniors.”

Nathan Gilmore led the Bears’ defense with nine tackles and two for a loss. Caiden Wilkins and Colby Green each had eight tackles and two tackles for loss each. Those three combined for four sacks in the game as well, and Shamarion Massey pulled down an interception.

Billingsley still has a shot at making the state playoffs, but will need a win at unbeaten Loachapoka while receiving some help from other results in their next game on Oct. 27.