Maplesville handles Choctaw County in first round

Published 11:03 am Friday, November 10, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

The last time Maplesville High School made the AHSAA state football playoffs and lost in the first round, the most popular song in the country was “Low” by Flo Rida and T-Pain. The Red Devils have won in the first round of the playoffs every year since 2009, and that did not change on Nov. 9 taking down Choctaw County 41-14 in the first round of the AHSAA Class 1A State Playoffs.

Maplesville outgained Choctaw County 376-270 in the game and built a strong 34-0 lead before halftime. RaShun McCary broke the ice in the game for Maplesville, scooping a fumble for a 15-yard score, before quarterback Bradlee Padgett and Aidan Abbott connected for a 42-yard touchdown to go up 14-0 early.

Padgett was 5-for-7 passing for 120 yards and a touchdown, and Abbott caught two passes for 57 yards. Colby Mitchell and Johnathon Wilson caught seven passes between the two.

Nehemiah McCary got into the end zone from four yards out for the first of his three touchdown runs late in the first quarter to give Maplesville a 21-0 cushion.

McCary’s second touchdown came in the second quarter from nine yards out, and Padgett got in from 10 yards out to cap their stellar first half.

“We came and played a solid first half in all three phases of the game, but in the third quarter we lost a little focus and did not play very well,” Maplesville head coach Brad Abbott said. “They regrouped in the fourth quarter and we were able to get some of our starters out to keep them rested for next week, and got back to the way we should be playing (to close the game out).”

Choctaw County scored the next 14 points in the game to cut it to 34-14 in the fourth quarter. However, McCary broke off a 57-yard score for his third of the night to whip away any doubt remaining.

McCary was just short of triple digits with 99 yards on 10 carries, and Jay Lagrone pitched in 69 yards on eight carries.

The Red Devils’ defense was led by Darrin Elliot with seven tackles and a sack, followed by James Jones and Cade Smith with five tackles each.

“We have always said that the first round separates the pretenders from the contenders, and when you get to the second round, in Class 1A football especially, you will pretty much face someone in the top 10,” Brad Abbott said.

Maplesville will take on the winner of Sweet Water High School and Florala High School in the second round. The Red Devils will be on the road regardless of their opponent, and their second-round game will be played on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.