A big-play night led to two big wins for the Arab Junior High football teams Tuesday night.
• 8th Grade
Arab 26, Scottsboro 22
Scottsboro was at the Arab 34 on the opening drive of the game before losing a fumble to the Knights, who wasted no time in putting points on the board. Logan Alldredge found a hole and never lost steam, rambling 64 yards for Arab’s first score.
The Wildcats answered with a six-play 65-yard scoring drive and Arab fumbled on first down on the following drive. But after the defense held Scottsboro at the Knight 14, Arab covered 86 yards in only four plays as QB Drew Puccio hit Wyatt Lamar on a 42-yard touchdown pass play with 3:29 left in the half.
The Wildcats were driving again before Carson Jennings broke up a pass that was intercepted by Landon Strickland to end the half.
The Knights opened the third quarter with a three-play, 65-yard drive as Puccio scored on a 25-yard run and also ran it in for the 2-point conversion to put the Knights up 20-8.
The Wildcats answered with a 65-yard, nine-play scoring drive to cut the lead to 20-14 and after an Arab punt, had drove into Knight territory before Puccio picked off a pass to give Arab the ball on their own 28.
On a called pass play, Puccio, who finished the game with 135 yards rushing on eight carries, cut back and ran 66 yards for a touchdown with 1:27 to go. Scottsboro then covered 65 yards in only four plays to score with 13 seconds remaining.
While Coach Jason Guger would have liked to have seen a few more sustained drives, he was very happy with the outcome.
“We showed explosiveness on offense tonight,” he said. “We scored a lot of points and we scored kind of fast. That was great but it’s also nice to finish the game by running between the tackles when the clock is running against you.
“I do wish we had done a little better job the last three minutes of grinding out the clock to prevent their last touchdown, but give credit to Scottsboro. They came out ready to play and really hurt us with their offense. They forced us to do some things we weren’t used to doing.”
Alldredge finished with 92 yards rushing to go along with Puccio’s big night, but Guger was proud of his entire team.
“Drew is a very smart football player and obviously made a huge play at the end of the game on that touchdown run. We were backed up with a third-and-forever and I thought we had a good play call that was open but we kind of broke down at the line of scrimmage and gave up a little pressure.
“But, athletes make great plays and he turned it into one. He also had a big pick but give credit to our defensive line, too. Grant Bagwell, Logan Alldredge, Kaiden Story and the guys up front did a great job in getting after the quarterback to make him throw it earlier than he wanted to.”
• 7th Grade
Arab 22, Scottsboro 8
The seventh grade team also defeated the Wildcats with big plays, after falling behind early. The Knights held Scottsboro on their opening drive at the Arab 10 only to fumble the ball back on first down. The Wildcats scored in four plays and also got the 2-point conversion.
But, Arab came right back. On the second play of the following drive, QB Jackson Cook connected with Luke Martin on a 64-yard scoring play and Luke Hudson went in for 2 to tie the game with 1:21 left in the second.
After a Scottsboro punt, Luke Hudson completed a pass to Dylan Kirkland for a touchdown with 15 seconds left in the half, and Luke Martin got an interception as the half ended.
Arab then opened the third quarter with a Hudson TD run of 66 yards. The score stood at 22-8 for a much-needed win.
“Yeah, very explosive on offense and some short drives, but Scottsboro is a very good team and we were proud to get the win,” Guger said.