On a cool, autumn night in Cottondale, Ala., fans on both sides filled the stadium for Paul Bryant High School’s senior night, and watched the Paul Bryant Stampede(1-4, 0-2) upset the Central High Falcons(2-3,1-1) 31-7 in a non-regional, cross-town rivalry, their first win of the season.

“Great, intense rivalry. We managed to come on top the past couple years. That’s a good team over there- it was a good, clean, competitive battle and that’s what high school sports is all about,” said Paul Bryant head coach Eldrick Hill about the win tonight.

The Stampede controlled the field from the start, manufacturing a ten-snap drive, just to turn the ball over on downs right outside of the red zone. But, a fumble recovery by DB Joshua Whitehead, gave Paul Bryant the ball back after a seven-snap drive and their first score of the game.

“You know we had a ton of penalties, a lot of missed tackles when we had guys in position to make plays so we got to come back on Sunday really focus on this and correct our mistakes and get ready for another region game next week,” Central head coach Rodney Bivens Jr. said about their loss.

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The mistakes didn’t stop there for the Falcons, as a pick-six on the next drive put the Stampede up two scores. 

Paul Bryant continued to control the field and the clock, scoring on a 14-snap, 72 yard touchdown drive. After the Stampede’s defense held Central to a -5 yard drive, Paul Bryant stormed down the field and went up 25-0 for the half, after a 42-yard pass to WR Tobias Burrell. 


Stampede QB Cameron Ellis lit up the field completing 16-of-25 passes, recording 186 yards for three TD’s and five crucial rush yards, including his 40-yard pass to WR Tobias Burrell, sealing the 31 Paul Bryant points.

“[Ellis] is playing faster, believing it, trusting his receivers, and the continuity is getting there,” said Coach Hill.

However, Central showed steam down the stretch, as they scored their only touchdown on a 29-yard pass to Michael Richardson.

Central QB Omarion Mullins showcased his struggles, going 10-for-21, 64 yards one TD, two INT’s, and 31 rush yards. Adding to their mistakes, the Falcons had five flags and one fumble go against them. 

Next Friday, Central hosts Shelby County High(2-2, 2-1), and Paul Bryant hosts Bessemer City(0-5, 0-3). Both games kick off at 7 p.m. CST. 

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