Dixie can#039;t shake Crenshaw Cougars

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Crenshaw Christian Academy shook off a sluggish first half to record its fifth win in a row over the Dixie Academy Rebels 33-0 last Friday night in Luverne.

The Cougars (7-3) will face No. 2 seed Shelby Academy (9-1) in the first round of the Alabama Independent School Association's Class A state playoffs Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Shelby.

&uot;We came out a little flat tonight," CCA Head Coach Roland Jones said. "Dixie is a young team and I’ll have to give them credit for getting after us early. We finally settled down on both sides of the ball and were able to take control and let some younger players see some action."

Email newsletter signup

Leading rusher for the Cougars was junior Shawn Nelson with 83 yards on eight carries. Not far behind was Derek Manning with 44 yards on six totes. Rounding out the ground assault were Sloan Carter with three carries for 34 yards and Bubba Faulk with five carries for 35 yards.

Quarterback Klein Jones connected on seven of 10 passes for 73 yards.

Top defensive player was Foster Carpenter with eight solo stops and two assists. Also helping out were Justin Jordan and Nick Atkinson with five stops and one assist each, Caleub Mount with four tackles, two assists and a fumble recovery, Corey Walden with a 4-1 chart and Andrew Griffin with a 3-1 card.

Dixie’s bid at an upset was evident when they recovered the opening onside kickoff at midfield. But the Cougar defense flexed and snuffed out their hopes after three snaps.

Punt return specialist Justin Jordan, who had five returns for 119 yards, got the Cougars in gear quickly with a 49 yard scamper all the way to the Dixie 35-yard- line.

On the next play QB Klein Jones hit wide-out Mason Pettus for a 35-yard touchdown strike. Kicker Matthew Walden split the uprights to give CCA a 7-0 advantage with 10:02 left in the opening quarter.

The Rebels caught a break again with an interception return to the CCA 36-yard line to put Dixie in excellent scoring position.

But the Cougar defense would rise to the call. End Chad Heartsill halted the Dixie threat with a sack on fourth down to give CCA possession at the 45-yard-line.

CCA would mount a five-play, 55-yard drive to add to their lead. Jones hit Mount with an 11-yard gain and tailback Shawn Nelson rambled 34 yards to get the Cougars close. A major infraction backed the Cougars up but fullback Sloan Carter got the yardage back with a 22-yard scamper to the 3-yard-line.

On the next play, Jones hit Pettus with a three-yard touchdown toss to cap off the scoring surge. Walden’s boot made it 14-0 to close the first period.

The second stanza was scoreless as CCA led at halftime.

Dixie’s third play of the second half resulted in a turnover when Chad Heartsill recovered a fumble at the Rebel 34-yard-line.

It took the Cougars just four plays to go the distance. Tailback Bubba Faulk, seeing action for the first time, carried all four plays and did the honors on a five-yard TD jaunt. The kick was wide, but CCA enjoyed a 20-0 lead with 10:31 left in the third stanza.

Justin Jordan would set up another Cougar tally with a 43-yard punt return to the Rebel six yard line. Faulk notched the six-pointer on a 6-yard touchdown burst. Walden’s kick lifted CCA to a 27-0 advantage at the 8:35 mark.

The Cougars would end the scoring in the final period with a 42-yard drive. Derek Manning capped off the effort with a two-yard touchdown blast to make the final 33-0.

As for this week playoff game, Jones believes his team is going to have to play more physical to come away with a win.

&uot;We’ll have to pick it up a notch or two this Friday night when we play Shelby," he said. "We’ve really hurt ourselves lately with penalties. We’ll have to cut down on the flags and get focused on our assignments if we want to have a chance to advance. They have a really good quarterback and they run the ball exceptionally well. We just need to be ready to play come Friday night."