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Tuscaloosa Academy gets 35 unanswered, runs over Lee-Scott 43-27


Lee-Scott Academy's Triston Knight (K/P) (19) outruns a Tuscaloosa Academy defender during the first quarter of high school football action Friday August 30, 2013 at Tuscaloosa Academy (Photo by JASON HARLESS | THE TUSCALOOSA NEWS )


By Brett Hudson | Special to The Tuscaloosa News

Hundred-yard rushing games are not out of the ordinary for wing-T triple-option quarterbacks such as Tuscaloosa Academy's Austin Menard. But Friday night, the threat of his feet opened him up to throw for 134 yards on 3-for-4 passing and lead the Knights to a 43-27 win over Lee-Scott Academy.

"I'll tell you what, we love throwing the ball," Tuscaloosa Academy coach Robert Johnson said. "This is just my personal opinion, the wing-T is the best formation there is to throw the ball out of because they have to commit to the run. If they come up, the pass is there, and if they stay deep, the run is there.

"Most wing-T teams don't throw the ball, but we love throwing the ball."

Menard struck once in the midway through the second quarter with a 66-yard pass to Dustin Jenkins that gave the Knights a 14-7 lead. Just six minutes later, Menard did it again, finding Harrison Standeffer from 27 yards out to take a 28-7 lead into halftime.

"The play action is tough, it's tough," Johnson said. "We have a quarterback that can run with the ball and throw with accuracy. We had some receivers that could go up and get the ball.

"(Menard) led our team. We got down early and no one panicked. There was no panic on our side."

There's no reason to panic with a defense that, after allowing a touchdown on the opening possession, held the Warriors scoreless for 26 minutes.

"(Defensive coordinator John) Copeland made some great adjustments for us," Johnson said. "They came out ready to play. They were double-teaming our defensive ends, it looked like, and they had another guy come up for our linebacker. It didn't take Coach Copeland too long to come up with a play to stop it."

Trayshon Foster contributed with a fumble recovery that led to the one-play scoring drive that gave the Knights the lead in the second quarter. They never relenquished it.

While the defense stood strong, the offense strung together 35 unanswered points, starting with a 25-yard touchdown run from Torrence Brown early in the second quarter. After Menard's strike to Jenkins, Keonte Chambers ran for 70 yards in a three-play drive, including ending it with a 16-yard touchdown run. Jenkins opened the third quarter by capping a seven-play scoring drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.

Jenkins ended the game with 175 all-purpose yards, 66 receiving and 109 rushing on eight carries, and three touchdowns. Jenkins scored on a 66-yard reception, a 66-yard run and a 5-yard run.

"That's his first varsity football game, and he really came to play," Johnson said.

Chambers ended the game with six rushes for 89 yards and a touchdown. Brown ran six times for 104 yards for Tuscaloosa Academy.