DOTHAN, Alabama -- Quarterback Jaylen Epps threw for four touchdown passes, and the #4 Central-Phenix City defeated #9 Dothan Wolves 35-28 in a key Class 7A, Region 2 game at Rip Hewes Stadium. Every time Central would score, Dothan would cut the lead back to a touchdown but couldn't get any closer in the game.
Epps had a massive game as he completed 15-of-20 passing for 274 yards and four touchdowns with 68 yards on nine carries in the win. "We battled, and Dothan is a good football team," said Red Devils head coach Patrick Nix. "We made some big plays on offense. Coming on the road and getting a region win is big for our team. Staying up two scores was huge in the game. I thought Jaylen played tough, protecting the football. He ran the ball effectively and threw the ball very well tonight."
Dothan (5-2, 3-2) had the ball first in the game but was stopped on downs deep into Red Devils' territory. A few plays later, with 2:59 left in the first quarter, Karmello English scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, and the Red Devils led 7-0. Epps had a long run to flip the field that set up the Central touchdown. Dothan came right back, and with 11:26 left in the second quarter, Raymon Blackmon scored on a 6-yard touchdown run, and the game was tied 7-7 early in the second quarter.
Central (5-2, 4-1) came right back with 9:30 left in the second quarter, Epps to English on a 24-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone. With the score, the Red Devils took a 14-7 lead. With 4:04 left in the half, Epps hit Cam Coleman on a long 57-yard touchdown. With the score, the Red Devils lead 21-7.
In the third quarter, Dothan came back on two big third downs and rolled down the field with their run game. With 4:39 left in the third quarter, Blackmon scored on a 1-yard run, and Dothan cut the lead to 21-14 midway through the third quarter. With only :37 seconds left in the third quarter, Epps found Jared Wiley on a 17-yard touchdown pass, and Central led 28-14 with only one quarter left in the game.
With 7:44 left in the fourth quarter, Dothan responded again. Tamarion Peterson scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, and the Red Devils' lead was cut to 28-21. Here comes the Red Devils, though; with 4:17 left in the game, Epps found Romello Green at the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown pass. The Red Devils led 35-21 late in the game. With only one minute left in the game, Dothan came back and scored on a Blackmon 4-yard touchdown run to make it 35-28 Central.
In the game, safety AJ Harris had 15 tackles, one sack, and 1.5 tackles for loss. On offense, Coleman had three receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown, while English had seven receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Next, Central will host Lee-Montgomery, while Dothan will host Enterprise.