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Southern Academy edges Wilcox Academy


Southern Academy quarterback Clayton Hall. (Photo by Skylar Kynard)


GREENSBORO | Southern Academy quarterback Clayton Hall had a decision to make in the fourth quarter.

Running an option play to his left, the junior could keep it or pitch the ball to a trailing back. Hall made the right choice as he scored the winning touchdown Friday night in the Cougars’ 15-13 victory over Wilcox Academy.

Hall slithered though the defense on a 17-yard run with 11:34 left, giving the Cougars a 15-11 lead.

"It came upfield, and I saw a hole," said Hall, who did not play football last year as he sustained a lacerated liver during the 2011 baseball season. "They were kicking the end out, and they were pulling on the inside.

"It meant everything."

Wilcox Academy took possession on a fumble recovery but was backed up to its 9 on a penalty. Carson McGraw threw to Colton McGraw for a 62-yard gain to the Cougars’ 29. On a fourth-and-two play from the 7, Alex Hutcheson tried to sweep right end. Cornerback Chapman Spencer blew the play up with help from linebacker Justin Broussard, and Southern Academy took over on downs with 1:40 left.

"I saw it coming around, so I ran over that fullback and got him," Spencer said. "I felt like I saved a lot."

Southern Academy punter Cole Marsh took an intentional safety, giving Wilcox Academy two points with 34 seconds left. Following the free kick, Wilcox Academy started from its 48. After an incomplete pass, the game ended on a sack by Dylan Henry.

"I thought my quarterback did a great job," Southern Academy coach Shaun Bonds said. "He missed a couple of plays, but he’ll get better.

"He did a great job for us, caught a touchdown pass and scored on an option. He made a great read, cut upfield and really ran the football hard."

Southern Academy’s Matthew Brady returned the opening kickoff 81 yards to the 4, but the Cougars settled for a 25-yard field goal by Broussard.

The Wildcats took an 8-3 lead in the second quarter as Tate Brand scored on a 3-yard run and Carson McGraw ran for the two-point conversion. Bennett Brantley’s 28-yard field goal gave Wilcox-Academy an 11-3 halftime lead.

Southern Academy got its first touchdown in the third quarter as Hall caught a 26-yard scoring pass from running back Jacob Rose.

Southern Academy gained 83 yards on 37 carries. Rose led the Cougars with 62 yards on 20 carries. Justin Sims led the defense with 11 tackles.

Wilcox Academy had 232 rushing yards on 53 carries. Hutcheson gained 116 yards on 14 attempts.

Southern Academy plays at home Friday against Cornerstone Christian.

 

Reach Andrew Carroll at andrew.carroll@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0223.