Aubrey Blackwell knew there would be more signees when Catholic’s Chase Little signed to play football at Troy on ‘early signing day’ this past December. On Wednesday the head football and baseball coach at Montgomery Catholic sent another four student-athletes to the collegiate level. “It’s an exciting day. It’s a great day because it is a day of opportunity for our young people,” Blackwell said. “It’s a happy day for me – seeing them go to the next level and move towards greater success.”
On Wednesday Christian Ivey, Darrell Gibson, C.J. Owens and Michael Russo inked the papers to play college ball. Even though he was the team’s quarterback, Ivey signed to play baseball while the other three will remain on the gridiron. Since coming to Catholic in 2016 Blackwell has signed away 22 players.
All of the signees had something to say about Catholic’s success over the last few years, but all of them brought up the winning culture and coaches that want to win. “It’s not just about winning on the field, it’s about everything,” Blackwell said when told of the complimentary words of his players. “Our winning program is a by-product of what we believe in. I want to build men from boys and make them disciplined and accountable with faith being at the top of everything.”
Christian Ivey signed to play baseball at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. Ivey, an outfielder, batted .478 last year and delivered a hefty .815 slugging percentage for the Knights. Wallace State is considered by many to be the top junior college program in Alabama. According to Blackwell, “Coach Randy Putnam and Wallace really wanted Christian to come there and play.” Ivey has been playing baseball all of his life and playing for Catholic since the seventh grade. “Wallace made an offer and I went up there to visit. I really liked the school. I talked football to a couple of schools but I’m not that big and it may not be a good idea, so I’m going to stick with baseball and I look forward to it,” Ivey said.
Darrell Gibson was the typical workhorse as a running back. He carried the ball 557 times his junior and senior years. His efforts resulted in over 3,600 yards gained and 45 touchdowns. “He grew into a leader and was voted one of the team captains. He is very goal oriented. We believe conditioning is critical and one thing Darrell did that was important was to show leadership in the weight room,” Blackwell said of his 5’7” fullback. Savannah State in Savannah, Georgia, is a NCAA Division II school. Gibson said he loved the town and “The coaches communicated with me well and I think it will be a good place for me. I want to play running back but I will probably look at something outside of the backfield like a slot. The main thing for me is to continue to elevate my work ethic and keep my mind in the right direction.” Gibson said.
C.J. Owens was a three year starter for the Knights. While he played on both sides of the ball he made his mark as a defensive tackle and nose guard. Owens made 67 solo tackles and 14 sacks. “We are extremely proud that C.J. has decided to accept the challenges that Annapolis will offer. He is sitting on top of a great opportunity,” Blackwell said. Owens made it clear that Montgomery Catholic was his home. “I would never want to play high school ball anywhere else. Catholic prepared me in a lot of ways but having to work hard to prepare was the most important thing I learned,” Owens said.
Michael Russo was an effective kicker and punter for Catholic. He averaged 42 yards per punt, a very lofty figure for high school punters and 71% of his kickoffs landed in the end zone. “This young man has overcome injuries and adversity. He always had the guts to keep working. He is a tough young man of tremendous character and we are fortunate to have him at Catholic,” Blackwell said when introducing Russo, who will head to Ave Maria College in south Florida about 40 miles from Naples. It is a private school and a Division II member of the NAIA. “I was looking at big schools but what I really wanted was to call a school home, and a place where I would be better off after four years. I think I made a good decision and I am happy about it,” Russo said. Looking ahead the kicker added “Preparation is my key to success and I need to continue practice and preparation. You got to keep working.”
Although he already signed, Chase Little joined his Catholic teammates on Wednesday. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Little is “absolutely the biggest kid that I’ve ever coached,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell told the Independent in December. “The biggest thing about him is his heart. Chase has a tremendous passion for the game of football, he has a tremendous passion for being great at what he does and how he does it.” Little chose the Trojans over offers from Jacksonville State, Tulane, Purdue, Indiana, Western Carolina, Akron, Liberty, Louisiana-Lafayette, Central Michigan, Eastern Kentucky, Samford, Coastal Carolina and Tennessee State.
CHASE LITTLE CHOSEN AS MONTGOMERY QUARTERBACK CLUB PRIVATE SCHOOL PLAYER OF THE YEAR!
CONGRATULATIONS TO CHASE LITTLE FOR SIGNING WITH TROY UNIVERSITY!
CHASE LITTLE SELECTED TO PLAY IN ALABAMA - MISSISSIPPI ALL STAR GAME!
KNIGHTS WIN ROUND 2 OVER HANDLEY!!
Catholic 9 Handley 6
Zach Pappanastos booted a 41-yard field goal and Myles Butler hauled in a 28-yard touchdown pass from Christian Ivey as the Knights survived a defensive battle with Handley in the second round of the 4A state playoffs on Friday night.
Catholic (12-0) will travel to Mobile next Friday to face UMS-Wright in the quarterfinals of the 4A state playoffs.
“Twelve wins is the most in Catholic football history and I can’t be more proud of this group for what they’ve accomplished this season,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “I’m not ready for this season to be over. We have done some great things but we’re not satisfied with this. We set out to compete for a state championship and the next round will go through Mobile.”
After a scoreless first half, Pappanastos put the Knights on the board with 6:21 remaining in the third quarter with his field goal. Handley countered with a touchdown pass from Evan Cofield to Dylan Brooks with 2:54 remaining in the quarter but the extra point failed, leaving the score at 6-3.
Catholic answered in quick fashion with Ivey’s pass to Butler providing the game-winning points with 19 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The extra-point attempt failed.
“I’m so proud of how hard our guys fought in some terrible conditions and handled some great adversity to find a way to win tonight,” Blackwell said. “Our defense was awesome.”
Linebacker T.J. Dudley led the way with nine tackles while senior defensive back Nate Downes had seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Jourdan Thomas had a pair of interceptions as well.
Friday night Williamson ran 13 plays in Catholic territory in the first 16 minutes of play in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs. The Lions offense never saw Catholic territory after that. On the other hand Catholic had nothing but bad field position early. Then the Knights flipped the field and snapped the ball 36 times in Williamson territory the last 32 minutes of the game, which led to a 24-6 Catholic victory. “It was the field position. After the first quarter we stayed on their end of the field and our defense was simply incredible,” Knights coach Aubrey Blackwell said.
Williamson began the game very strong and initially things looked bleak for the Knights. While Catholic’s offense sputtered early in the game the Lions offense was in high gear. Williamson threatened early but a fumble recovered by Nate Downes stopped the drive. The Lions offense came roaring back and scored late in the first quarter on a short run by Quinton Shaw.
Catholic’s defense began to stiffen in the second quarter. A bad snap on a punt led to the Knights first possession in Williamson territory for the first time. On the next play Darrell Gibson fought his way for 21 yards and Catholic took a 7-6 lead at 8:31. At that moment the game changed for good especially with the Knights defense coming to life. “We really didn’t change anything, well, we changed our mindset. We were hungry for the win. I think their early success moving the ball woke us up,” Knights linebacker Pat Ryan said. “We have a lot of leaders on this team and this is a special senior class. We feel good about our team. We just put our foot down.”
The Knights offense was soon back in business at the enemy’s 27 yard line. Gibson carried the ball five consecutive times and found the end zone on the last effort. The 14-7 score stood until intermission.
“We saw what they were doing and made some changes. We overcame adversity and started pounding the line,” Gibson explained. “We can do that because our offensive line is getting better all of the time. They do a great job.”
The big change in the Catholic attack was vacating the spread offense. Quarterback Christian Ivey went under center and the Knights utilized a Power I effectively. “We changed to that formation, which is what we needed to do and we knew what we would be facing,” Blackwell said. “We needed to work on heavy offense because they had too much speed. We watched their films and knew we had to pound them instead of going outside. They are just too fast.”
Blackwell’s strategy worked very well on both sides of the ball. Williamson lacked the depth and was forced to play many players both ways. “They got tired. We helped them get that way. We took the heavy offense and started running hurry up and kept the pressure on them. It also slowed them down when they had the ball,” Blackwell explained.
After a 12 play Catholic drive ended with a Williamson interception in the end zone, Downes did his defensive magic once again. The reliable defensive back intercepted a Lions pass and returned it 36 yards giving the Knights another opportunity in red zone. A drive never materialized but Zack Pappanastos easily drilled a 19 yard field goal at 3:18 in the third quarter broadening the Knights lead to 17-6.
Another Williamson miscue allowed the Knights back into the red zone. Gibson scored his 18th rushing TD of the season with only 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter. The 24-6 Catholic lead was more than enough especially with the stingy Knights defense.
Gibson ended the game with 33 carries and 138 yards. T.J. Dudley led the defense with a dozen tackles.
Before the 2019 season Blackwell noted that the 2018 season was the first real tough regular season schedule for the Knights in a while. This year was no exception. The tough scheduling by Blackwell is intentional, and it has paid off. “I want a tough schedule. It gives our kids confidence that they can play with any team. The speed of the game and physical part will become tougher as we go,” the Knights coach said. “Preparation is important, and when you’ve been there before you can do it again.”
Catholic is now 11-0 and will host Handley (7-4) for round two Friday night. “I have no idea about Handley. We need to watch a lot of film. We just got to work hard and prepare. That’s the name of the game,” Blackwell said.
CONGRATULATIONS TO SENIOR DARRELL GIBSON FOR BEING NAMED AHSAA RIVER REGION PLAYER OF THE WEEK!
KNIGHTS FINISH REGULAR SEASON 10-0!!! WITH 30-0 WIN OVER HEADLAND
It’s not the first time Catholic has gone 10-0 in the regular season, but it is the first the Knights have been 10-0 and gone to the playoffs.
Catholic rounded out its regular season schedule with an impressive 30-0 win over region foe Headland Friday night to extend the Knights unblemished record. According to Catholic AD Daniel Veres, the 1979 Knights were 10-0 but failed to go to the playoffs because they did not play enough region/area foes to qualify.
After a week off, Catholic will be at home in the first round of the playoffs on November 1 and will host a team from the Mobile area. “You cannot go undefeated in the regular season without help from all your people. I’m talking about parents, cheerleaders, students, teachers, administrators and the community. You must have all of this to be successful,” Catholic head football coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “I’m proud of what we have done and it is a blessing for me to be the coach at Catholic.”
Catholic did everything an undefeated team is supposed to do Friday night. The Knights had a balanced offense and scored in all four quarters. Their defense pitched a shutout and even scored some points. The kicking game was solid and even included a very strategic and well placed quick kick.
The Knights held Headland early and then marched 67 yards in 13 plays topped off by a Darrell Gibson touchdown run of 7 yards. That was the only possession by the Knights in the first quarter.
The second play of the second possession which began in the second quarter resulted in a 65 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Christian Ivey to D. J. Carter. “I thought I could outrun the guy covering me. I just looked over my shoulder and Christian threw it right on the money,” Carter said. Ivey was 6 of 9 for 151 yards on the night which included the TD strike to Carter and an interception. Carter had 4 receptions for 118 yards and carried the ball 4 times for 46 yards. Ivey picked up 44 yards on the ground.
The Knights wasted no time in the second half extending their halftime lead of 14-0. At 9:03 in the third quarter Gibson hit the end zone again after a drive of a half-dozen plays. On the night Gibson ran 18 times for 111 yards and caught a pair of passes for 20 yards.
Catholic began a 10 play scoring drive in the third quarter that culminated early in the final period. Gibson completed the 63 yard drive with a run from the one yard line. “We’ve been working to keep the offense in balance. We run when we need to and throw when we need to,” Carter explained when asked about the balance Knights attack. Blackwell said the Knights pretty much followed the script for the night. "We wanted to have the offense well balanced especially moving into the post season. Tonight we wanted to make a few big plays early and then have a balanced attack and it worked,” Blackwell said. “Other than a couple of big plays early we wanted our offense to grind it out. I’m pleased with where we stand with our offensive unit at his time.”
The Knights next drive stalled in Headland territory and Ivey executed a perfect quick kick which came to rest inside the Headland one yard line. On the next play the opportunistic Knights defense cashed in and recorded a safety when Pat Ryan dumped the Headland ball carrier in the end zone. “Their offense is very physical but our big concern was keeping them from going outside. We wanted to keep them from outside-our plan was to contain them and it worked well,” said Nate Downes, who recovered a Headland fumble early in the game. T.J. Dudley led the Knights on defense with 9 tackles. “We mixed our front around on defense and we kept them from making much progress. They made a couple of drives but we stopped them before giving up too much,” Blackwell remarked. “Our defense did a good job. When they needed to get tough they got tough.”
For Headland Kareen Sailor ran 10 times for 34 yards. Tyler Danzey had 7 carries for 34 yards. The Rams completed 2 passes.
Catholic finished the regular season 10-0 overall and 6-0 in the region. Blackwell, who is in his fifth year as head coach, has compiled a 40-15 record since going to Catholic.
CHRISTIAN IVEY SELECTED MONTGOMERY QB CLUB PLAYER OF THE WEEK!
Christian Ivey from Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School and Tray Duncan from Stanhope Elmore High School were honored as Montgomery Quarterback Club Players of the Week at the Club's October 15 meeting. Shown from left to right: Club board members Perry Hooper, Jr, and Kendall Leverette, Catholic head coach Aubrey Blackwell, Ivey, Duncan, Stanhope Elmore head coach Brian Bradford, and Club board member David Bowen
Catholic 26, T.R. Miller 21
BREWTON -- Catholic rallied from a 14-13 deficit with a pair of second-half touchdowns and turned back the Tigers with a fine defensive effort to improve to 9-0 on Friday night.
Darrell Gibson had 163 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries and Christian Ivey completed 7 of 16 passes for 148 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead the Knights. Ivey also had 63 rushing yards on 12 carries. DJ Carter had 75 yards and a touchdown on four receptions and Myles Butler had 73 yards and a touchdown on three receptions.
“It was a tough game in a tough environment and we were flagged 150 yards in penalties,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “But our kids overcame early adversity and a difficult situation and refused to lose. They made the big plays when they needed to.”
Orlando Whatley had a 6-yard touchdown run and Carter had a 32-yard scoring reception from Ivey but the Tigers rallied back to take a 14-13 lead. In the second half, Butler’s touchdown catch put the Knights in front 19-14 and Gibson added a 9-yard touchdown run to make it 26-14 before T.R. Miller scored late.
Defensively, TJ Dudley had eight tackles, including one for loss, and CJ Owens had six tackles, including two for loss.
Catholic returns home to host Headland on Senior Night before playing host to a first-round playoff game on Nov. 8.
Catholic 49, B.T. Washington 0
TUSKEGEE – Darrell Gibson rushed for 175 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 carries to lead Catholic to an easy rout of Booker T. Washington in a 4A Region 2 game on Friday.
Christian Ivey completed 4 of 9 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown and added 54 yards rushing. DJ Carter had three of Ivey’s completions for 57 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown.
T.J. Dudley added a 5-yard touchdown run.
Defensively, Jourdan Thomas had a pair of interceptions and six tackles, while Marcus Dees had eight tackles, including three for loss.
Catholic (8-0) wrapped up the region championship with the victory and has only a region game at home remaining against Headland in two weeks after traveling to Brewton to play T.R. Miller next week. The region title is the second in three years for the Knights and only their third since winning in 1989.
B.T. Washington (0-7) dropped to 0-4 in region play.
CONGRATS TO 2018 GRADUATE, BRIAN ANDERSON ON MAKING THE ACC TEAM OF THE WEEK FOR HIS PERFORMANCE VERSUS GA TECH!
Brian Anderson, UNC
Anderson was the conference’s highest-graded pass-protector among centers, allowing just two hurries on a whopping 54 pass-blocking snaps. He had a decent run-blocking grade but anytime you have an offense that attempts 54 dropbacks, the passing game outweighs anything else.
Catholic 55, Ashford 28
ASHFORD -- Catholic's offense exploded for 525 total offense on Friday Night, only punting 1 time. Christian Ivey completed 13 of 17 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown and ran for 48 yards and a pair of touchdowns on six carries as Catholic moved a step closer to the 4A Region 2 title with a 55-28 victory at Ashford on Friday night. The night was an offensive back and forth in the first half with Catholic scoring first on a 10 yard TD run by Christian Ivey. Ashford answered 3 plays later on a big TD reception. DJ Carter scored for the Knights on their next possession on a 28 yard TD pass from Ivey. The first half went back and forth ending in a 35-28 score with the Knights in the lead.
The Knights got the ball to start the half and went 3 and out, but the defense held on their possession and the Knights offense would not punt the rest of the night. Touchdowns by Jeremiah Cobb, Ivey, Gibson, and Whatley would follow. Penalties played a huge part of the contest with Ashford receiving 4 penalties for 25 total yards while the Knights concurred 9 penalties for 110 yards negating 126 yards of total offense.
“This was the best offensive effort of the year for us,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “And it came at a good time with Ashford being a tough football team. I think the biggest plus for us came from our defensive coaches. They made adjustments at halftime that made sure we did not give up a single point. It was a good road win for us.”
The Knights (7-0) improved to 4-0 in region play, taking a 1.5-game lead over idle Trinity and a two-game lead over Alabama Christian and Dale County with two region games remaining against winless Booker T. Washington next week and against Headland in three weeks.
Darrell Gibson added 102 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries with a 28 yard run called back on a penalty and Jeremiah Cobb had 104 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Orlando Whatley added a 9-yard touchdown run and DJ Carter had a 29-yard touchdown reception. Carter had 5 catches total for 80 yards. He had a 45 yard reception called back on a holding penalty.
Myles Butler had four receptions for 87 yards, he had two receptions for 39 yards called back from penalties.
Ashford (2-4, 1-2 in region play) hosts Headland next week.
Catholic 41, Beauregard 12
Christian Ivey had 233 yards rushing and passing as the Knights remain unbeaten with an easy win over winless Beauregard on Friday.
Ivey completed 10 of 15 passes for 158 yards and rushed for 75 yards and a pair of touchdowns on eight carries to help the Knights improve to 6-0, their best start since 1994. Jeremiah Cobb had 136 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and Orlando Whatley added 84 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 14 carries in the rout. DJ Carter added 70 receiving yards and a touchdown on just three catches.
Defensively, linebacker Jack Burt had nine tackles and an interception.
The 5A Hornets dropped to 0-6 with the loss, their worst start since 1989.
The Knights return to region action next week with a game at Ashford.
Catholic uses early turnovers to subdue Trinity
By Tim Gayle
T.J. Dudley and his Catholic teammates couldn’t have hoped for any better start to Friday’s 4A Region 2 battle with Trinity at Ragsdale-Boykin Field.
Not only was the sophomore linebacker in the right place at the right time to recover a fumble on the game’s first possession, he was rewarded with a second fumble on Trinity’s next offensive play, resulting in two quick touchdowns for the Knights on the way to a 26-13 win over the Wildcats.
“The first one, he lost the ball and I picked it up, but I almost fumbled it again so I just had to secure the ball,” Dudley said. “The second one, it popped right into my hands but they were already there and I couldn’t break loose.
“(The early turnovers) made my team bring the intensity. Everyone was hyped. We woke up and just came to play ball.”
Trinity’s Coleman Ellis juggled the exchange from quarterback John David Bonner on the third play of the game and Dudley was there to scoop the ball at the 43 and return it six yards to set up quarterback Christian Ivey’s 37-yard keeper on the next play for a 7-0 lead.
On the next play from scrimmage, Bonner tried the middle of the Catholic defense, lost the ball and Dudley was there again, leading to a quick four-play drive capped by Darrell Gibson’s 6-yard run and a 14-0 lead less than four minutes into the contest.
“Any time you get a momentum swing on the road, it’s a big deal,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “It was awesome to get that momentum early in the game and it helped us carry it through.”
Three plays and a Trinity punt later, Catholic was on the move again, taking over at midfield and getting a 25-yard run from Gibson on the second play of the drive. From that moment on, the Trinity defense took over, allowing Catholic just 2.2 yards per play the remainder of the game (101 yards in 46 plays), but the damage was already done. Michael Russo kicked a 43-yard field goal three plays after Gibson’s run for a 17-0 lead, too big a deficit for the Wildcats to overcome.
“That’s part of the game,” Trinity coach Barry Loyal said of the turnovers, “but it’s part of the game that you can’t do. As we made the progression to this point, that was one of the things we talked about. We can’t give up big plays and you can’t turn the ball over. And we did both of those in the first three minutes of the game. It’s just a learning process and a consistency process that we’re working toward.”
Despite the early deficit, Loyal said he stuck with the game plan and tried to attack Catholic with a balanced attack.
“I tried to be patient because our defense is going to play good,” he said. “As hard as it was, to just start throwing it on every down, I knew we had to try and run the ball. Seventeen is a big deficit but we’ve been there before. We were there with them two years ago, as a matter of fact (before rallying to win). Tonight, we were just one or two plays short.”
Catholic tried to move the ball on the ground and through the air, but had no success. After the field goal, the Knights’ final 12 possessions never ventured into Trinity territory except twice, once coming on an interception and the other after a kickoff following a safety.
“They’re a good football team and they’ve played every team they play really good on defense,” Blackwell said. “That’s a really, really good defensive football team and we knew it was going to be a battle. We took every shot we had on the play list, we put every wrinkle on the script we had on the field and they played really well. They did a great job. Luckily for us, our defense played better.”
Ivey was 7 of 16 for 36 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while adding 37 rushing yards on five carries. Gibson finished with 89 yards on 22 carries.
Kylon Griffin, who had seven tackles to share the team lead with Dudley, stepped in front of a Bonner pass for William Roberson late in the first half and returned the interception 20 yards to the Trinity 32. Ivey completed the transition with a 19-yard lob in the left corner of the end zone for Myles Butler with 55.5 seconds left to give the Knights a 24-10 halftime lead.
Trinity had threatened to pull back into the game with a 13-yard Jake Hufham reception from Jack Collett – subbing for the injured Bonner – and a march to a first-and-goal at the Catholic 10 late in the half before settling for a 27-yard field goal from Luke Adams. The Wildcats started the third quarter in much the same fashion, holding the Knights on three plays, then marching to the Catholic 3-yard line midway through the quarter.
A bad snap past Bonner resulted in a 23-yard loss and Adams was forced to kick another field goal, this one from 43 yards, to trim the deficit to 24-13.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt (that could have been a turning point in the game), but that’s part of doing some things (correctly),” Loyal said. “You get inside the 20-yard line, you’re not going to trick people, not good teams like them, so we’ve got to keep plugging away and figure out that red-zone offense.”
Catholic managed to kill enough of the clock to hold off the Wildcats, getting one more opportunity after a snap sailed out of the end zone on a Trinity punt, resulting in a safety. The Knights took over after the ensuing kickoff at the Trinity 47, but managed just one first down before turning the ball over on downs at the Wildcats’ 37.
“They were in position and we didn’t get them out of position very much,” Blackwell said. “We made the plays we needed to make when we needed to make them and we were able to hold the ball and get the clock rolling in the second half.”
Bonner completed 15 of 32 passes for 193 yards and was the Wildcats’ leading rusher with 47 yards on 16 carries. Hufham finished with 57 yards on four receptions. James Handey had five receptions for 42 yards. Mays McMillan and James Davis each had 12 tackles to lead the Trinity defense.
Catholic (5-0) improved to 3-0 in 4A Region 2 play heading into next week’s non-region game at home against 5A Beauregard and took a huge step toward wrapping up a playoff berth at home with region games remaining against 1-3 Ashford, winless B.T. Washington and Headland.
We’re cruising for the region,” Dudley said. “We own the city and we shouldn’t lose to anyone in the city.”
The 5-0 start by the Knights is the best since 1994. The win at Ragsdale-Boykin Field was only the third in Catholic history and the first since a 10-0 victory in 1984.
Trinity (2-3) dropped to 2-1 heading into next week’s non-region game at Montgomery Academy.
Gibson and Ivey highlighted as Top Performers in the area
Top AHSAA football performances: Find out who was best in Week 4
1. Austin Gavin, RB, St. James — Ran for 240 yards, which ranks 10th in school history, on 32 carries with two touchdowns in a 26-7 win at Montgomery Academy on Friday. Scored on runs of 64 and 16 yards. The Trojans (4-0) had 384 yards rushing.
2. Tucker Kilcrease, QB, Brantley — Was responsible for five touchdowns in Brantley's 55-14 win over Florala. Had nine carries for 117 yards and three touchdowns and was 4-of-9 passing for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Also had three tackles.
3. Darrell Gibson, RB, Catholic — Had 15 carries for 185 yards and three touchdowns in the Knights' 52-13 win over Alabama Christian.
4. Christian Ivey, RB, Catholic — Had 12 carries for 146 yards and three touchdowns in the Knights' 52-13 win over Alabama Christian.
Christian Ivey passed for 126 yards and rushed for 146 more as the Knights rolled to an easy region win over Alabama Christian Academy on Friday night.
Ivey completed 5 of 10 passes for 126 yards, while rushing for 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 12 carries. Darrell Gibson added 185 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries.
“I’m really proud of how fast we started tonight,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “Our guys were focused and played together. Our offense had some big plays early and the score on our first drive was huge for our momentum.”
DJ Carter added a 38-yard touchdown run and Jeremiah Cobb had a 20-yard touchdown run, part of a 507-yard performance by the Catholic offense. Defensively, Nate Downes had an interception for the Knights.
“Our senior leadership has really been good for us so far,” Blackwell said. “They’re goal oriented and have kept our guys focused and determined.”
Alabama Christian (1-3) travels to Midland City to play Dale County next week, while Catholic (4-0) plays host to Trinity in an region game.
WE ARE LIVE ONLINE THIS WEEK VERSUS ACA! CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO WATCH THE GAME LIVE ON THE MONTGOMERY SPORTS NETWORK YOUTUBE CHANNEL.
A pair of turnovers had marred Dale County’s first two possessions, but nothing could prepare the Warriors for what happened next.
The turnovers had led to a pair of Catholic touchdowns and the Knights finished off the shell-shocked visitors with a perfectly executed onside kick, turning into a touchdown five plays later on the way to a 48-0 rout on Friday night.
“We just saw their front guy on the kickoff bailing as soon as the kick,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “It’s just something we saw on tape. We knew we try it on our second kickoff.”
The Knights scored on their next three possessions as well, jumping out to a 42-0 halftime lead as Darrell Gibson’s 22-yard touchdown run put the exclamation mark on the first half. Gibson finished with 129 yards on just eight carries, slicing up the Warrior defense in the process.
“We knew what we had to do,” Gibson said. “We know what we’ve got, we know how many weapons we’ve got, so we used them to the best of our ability and we got the job done. I underestimate no team, I just know what Catholic is going to do when we get on the field.”
The explosion made up for the struggle the week before as the Knights were fortunate to beat Anniston 14-13.
“We won the game 14-13, but we should’ve beaten the team by 40,” Gibson said. “We came back with the mentality on Monday that our offense has to put up more points and we’ve got to get the job done. So we were locked in and we executed and we did our thing.”
Dale County (1-2) held the Knights to a three-play possession to open the game and started driving toward the Catholic goal. On the 10th play, quarterback Ethan Teal bobbled the exchange with his running back and Catholic T.J. Dudley grabbed the ball and sprinted 15 yards before he was tackled.
Three plays later, quarterback Christian Ivey found DJ Carter behind everyone for a 50-yard touchdown pass. Zack Pappanastos added the first of six extra points for a 7-0 lead.
Three plays later, Teal’s pass over the middle was tipped by Catholic’s Dean Johnson and teammate Jonathan Rhoden intercepted on the Dale County 26. Gibson ran 15 yards and Ivey ran the remaining 11 for a quick two-touchdown lead, setting the stage for Michael Russo’s onside kick.
Russo recovered his own kick and five plays later Ivey scored on a 1-yard plunge with 10 seconds left in the first quarter.
“Coming into it, I didn’t know how we’d play,” Blackwell said. “I knew one thing: We were really upset, as a group, at our performance last week. We had a great week of practice because our guys came out and were really physical and intent. I knew with our focus, we were going to play well, I just didn’t know how Dale County was going to play.
“I was proud of our offense in general, from not playing well last week to doing what they were supposed to do this week – playing fast and we distributed the ball well.”
Ivey, who had accounted for the first three scores, added a 40-yard scoring run and a 56-yard touchdown pass to Myles Butler on the next two possessions, ending his night with 69 yards and three touchdowns on five carries and completing 6 of 7 passes for 120 yards and two more scores.
Carter added a 36-yard touchdown run on the Knights’ first possession of the second half to finish the evening for the starters. Dudley had six tackles in addition to his fumble return, followed by Marcus Dees and Jalen Thomas with five tackles each as Catholic improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in region play for only the sixth time ever (along with three similar starts in area play) and only the second time since 2008.
The Knights play host to Alabama Christian on Friday.
BURT SELECTED AS MONTGOMERY QB CLUB PLAYER OF THE WEEK AND PIGG ENTERPRISES SCOREBOARD SHOW PLAYER OF THE WEEK
JACK BURT RECORDS 25 TACKLES, HELPS DEFENSE STIFFLE BULLDOGS OF ANNISTON
The Knights defense allowed 183 yards of total offense on the road and diverted a game tying extra point with 3:00 left to help the Knights secure the road victory over the home town Bulldogs this Friday night.
The Bulldogs struck first in the second quarter to take a 7-0 lead into halftime. In the second half, Christian Ivey threw a pair of touchdown passes to Myles Butler of 37 and Morris Carmichael of 27. The Knights made both of their extra points.
For the evening, Jack Burt led all tacklers with 22 (14 solo, 8 Assist, 3 for loss), Patrick Ryan had 11 tackles, and Marcus Dees finished with 10 tackles. Christian Ivey was 5/11 passing for 116 yards with 2 TD passes. Myles Butler was 3/86 receiving with 1 TD.
The Knights are back home next week to open region play versus Dale County at 7:00 pm.
Ivey, Knights swing momentum in win over Tallassee
By Tim Gayle
Catholic quarterback Christian Ivey runs option with tailback Darrell Gibson trailing on play.
By Tim Gayle
Catholic linebacker T.J. Dudley records early sack of Tallassee quarterback Tyler Ellis in Friday's game.
Catholic’s Myles Butler hauled in a touchdown pass to end the first half and the Knights rolled to a touchdown to open the second half to spark a surprisingly easy 28-7 win over Tallassee on Friday night at Catholic.
The back-to-back touchdowns broke open a tight game and the Catholic defense did the rest, holding the Tigers to just 68 total yards over the first three quarters to turn what was supposed to be a fierce defensive battle into a lopsided win.
“That’s a big win for us,” Catholic senior Christian Ivey said. “That’s a 5A public school and we’re a private school. You start off the season different when you get a big win like that versus getting beat like last year, so it’s going to kick us off pretty good.”
It was Ivey’s pass to Butler that broke a 7-7 tie and appeared to break the will of the Tigers. Taking over at the Catholic 49 with 59.7 seconds left, Ivey completed passes to Orlando Whatley and Butler to move the Knights into field goal range, then to Morris Carmichael with 8.4 seconds left to put the ball on the Tallassee 4-yard line.
“We liked the matchup we had out there so we told Christian you’ve got about three seconds to get rid of it and if we don’t get it, we’re going to settle for a field goal,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “Make it happen. This is like do or die. We have to get this ball in the end zone. It was huge for momentum. That was a big key in giving us confidence going in at halftime.”
Ivey lofted a ball to the left side of the goal line and Butler hauled in the reception over cornerback Dalton Lanier with 3.4 seconds left. Zack Pappanastos added the second of three extra points for a 14-7 halftime lead.
“They had the ball for basically the whole first quarter, so us getting that at the end … just changed the whole game,” Ivey said. “The momentum flipped and stayed flipped the entire game. After that, it just started rolling. It was like our offense got confidence.”
The first quarter was a back-and-forth battle before Marciano Smith’s 1-yard run gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 9:47 left in the half. Up until that point, Tallassee had maintained the ball for 11 minutes, 34 seconds of the first 14:13, picking up seven points, six first downs and 46 yards.
The remainder of the game, Tallassee managed no points, three first downs and 52 total yards, with most of that coming in the fourth quarter after the outcome had been decided.
Catholic, held without a first down over the first 14 minutes, responded to Tallassee’s touchdown with a 15-play, 61-yard drive that converted a third-and-long situation, got Tallassee to jump offside on fourth down and answered the loss of tailback Darrell Gibson – who was forced to go to the sideline after his helmet came off – with a 4-yard touchdown run by T.J. Dudley, a linebacker forced into the offensive rotation by Gibson’s one play on the sideline.
The Knights opened the third quarter with another impressive drive, marching 93 yards in 12 plays.
“There were a couple of (halftime) adjustments we made based upon what they were giving us,” Blackwell said. “And we mixed up a couple of things, ran a couple of plays we had not run in the first half and were saving for the second half and it paid off for us.”
Gibson, who rushed for 93 yards on 20 carries, spun away from the Tallassee defense on a crucial third-and-three carry for 29 yards to the Tallassee 47. Ivey kept on the option for 12 yards, then four plays later ran the final 15 yards to effectively finish off the Tigers.
“(Catholic coaches) had just picked up on some things, some of their weaknesses,” Ivey said. “They came in there (at halftime) and got on the white board for about 10 minutes, then we came out and gave it to them.”
Ivey added another 19-yard run minutes later to set up Whatley’s 29-yard touchdown run and a 28-7 lead on the next play. Ivey finished with 49 yards rushing on five carries along with 71 yards passing.
Dudley finished with 14 tackles, while Pat Ryan had four sacks, including one of Tallassee quarterback Tyler Ellis that resulted in a fumble and an eight-yard fumble return by Ryan.
Last year, Catholic trailed by a touchdown early in the fourth quarter before faltering late in a 28-7 loss that fueled the Knights’ off-season conditioning workouts. This year, the Knights’ off-season work appears to have paid off with a better conditioned team manhandling the Tigers but Blackwell guards against reading too much into one game.
“Tallassee’s a great team, a great program,” Blackwell said. “Mike Battles does such a good job. This is just a small step in a long process. I don’t want this team to get ahead of itself. We’re going to take this one week at a time.”
Next week, the Knights head to Anniston, while the Tigers travel to Handley.
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO CHECK OUT MONTGOMERY INDEPENDENTS FALL SPORTS PREVIEW OF CATHOLIC FOOTBALL!
CJ Person is a finalist for the 4A Super All State/ Lineman of the Year!
The ASWA’s back and linemen of the year winners for each classification — plus Mr. Football and the Super All-State team — will be named at a luncheon Jan. 15 at the downtown Renaissance. CJ Person, a 4A lineman finalist, could be Catholic’s first major award-winning football player. 2017 Catholic Graduate, Brian Anderson also was a finalist his senior year and 2015 Catholic Graduate TJ Stokes was a finalist for 4A Mr. Football, neither winning the award.
Early Signing Day 2018
For 5 out of the past 6 years, Catholic Football has a player signing a NCAA D1 NLI. CJ Person inks his letter of intent with Indiana University. He follows other D1 NLI's - Tyler Price 18'(University of North Alabama), Parker Dennis 18'(Austin Peay); Brian Anderson 17' (U of North Carolina); TJ Stokes 15' (Miss Valley State); Reggie Jackson 15' (Miss Valley State); Tray and Taylor McCurdy 15' (Alabama A&M); James Sherman 14' (Texas State University). Current Knight Derrick Parker has received offers to play Division 1 and D2; Drew Smith and Cole Faucheux have received offers to play NCAA D3. Our February signing day will bring more Knights continuing to the next level!
CONGRATS TO CJ PERSON ON A GREAT SHOWING IN THE ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI GAME!
CJ PERSON SELECTED CO-CCC PLAYER OF THE YEAR; 9 OTHER KNIGHTS SELECTED TO THE ALL-CCC TEAM
Tony Amerson had an incredible record-setting year on offense for St. James.
CJ Person had an incredible record-setting year on defense for Catholic.
As the five coaches in the Capital City Conference pondered a selection for player of the year, the biggest decision facing them was how to separate the pair, which separately led their respective teams to the second round of the state playoffs but did not face each other this season.
Person, arguably the best defensive player in the city at any classification, had a school-record 11.5 sacks and a school-record 36 tackles for loss this past season for the Knights. His 100 tackles are the most in school history for a defensive lineman.
Amerson, arguably the best offensive player in the city at any classification, rushed for 5,092 yards in his career, the most ever in city history. He had 2,222 yards this season for the Trojans, another school record, and set records for longest kickoff return (96 yards vs. Beulah), most rushing touchdowns in a game (5 vs. Bullock County), and all-purpose yards in a season (2,480). His 27 touchdowns are one shy of the school record he set last year.
“He’s had several good years back to back, so he’d be tough to vote against,” Alabama Christian coach Nate Sanford reasoned. “My vote wouldn’t be a vote against either of them.”
So when the voting was complete, the coaches had chosen an all-Capital City Conference team and ultimately chose St. James coach Jimmy Perry as the coach of the year, but could not decide between Person and Amerson, selecting both as co-players of the year.
Amerson was one of five Trojans selected to the all-conference team, along with tight end Mike Shalayda and offensive lineman Jake Prickett, linebacker Alex Whisenhunt and defensive back Colin Duncan.
“No one has ever rushed for as many yards as he has, at any level, in the city of Montgomery or the surrounding area,” Perry said. “He set all those records but it was never about him, it was about us doing what we needed to do to win. He came to practice with a ‘game’ mindset every day. He never took a day off at practice. I think that’s what made him the player he was.”
Person was one of eight Knights selected to the team, along with offensive linemen Cred Thomas and Thomas McLaughlin, tailback Darrell Gibson, fellow defensive lineman Cole Faucheux, linebacker Drew Smith, defensive back Derrick Parker and punter Michael Russo.
“He is the total package,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “He’s put in 30 hours of community service, he’s got a 3.7 grade-point average, a 25 on his ACT and he’s done it all without a mother or father, just his grandmother. I cannot not vote for him because I know where he’s come from. And with the lack of resources he has had and to still do what he’s done is incredible. He was voted the team captain unanimously. Every single kid on my team voted for him to be the captain. I’ve never seen that happen. That maturity level he has is really incredible. There are a lot of times when he would get more attention when he spoke than even my coaches because the kids have so much respect for him.”
Person and Amerson both were first-team selections a year ago, along with Alabama Christian quarterback Reece Solar, Montgomery Academy receiver and defensive back Nate Meacham and Duncan.
Catholic’s eight first-team selections led the team that was selected by the coaches. Alabama Christian was second with six players selected, followed by St. James, Montgomery Academy and Trinity, all with five.
Of the 29 players selected, 21 were seniors, seven were juniors and one – ACA receiver Jalen Clark – was a sophomore.
ALL-CCC Football Team
WR – Nate Meacham, 5-11, 155, Sr., Montgomery Academy
WR – Jalen Clark, 6-1, 175, So., Alabama Christian
WR – Will Robertson, 6-1, 175, Jr., Montgomery Academy
WR – Jack Singletary, 5-9, 140, Sr., Trinity
TE – Mike Shalayda, 5-11, 161, Jr., St. James
OL – Jake Prickett, 5-7, 238, Sr., St. James
OL – Jackson Duke, 6-1, 205, Sr., Alabama Christian
OL – Bracken Osmer, 6-0, 225, Sr., Trinity
OL – Cred Thomas, 6-0, 220, Sr., Catholic
OL – Thomas McLaughlin, 6-1, 210, Sr., Catholic
TB – Tony Amerson, 5-10, 215, Sr., St. James
TB – Darrell Gibson, 5-9, 171, Jr., Catholic
QB – Trey Lindsey, 6-1, 175, Sr., Montgomery Academy
Athlete- Reece Solar, 6-2, 210, Sr., Alabama Christian
PK – Bradley Westhauser, 5-10, 170, Sr., Montgomery Academy
DL – Jeff Flowers, 6-0, 225, Sr. Alabama Christian
DL – C.J. Person, 6-2, 285, Sr., Catholic
DL – Cole Faucheux, 6-0, 290, Sr., Catholic
DL – Watkins Johnson, 5-11, 195, Jr., Trinity
LB – Alex Whisenhunt, 5-10, 163, Jr., St. James
LB – Brian Wilson, 6-0, 195, Sr., Montgomery Academy
LB – Dawson Locklier, 6-0, 195, Sr., Alabama Christian
LB – Drew Smith, 5-8, 182, Sr., Catholic
DB – Alex Harmon, 5-9, 150, Sr., Alabama Christian
DB – Colin Duncan, 5-11, 170, Sr., St. James
DB – Thomas Ladner, 5-8, 155, Jr., Trinity
DB – Derrick Parker, 6-0, 170, Sr., Catholic
Athlete – Thomas Hargrove, 5-10, 195, Sr., Trinity
P – Michael Russo, 5-11, 160, Jr., Catholic
Co-Player of the Year: CJ Person, Catholic
Co-Player of the Year: Tony Amerson, St. James
Coach of the Year: Jimmy Perry, St. James
Honorable mention: Tyler Britton, LB, Sr., Trinity; DJ Carter, WR, So., Catholic; Will Chandler, OL, So., Trinity; Cam Holmes, DL, Jr., Montgomery Academy; Josh Hynniman, DB, Jr., Trinity; Thomas Kirkham, OL, So., Montgomery Academy; Britton Kohn, DB, So., Montgomery Academy; Mac Main, DB, Jr., Montgomery Academy; Miller McCarthy, LB, So., Alabama Christian; Matt Prater, OL, Jr., St. James; Will Whiddon, DL, Sr., St. James; Bradley Woodham, DL, So., St, James; Brock Woodham, DB, Jr., St. James; Will Wright, OL, So., Alabama Christian.
Catholic’s offense took a while to get going but the defense did the job all night long as the Knights rolled to a 41-13 victory over Holtville in the first round of the 4A playoffs, marking the first time in school history the Knights have won first-round playoff games in consecutive years.
Catholic (8-3) will travel to Tuscaloosa next week to play American Christian Academy in the second round of the playoffs.
Christian Ivey threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another. In the first quarter Ivey connected with a wide-open D.J. Carter for a 65-yard score and later tossed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Gibson. Ivey scored on a quarterback sneak in the second half. Ivey was 4 of 8 for 116 yards.
Gibson scored on runs of 20 and 3 yards and had one touchdown run of 51 yards negated by a penalty. The Catholic workhorse carried the ball 29 times for 143 yards.
The defense for the Knights caused five turnovers -- a trio of interceptions and two fumbles.
Derrick Parker intercepted a halfback pass on the last play of the first half and returned it 28 yards to the Bulldogs’ end zone. Razz Chandler and Nathan Downes also pick off Holtville passes.
Marcus Dees recovered a Holtville fumble that led to a touchdown. Morris Carmichael recovered a Knights kickoff as the Holtville deep men thought the ball would make it into the end zone, but instead nestled in the mud at the one-yard line. Carmichael’s recovery led to Ivey’s quarterback sneak for a touchdown.
Catholic fumbled twice deep in its own territory to set up both of Holtville’s touchdowns. The Bulldogs (7-4) scored in the first half on a 5-yard Braxton Buck to Dajon Reeves pass. The second touchdown for Holtville came in the third quarter on a one-yard dive by Drake Baker. Outside of those two occasions Catholic yielded very little to its opponent.
“There’s no doubt about it, our defense really came through for us. They shut them down and forced turnovers and that is what we ask them to do every week,” Knights head coach Aubrey Blackwell said.
Catholic-Holtville matchup highlights first round of AHSAA playoffs
The first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association state playoffs opens this weekend for 15 teams in the River Region. One of the more intriguing matchup is the only one involving two local teams as Holtville (7-3) travels to Montgomery to play Catholic (7-3) on Friday night.
Holtville is returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2010, which is the last time the Bulldogs won more than two games in a season.
“Coach (Jason) Franklin has done a great job there,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “They’re one of the most improved programs (in the state) in the last couple of years. He’s done a great job with those kids. They’re playing with confidence.
“They do a really good job of spreading it out, throwing on time and the quarterback (Braxton Buck) does a good job with his accuracy and protects the football. They have a couple of receivers that do a good job of going and getting it.”
Buck is coming off a five-touchdown performance in a 70-6 win over archrival and winless Marbury. While the Knights prepared for the playoffs by beefing up their schedule with T.R. Miller, Anniston, Tallassee and Beauregard as non-region opponents, Blackwell’s team has yet to face a team that will throw the ball like Holtville.
“We haven’t played a true four-wide (offense), a team that’s going to throw it 30 times,” Blackwell said. “We haven’t seen that. They’re good at what they do. I do like our matchups in the secondary, but they do a good job of finding the weaknesses so it’s going to be important for us to make plays and get some pressure on the quarterback.”
Catholic will counter with a running attack led by Darrell Gibson and an oversized defensive front that includes the 290-pound Cole Faucheux and the 285-pound CJ Person.
“We’ve really challenged our defensive line to make pressure and get pressure when we need it,” Blackwell said. “Make him uncomfortable.”
While the Bulldogs are coming off an impressive win, the Knights are trying to rebound from a disappointing loss after losing the region championship at Headland two weeks ago.
“We’ve got everybody healthy,” Blackwell said. “We had a couple of starters out versus Headland and we’ve got them back. We had a great off week last week, got people healed up and got back to the fundamentals. Our guys are mentally ready. We fell short of the region championship but their eyes are still on Auburn.”
Reaching the Super Seven, however, will be difficult in a playoff bracket that includes American Christian and perennial favorite UMS-Wright.
“It would’ve been an easier path if we would have won the region championship,” Blackwell admitted. “Either way, to earn this state championship you’re got to go through UMS-Wright and through American Christian. We haven’t really thought about it or talked about it. We have to worry about Holtville.”
PERSON VOTED WSFA'S WEEK 9 FEVER PLAYER OF THE WEEK!
CLICK HERE AND SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM TO WATCH THE CLIP!
KNIGHTS SENIOR, CJ PERSON, PRESENTED HIS ALABAMA JERSEY FOR THE ALABAMA MISSISSIPPI GAME!
Knights defeat TR Miller 27-3
Catholic 27, T.R. Miller 3
Christian Ivey completed 7 of 12 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 17 yards and another touchdown as Catholic handed T.R. Miller its third consecutive loss in surprisingly easy fashion on Friday night.
Darrell Gibson rushed for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 carries to lead Catholic (7-2) to its third consecutive win. The Knights travel to Headland next week for the 4A Region 2 championship.
Myles Butler had two catches for 97 yards and DJ Carter had two catches for 53 yards and a touchdown to lead the Knights. Drew Smith led the defensive effort with nine tackles, including four for loss.
T.R. Miller presents 'unique' challenge to Catholic
If you want to be the best, you’ve got to play the best.
It may be a tired cliché, but Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell certainly believes it as he prepares his Knights for their final non-region game on Friday at home against T.R. Miller.
T.R. Miller first gained statewide prominence under former coach Jamie Riggs in the 1990s, establishing itself as the winningest program in the state in that decade. Over the past 25 years, T.R. Miller is one of only three programs in the state (Maplesville and Hoover) that has won more than 250 games. The Tigers also rank second in high school history in playoff appearances with 37 (trailing only Sweet Water, who has 38) and are third in playoff victories with 87, trailing Hoover (96) and Colbert County (88).
“Their pedigree is great,” Blackwell said. “We want to be there. We want people to look at us and say the same thing about our program. We need to continue to play programs like we’ve played that have a high pedigree and that are used to winning.”
The Tigers are the fourth non-region game for Catholic this year and Blackwell made an attempt to upgrade the Class 4A Knights’ non-region schedule, particularly with 5A opponents Tallassee and Beauregard. Both of those games were on the road and the two represent the only defeats suffered by Catholic this season.
“They’re extremely well coached and I knew that would be a challenge for our guys,” Blackwell said of T.R. Miller. “We want to play games that put us on the map and that’s what we’ve done with Tallassee and Beauregard and want to continue to do it with T.R. Miller.”
Blackwell said he scheduled the game during a coaching change at the Brewton school by contacting former interim head coach Marc Edge, who is now a coordinator under Riggs at Houston Academy.
“Marc was the interim head coach before Keith (Etheredge) was hired, so I scheduled the game with Marc,” Blackwell said. “Marc was a former General and coached me at Robert E. Lee. That was our off week in the region and being that late was pretty odd. We had matching off weeks in region play.”
Etheredge is in his first season at T.R. Miller after coaching for two years at Pell City. He first gained attention as the head coach at his alma mater, leading Leeds to a 107-34 record in 10 years, including state championships in 2008, 2010 and 2014.
Blackwell said T.R. Miller, just as Tallassee and Beauregard did, provide some unique challenges to the Knights that make him grateful for upgrading the schedule as the playoffs approach.
“We’ve learned more out of those two games than we have any other this year,” Blackwell said, “because it put us in some tough predicaments and made us put some guys in different positions and got us in a playoff mindset against two quality programs. I think it accomplished most everything we wanted to accomplish in scheduling those games. We wanted to win those two and we definitely had chances to win both of them, but we were able to learn a lot.
“T.R. Miller is going to be the first defense that we’ve played that play the coverages that they play and the front that they play. Offensively, they’re an old-school, power I team that is going to run it right at you, unique to what we’ve played. So they present some things that we haven’t seen on Friday nights in our region. And we’ll get some of the same thing the next week from Headland – a lot of pro I, hard ‘downhill’ stuff – so it’ll help us the next week against Headland, which will be for our region championship.”
KNIGHTS WIN HOMECOMING MATCH 41-0 OVER BTW-TUSKEGEE; DEFENSE POSTS 3RD SHUTOUT OF THE SEASON
Montgomery Catholic jumped out to a 34-0 halftime lead to secure a home playoff spot in Round 1 of the 2018 AHSAA 4A Football Playoffs on November 9th at 7:00 pm at Knight Stadium. Christian Ivey completed touchdown passes to Derrick Parker, DJ Carter, and Myles Butler, finishing 10/14 156 yards passing. Darrell Gibson carried the ball 15 times for 112 yards rushing and 2 TDS. The Knights Defense only surrender 117 yards of total offense, with only 34 yards of that in the 1st half. The Knights improve to 5-0 in region play with the region championship coming up in two weeks at Headland High School. The Knights will have a home non-region bout against #9 Ranked 3A opponent TR Miller next week.
Catholic remains undefeated in region with win over Ashford
Catholic's Darrell Gibson rushed for more than 100 yards and surpassed 1,000 yards for the season.
It’s great when a plan comes together, and it did for Catholic Friday as the Knights demolished region foe Ashford 30-0. In the game, Catholic running back Darrell Gibson had another 100 yard plus game and surpassed the 1,000 yard mark for the season. But Gibson’s effort came in the second half after the Knights passing game loosened the Ashford defense. “That was the plan. We figured they would key on Darrell and they did. So we took to the air and spread them out. In the second half we gave it to Darrell and he made sure we expanded our lead,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said.
“We are basically a run offense. When we passed a good bit in the first half it put them where we wanted them,” Knights quarterback Christian Ivey said. Ivey was 12 of 20 for 144 yards.
Catholic drove down the field on its first possession and settled for a 28 yard Michael Russo field goal to go ahead 3-0. Ashford’s defense remained tough but eventually surrendered a touchdown when Ivey connected with D.J. Carter for a 33 yard touchdown pass with only 32 seconds remaining in the first half. Catholic held a 10-0 lead at halftime.
The Catholic running game flourished quickly in the second half after Ashford was expecting the passing attack to continue. Gibson got back to normal and carried the ball on seven consecutive plays to put Catholic up 16-0 late in the third quarter. The 71 yard drive was earned solely on the ground by Gibson.
Until the fourth quarter neither team had turned the ball over, but on the first two plays of the final period the teams exchanged mistakes. Ivey was intercepted on the first play of the fourth quarter and then Ashford fumbled on the next play with C.J. Person grabbing the loose ball. Catholic was certainly the beneficiary of the swap since the Knights inherited good field position on the Yellow Jackets 20 yard line. Once again it was all Gibson. Three straight runs and Gibson collected another 20 yards and a touchdown to put the Knights ahead 23-0.
Ivey scrambled and threw to Myles Butler for a 14 yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone to conclude scoring for the game. Ashford fumbled again on its next possession which was recovered by Nathan Downes.
“I was proud of the guys for the comeback tonight after that tough loss last week. I like our position in the region right now sitting at 4-0. We still got a lot of football to play and we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but we’re happy with our progress,” Blackwell said.
Catholic is now 5-2 overall and will host Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee for homecoming next week.
Catholic's CJ Person chosen for Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic
CJ Person becomes the 3rd Knight selected to the Alabama Mississippi All Star Game in the last 5 years! Former Knights, Brian Anderson (University of North Carolina - MCPS Class of 2017) and James Sherman (Texas State University - MCPS Class of 2014), both played in the prestigous game.
It was a gutsy call by the Trinity Wildcats, but Catholic had the answer.
Trinity opened the game with an onside kick in Friday’s region matchup at Catholic, but the Knights responded by holding the Wildcats to three yards in three plays, forcing a punt to keep the momentum from leading to a repeat of last year’s upset by the Wildcats.
“That was huge,” Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “That was the drive of the game, really. When we got in the (pre-game) huddle on the sideline, we told our kids, expect it, they’re probably going to try it. But what a statement by our defense right off the bat. Just an overall great effort.”
Catholic scored a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter and two more in the second half to put away Trinity 28-0, handing the Wildcats their biggest loss in the series and their first shutout loss to a city team since losing to Montgomery Academy in 2015.
It also avenged Catholic’s only regular-season loss last year, a 32-22 upset at Ragsdale-Boykin Field.
“It was definitely a different mentality this week,” Catholic senior C.J. Person said. “At the same time, it’s another game on the schedule and we try not to dwell on the past, even though it did amp us up a lot. Of course, we wanted to come back out here and prove that last year was just a fluke. We did that.”
The Wildcats (1-4) played two quarterbacks after losing Rob Chandler and his backup, John David Bonner, to injuries earlier this season. Jack Collett started the game and was spelled at times throughout the game by senior wideout Nexton Marshall. Collett was 4 of 7 for 9 yards with a pair of interceptions and was sacked three times for a loss of 14 yards. Marshall did not attempt a pass, but carried the ball five times for 11 yards.
“We practiced for two different quarterbacks, for 6 (Collett) and 15 (Marshall),” Blackwell said. “Our defensive staff does a great job of preparing those guys and they did a great job tonight of just being relentless to the ball.”
Trinity had the ball for just 34 plays, managing just 27 total yards. Switching quarterbacks didn’t help, Person explained.
“We’re taught to play our keys,” Person said, “and a certain type of player isn’t a key. If I’m taught to read the shoulder, I don’t care whose shoulder I’m reading.”
A standout performance by Trinity on defense kept the game close, although the Wildcats never threatened offensively, managing just one first down in the second half. Darrell Gibson had 96 yards on 24 carries for Catholic, scoring on a trio of 3-yard runs before D.J. Carter added an 18-yard scoring reception from Christian Ivey in the fourth quarter.
What started as a brilliant call by Trinity coach Barry Loyal to open the game mattered little for an offense whose longest plays were runs of 12 and 11 yards on first-half possessions.
“It’s just something we saw on film,” Loyal said. “You’re trying to find things to gain an advantage. We’re trying to do everything we can do and look for every little thing we can try to put our guys in the best situation.”
The Catholic defense, however, was up to the challenge.
“That was big because it was literally the first play of the game,” Person said. “We just came out and did what we had to do.”
Catholic (4-1) improved to 3-0 in region play and will travel to Beauregard next week. Trinity will play host to Montgomery Academy next week, but Loyal was encouraged by his team’s inspired play on defense despite the crippling injuries.
“We definitely talked about that, improving from last week to this week and representing the name on the front of our shirts,” Loyal said. “And we did that. I’m proud of them. We just have to keep plugging away. Our seniors are great. I know they’re hurting, but I also know they’re going to keep plugging away.”
Montgomery QB Club honors CJ Person as Player of the Week
Updated ; Posted
The Montgomery Quarterback Club has announced its Players of the Week for games of September 14. C. J. Person from Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School is the Private School Player of the Week and Bryce Kelly from Pike Road Schools is the Public School Player of the Week. Both players will be honored at the Club's next meeting on Tuesday, September 25. Dari Nowkhah, lead anchor for the SEC Network, will be the featured speaker
C.J. Person, a senior defensive tackle, had 8 tackles, seven for a loss, and 4 sacks in Catholic's 28-8 win over Alabama Christian Academy. He is committed to play next season for Indiana University.
Montgomery Catholic, coached by Aubrey Blackwell, is 3-1 on the season and hosts Trinity Presbyterian School this week.
Bryce Kelly, a junior wide receiver, had five catches for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns in Pike Road's 34-6 win over Southside Selma. On defense, he had 4 tackles, an interception, and caused a fumble.
Pike Road, coached by Patrick Browning, is 4-0 on the season and plays Bullock County this week at Alabama State University.
The Montgomery Quarterback Club meets at the Capital City Club in downtown Montgomery. The social hour begins at 5:15 followed by dinner at 6:15 and the program at 6:45. Guests are welcome at Quarterback Club meetings but must make an advance reservation by calling Rebecca Williams at 356-1004 and pay $40 at the door. For information on becoming a member of the Montgomery Quarterback Club, visit the Club's website atwww.mgmqbackclub.org
CONGRATS TO SENIOR DEFENSIVE BACK DERRICK PARKER ON PICKING UP HIS FIRST COLLEGE FOOTBALL OFFER TO FAULKNER UNIVERSITY!
Catholic followed its plan and won its region game at ACA 28-8 on Friday night.
“It was our plan to use Darrell (Gibson) quite a bit. He got the job done,” Catholic head coach Aubrey Blackwell said. Gibson, a junior, accumulated 180 yards on 26 carries. As a team, the Knights rushed for 194 yards.
Quarterback Christian Ivey was 8 for 12 in the passing department for 74 yards.
The Catholic defense kept ACA quarterback Reece Solar contained. Solar was 12 for 22 for 90 yards. He was not allowed to scramble and was often hurried on his passing attempts.
Catholic took the lead 7-0 when Ivey connected with Derrick Parker from 22 yards out. ACA countered quickly when Solar delivered a perfect strike to Alex Harmon for a 13-yard touchdown. Garrett Cottingham powered his way into the end zone for a two-point conversion to give the Eagles an 8-7 lead.
After that the night belonged to the Knights. Razz Chandler got into the end zone from 8 yards away to give Catholic a 14-8 lead at intermission.
After a scoreless third quarter Catholic began to wear down ACA. With about 9 minutes remaining Gibson darted down the sideline from 40 yards to put the Knights up 21-8. ACA lost the ball on its next possession by not recovering a backward pass (fumble). Catholic’s Jack Burt covered the loose pigskin to stop the ACA drive. Almost 5 minutes later Gibson forced his way into the end zone to give the Knights a 28-8 lead with only 1:10 left in the game.
“Our conditioning program in the off season has served us well. I think we got stronger as the game went on. It was a big win for us and we played well,” Blackwell said.
Catholic is now 3-1 and will host Trinity next week. ACA stands at 1-3 and will travel to Dale County next week.
MIDLAND CITY – Darrell Gibson rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries and added another score on a 25-yard reception as Catholic cruised past Dale County 48-16 in the region opener for both teams on Friday night.
Catholic (2-1) had tuned up for region play with Tallassee and Anniston, while Dale County (2-1) had outscored Ariton and G.W. Long 97-19 before facing the defending region champions on Friday.
Catholic quarterback Christian Ivey passed for 81 yards and a touchdown and added 75 yards in the victory.
Defensively, the Knights forced five turnovers, including an interception by Patrick Ryan and a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown by Derrick Parker. CJ Person had 11 tackles, including four for loss, to lead the defensive effort. The senior also forced a fumble and recovered another fumble for a touchdown.
Catholic travels across town next Friday for a region matchup with Alabama Christian, while Dale County remains home to play Ashford in a region game.
KNIGHTS WIN IN WEEK 2 IN THE MUD BOWL 16-9 OVER ANNISTON!!!
Catholic earned its first win of 2018 by outlasting Anniston 16-9 at home. Darrell Gibson led the attack for the Knights with 132 yards on 34 carries. Quarterback Christian Ivey scored on an 11 yard run. Morris Carmichael found the end zone with a 9 yard reception from Ivey.
The Catholic defense forced four turnovers, two of which were interceptions by Nate Downes and Raz Chandler. Jalen Fountain forced a fumble recovered by Marcus Dees. The defense also forced a safety and allowed only 3 points. C.J. Person led the defense with 8 tackles.
Catholic is now 1-1 for the season and will begin region play next week with a trip to Dale County.
HERE'S YOUR 2018 MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER CATHOLIC KNIGHTS PREVIEW!!
THE KNIGHTS FOOTBALL TEAM GAVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY THIS WEEK BY SERVING AS VOLUNTEERS AT THE MONTGOMERY AREA FOOD BANK. THE KNIGHTS SORTED PRODUCE, BOXES, PACKED FOOD ITEMS, AND CLEANED. OUR PROGRAM IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST A GAME!
CONGRATS TO 2019 CJ PERSON FOR HIS COMMITMENT TO INDIANA UNIVERSITY!!!!
2018 SENIOR, WILLIAM HOOPER HAS BEEN SELECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NORTH SOUTH ALL STAR GAME!!!!