Leroy Beats Pickens County in 1A AHSAA Championship
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The Leroy Bears beat the Pickens County Tornadoes 42-20 to capture its sixth 1A Alabama High School Athletic Association championship.
"Just super proud of these guys. They've gone through a lot, coming from last year and just they believed in what we were doing. Great coaches, great players, and they believed in our plan and they came out champions," said Leroy head coach Jason Massey.
Leroy got out to a quick 13-0 lead, scoring on its first two drives of the game. The first touchdown came from a 13-yard run by Bears wide receiver Taylor Crumedy. The second score came from a Pickens County fumble that Leroy recovered on the Tornadoes first snap of the game. Bears quarterback Brayden Huebner ran in the 16-yard score.
Pickens County quarterback Demarkis Giles threw his first interception on the Tornadoes third drive of the game to Leroy defensive back Kaleb Giles, who returned the ball to the Tornadoes ten-yard line. Huebner attempted three runs for ten yards during the Bears possession which included a one-yard touchdown run to put Leroy up 20-0 early in the second quarter.
Pickens County's best drive of the game came halfway through the second quarter. The Tornadoes drove the ball to the Leroy 37-yard line, however the drive stalled, forcing the struggling offense to go for it on 4th-and-13. Giles threw his second interception of the game to Leroy defensive back Malik Howell to give the ball back to the Bears at their own three-yard line.
Pickens County had an opportunity to get the ball back with a minute to go before halftime, but a defensive 12 men on the field penalty kept the ball with Leroy.
The Bears put one more touchdown on the board prior to halftime, a drive led by Huebner. He recorded a 55-yard run to put Leroy deep into the red zone, then ran the ball on the next two snaps which included the one-yard touchdown that put the Bears up 26-0 heading into the break.
Pickens County got on the board on the opening drive of the third quarter. The Tornadoes offense went 59 yards in six plays, capped off by a 38-yard touchdown catch from Giles to wide receiver Kemaurion Plott. The no good two-point conversion kept Leroy's lead 26-6.
The Tornadoes defense forced a three-and-out to get the ball back and drove down to the Bears nine-yard line, however comes up empty-handed after Giles threw his third interception of the afternoon to Leroy linebacker Shamar Harris. Huebner scored his fourth touchdown of the game with an 81-yard run to put the Bears up 33-6.
Pickens County responded with a 43-yard touchdown run by running back Korbit Sommerville and converted a two-point conversion to cut the Tornadoes deficit 33-14.
The Tornadoes defense forced a Bears punt, but Leroy scored a safety and got the ball back after defensive lineman Jaquan Scott sacked Giles in the end zone. Huebner scored his fifth touchdown of the day with a 33-yard run to extend Leroy's lead 42-14.
Pickens County scored one more time on a 63-yard pass from Giles to Plott. A no-good two-point conversion made the final score 42-20.
"We have a set standard and we are going to keep fighting for it," said Pickens County head coach Michael Williams.
Pickens County finishes 11-4 on the season, 1A Region 5 champions, and 1A runner-ups. Leroy finishes the season 13-1 and 1A AHSAA champions.