TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- Ethan Crawford scored two touchdowns as the Hillcrest Patriots defeated the McAdory Yellow Jackets in a key Class 6A, Region 4 game at Roy Johnson, Jr. Stadium Friday night. McAdory scored the first points of the game, but Hillcrest scored 30 straight points to get the big region win.
With the win, the Patriots could be hosting a home game during the playoffs and really wanted this win. "I felt like we lined up and played with a very physical football team against a good football team and felt like we dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage," said Patriots head coach Jamie Mitchell. "I'm proud of our football team. Ethan had a great game and did it all. Did it with his legs, arm, escape ability, playmaker what a fantastic job. Our receivers did a great job of catching the ball in traffic. We knew what was on the line to have a shot at playing at home in the first round in the playoffs. We put ourselves in great shape to do that but there is more work to do with two more region games."
McAdory (6-2, 3-1) had to play without senior quarterback Cam Shephard who is lost for the season. McAdory used a long pass from backup quarterback Jacob Clopton to Jabari Strait to setup the Yellow Jackets first score of the game. With 10:47 left in the first quarter, Rod Thomas scored on a 2-yard touchdown run and the Yellow Jackets took an early 7-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, McAdory moved the ball again. A short pass by Clopton to Jacorey Whitted who broke a tackle and raced 30-yards for a first down. A few plays later, Whitted caught a pass down on the 1-yard line but due to penalties McAdory couldn't get the red zone score. The Hillcrest defense rose to the occasion to keep McAdory out of the end zone.
With just over four minutes left in the first quarter, the McAdory defense forced a turnover when the Patriots fumbled on a run and defensive lineman Curtis Weatherspoon pounced on the ball to give McAdory good field position deep in Hillcrest territory. Again though, the Patriots defense turned away the McAdory offense without a score late in the first quarter.
Hillcrest (5-2, 3-1) moved the ball early in the second quarter. A key fourth down reception by Ja'Marian Johnson gave the Patriots a first down to keep a drive going. With 6:36 left in the second quarter, DeCorrion Thomas scored on a 5-yard touchdown run and Hillcrest tied the score at 7-7. With just under six minutes to to in the second quarter, Ketoris Vaughan picked off a long Yellow Jackets pass to give the ball back to the Patriots offense.
With the ball again, Crawford found Rod Thomas on a big pass play. Then Crawford found J’quon Sturdivant over the middle of the field to give the Patriots a first down at the McAdory 30-yard line. With 1:01 left in the first half, Crawford ran 14-yards carrying McAdory defenders into the end zone for a touchdown. With the score, Hillcrest led 13-7 right before the half.
Coming out of halftime, Terrance Callaway takes a short pass and runs 30-yards for a big Patriots play. Thomas makes another big catch for the Patriots to move the ball into McAdory territory. Then Johnson takes a hand off for another big chunk of yardage for the Patriots to put them into the red zone. The drive stalled out but Andrew Scott kicked a 32-yard field goal and with 7:10 left in the third quarter, the Patriots lead 16-7.
With only :50 seconds left in the third quarter, Crawford scored on a 46-yard touchdown run to break the game wide open and the Patriots took a 23-7 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, Trey Smith picked off a McAdory pass and set the Patriots offense up again late in the game. A few plays later, Johnson scored on a 4-yard touchdown run and the Patriots took a 30-7 lead.
Up next for both teams, Hillcrest will host Paul Bryant while McAdory will host Hueytown.