September 10, 2017 1:10:11 AM
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Pickens County High School football team continued its strong defensive start to the season with a 26-6 victory against Holy Spirit Catholic School on Friday night in the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Class 1A, Region 5 opener for both teams.
Pickens County (2-0, 1-0) turned to its defense to make a difference in what was a tight game. The Tornadoes had five takeaways, including three interceptions by Kareem Spruill. Spruill returned the third theft 97 yards for a touchdown.
J.T. Billups ran 11 times for 44 yards and two touchdowns. Billups' second score helped Pickens County expand a 12-6 halftime lead. Quarterback AlJaron Edwards threw for 132 yards with a passing score.
Pickens County will play host to Marion County (0-2, 0-0) in another region game Friday night.
n Aliceville 36, Keith 14: At Aliceville, Alabama, the Yellow Jackets opened AHSAA Class 2A, Region 4 play by grabbing their first victory.
Aliceville (1-1, 1-0) attacked in multiple directions. Kavon McCraw rushed 13 times for 132 yards. He had touchdown runs of 5 and 62 yards. The other ground scores came from Zavien Wilkins, who had 2-yard touchdown run and also rushed for a two-point conversion.
Aliceville also received an 86-yard kickoff return touchdown from Andrevious Johnson and Justice Craig returned an interception 72 yards for another score.
Aliceville will play Friday at Marion (1-2, 0-1) in another region game.
n Lamar County 54, Phil Campbell 12: At Phil Campbell, Alabama, the Bulldogs also garnered their first victory in the AHSAA Class 2A, Region 8 opener for both teams.
Lamar County will play host to Mars Hill Bible (2-1, 1-0) in region play Friday night.
n South Lamar 48, Hubbertville 0: At
Fayette, Alabama, the Stallions secured a road shutout in their AHSAA Class 1A, Region 5 opener.
Buster Griffith made the most of his four carries for South Lamar (2-1, 1-0). Griffith scored on runs of 70, 11, 45, and 80 yards. In addition to the 206 rushing yards, Griffith also caught four passes for 80 yards.
Austin Keasler and Jasper Deason had 10 tackles to lead the Stallions. Keasler also had two fumble recoveries.
South Lamar will play host to Berry (1-2, 1-0) on Friday night in its second region game.
n Sulligent 29, Sheffield 7: At Sheffield, Alabama, the Blue Devils remained undefeated with a win in their AHSAA Class 2A, Region 8 opener. Sulligent is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 1966.
Marco Mastin ran eight times for 112 yards to lead Sulligent. Mastin scored on 9-yard run. Also for the Blue Devils, Ethan Carter ran nine times for 46 yards. Carter scored on a 10-yard run and caught a 23-yard pass from Jaron Scott
Parrish Nails scored on a 28-yard run to close out the scoring for Sulligent.
Sulligent will resume region play Friday night at Phil Campbell (1-2, 0-1).
n Escambia Academy 49, Pickens Academy 14: At Atmore, Alabama, the Pirates dropped their Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) Class AA, Region 2 opener.
Escambia Academy (4-0, 1-0) built a 42-0 halftime lead. The Cougars had two punt return touchdowns and a fumble return touchdown.
Pickens Academy (2-1, 0-1) scored on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Hamner Allen to Lee Acker. Allen also scored on 1-yard run and kept on a two-point conversion run.
Riley Harcrow led the Pirates with 10 rushes for 32 yards and three pass receptions for 56 yards. Harcrow and Seth Peeks had six tackles.
Pickens Academy will play host to Autauga Academy (3-0, 0-0) on Friday night in a region game.