Story by AHSAA Staff
Graphic courtesy of Decatur Heritage High School/Coach Dylan Mussleman
MONTGOMERY – Decatur Heritage High School senior quarterback Brayden Kyle turned in the performance of a lifetime in last week’s wild 76-60 Class 1A football playoff victory.
He accounted for 629 total yards and had a hand in 11 touchdowns to set a number of AHSAA single-game state records and grab this week’s AHSAA Football Playoff Spotlight for week 2 of the 2021 state playoffs.
It was originally reported he had 609 total yards with four TD passes and seven rushing scores. However, upon review by Coach Steve Meek and his staff, his total yardage was actually 629 yards and total touchdowns accounted for were still 11 – coming on an 11-of-18 passing performance for 271 yards and three touchdown passes and 18 rush attempts for 358 yards and eight touchdowns. The 629 total yards in a single game broke the AHSAA all-time single-game record and his 11 TDs accounted for also set a new AHSAA single-game state record.
His 629 total yards also rank ninth best nationally all-time. The national record, set in 2015 by Matt Miller DuBois High School (PA) versus Meadville (PA), is 787 yards. Kyle, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior, also had 507 total yards in the Eagles’ first-round 48-28 playoff triumph over Marion County. He was 14-of-20 passing for 353 yards and three TDs and rushed for 154 yards and four touchdowns on 11 carries in that game. He now has completed 25-of-38 passes for 624 yards and six TDs in two playoff games this post-season, and he has had 29 rush attempts for 512 yards and 12 touchdowns – a total of 1,136 total yards and 18 touchdowns accounted for. His yards-per-carry average have been 17.0 yards per play; 17.7 yards per rush attempt and 25.0 yards per completion and a touchdown accounted for every 3.7 plays.
Decatur Heritage’s Meek was still awed by his quarterback’s performance when questioned by Talladega Daily Home sports editor Lavonte Young. “I’m amazed every week and I’m blessed again to have him on our team,” Meek said. “I would hate to scheme against or try to stop him. He is amazing. He loves the game. He loves to compete. He is a competitor and a winner.”
Ragland head coach Wes Tidwell praised Kyle and his own Ragland team after on the loss. “I don’t know where you find a better football game to watch than this one,” he told Young. “We knew coming in that they were going to be tough to stop. That kid (Kyle) is tough to get on the ground. They did a great job running routes, they are well-coached.
“When you have a kid like that, it is tough. Our kids responded and they played hard. I’m as proud of how they fought in the second half as if we won the ball game. You can’t coach what they did, they came out and fought.”
Ragland quarterback Owen Schall threw four TD passes to lead Ragland, and Ezra Hill returned a kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown for the Purple Devils.
Jack Poundstone of Trinity Presbyterian held the state record (618), which he west in a 2008 playoff game versus Cordova. St. John Paul II Catholic quarterback Seth Brown had 614 total yards in a 2019 game versus West Morgan.
The previous touchdowns accounted for record (9) was shared by three different players. James Raines of Berry High School had nine TD passes and passed for seven 2-point conversions in a 68-0 win over Brilliant in 2015. Hubbertville’s Tommy Haley-Ricks rushed for nine touchdowns in a 76-52 win over Vina in 2008, and Victory Christian’s Brent Gulledge threw nine TD passes in a 70-6 triumph over Lyman Ward in 2004. All three games came in the regular season.
Kyle’s eight rushing touchdowns is one shy of the state record (9) set by Haley-Ricks in 2008, and his 50 total points scored ties for 6thmost all-time behind Haley-Ricks’ 58 points scored in in 2008.
The 136 points combined in the Decatur Heritage-Ragland playoff game were the most ever scored in an AHSAA state playoff game – beating the previous total (135) scored by Clay-Chalkville (85) and Scottsboro (50) in a Class 6A playoff game in 2014.
Childersburg’s 82-64 win over Central Coosa in the final game of the regular season in 2016 combined for 146 points and is the all-time AHSAA record. Parrish and Hubbertville combined for 139 points in a 2003 win by the Tornadoes 81-58, and Slocomb beat Houston County 124-12 in 1931 for 136 points to set the all-time record originally which stood for 85 years.
Decatur Heritage (10-2) moves into the quarterfinals of the Class 1A state playoffs this Friday with a home game versus Pickens County (10-2) to be played at West Morgan High School.
Classes 1A through 6A will all be competing in the quarterfinals, and in Class 7A, Hoover (12-0) hosts Thompson (11-1) and Central-Phenix City (12-0) hosts Auburn as the AHSAA’s largest class moves into the semifinals this Friday.
The Hoover vs. Thompson rematch of Region 3 rivals will be this week’s AHSAA TV Network / NFHS Network Game of the Week. It will be produced by WOTM TV with Vince Earley serving as executive producer. The AHSAA TV Network will also produce a Small-School Playoff Game of the Week as well featuring Clarke County (10-2) vs. B.B. Comer (10-2) at Sylacauga’s Legion Stadium Friday night. The game will be live over the NFHS Network and delayed over the AHSAA TV Network.
Currently, 24 of the 26 playoff games this week are set to be shown over the NFHS Network’s School Broadcast Program subscriber-based platform, and 21 games are set for live audio over approved radio or internet affiliates.
Other first-round playoff highlights reported this week include:
JEREMIAH COBB, MONTGOMERY-CATHOLIC: Totaled 192 yards on 19 rush attempts and score three touchdowns (two rushing and one receiving) as the Knights (12-0) blanked Bayside Academy 31-0 in the Class 3A state playoffs. The shutout was the seventh this season for Catholic, breaking the previous record set in each of the 1946 and 1947 seasons. Senior Javen Augustus led the defensive effort with 10 tackles, including three for losses.
JACK HAYES, PIEDMONT: Completed 10-of-20 pass attempts for 165 yards and three touchdowns (57, 36 and 18 yards) and rushed for 76 yards on 14 carries with a 3-yard score in the Bulldogs’ 31-0 Class 3A playoff win over Lauderdale County. Hayes now ranks fourth on ≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥≥hjthe AHSAA all-time list for career touchdown passes (109) and fifth on the all-time list for career touchdowns accounted for (146).
L.T. SANDERS, GARDENALE: Had 29 carries for 298 yards rushing and three touchdowns as the Rockets beat Homewood 35-27 in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs. In the process, he became the school’s career all-time leading rusher. The 298 yards also set a single-game school record for Gardendale as well.
JUSTIN PEGUES, THOMPSON: Amassed 200 all-purposes yards with 18 carries for 127 yards and a score, two catches for 25 yards and two punt returns for 48 yards as the defending Class 7A state champion Warriors (11-1) beat Oak Mountain 45-7 for its 10thconsecutive playoff win to set up a Class 7A semifinal rematch with Hoover this week.
ZACH PYRON, PINSON VALLEY: The Indians’ quarterback combined for 135 yards and two touchdowns as the defending Class 6A state champion Indians (9-3) blanked Oxford 20-0 for their 7th playoff win in row and their 20th in 21 tries since 2017. He rushed for 82 yards and passed for 53. Pyron also quarterbacked Fyffe to the 2019 state title.
KHAIFA KEITH, PARKER: Ran for 275 yards and five touchdowns and scored a sixth TD on a pass reception to lead the Thundering Herd to a 41-34 win over previously undefeated Alexandria in the 5A state playoffs.
WILL STOKES, MADISON ACADEMY: Ran for 252 yards and five touchdowns (21, 15, 6, 5 and 3 yards) on 26 carries in a 35-7 Class 4A win over Priceville.
EARL WOODS, HUEYTOWN: Totaled 19 carries for 217 rushing yards and a touchdown and was 5-of-13 passing for 130 yards and two touchdowns as the Gophers (11-1) beat McGill-Toolen Catholic 49-17 in the 6A playoffs.
COSNER HARRISON, SAINT JAMES: Rushed 30 times for 214 yards and two touchdowns in Trojans’ 45-33 loss to Jackson in the Class 4A playoffs. He also scored on a hook-and-lateral pass play taking the pitch and racing 59 yards for the final touchdown.
TYCHIUS “BOBO” CAVES, JACKSON: Had 10 carries for 211 yards and a TD and two receptions for 45 yards and a TD in the Aggies’ 45-33 Class 4A playoff win over St. James.
DAVAIOUN WILLIAMS, AUBURN: Had 14 rush attempts for 175 yards and three touchdowns (2,1 and 38 yards) as the Tigers beat Enterprise 56-21 to move into the Class 7A state playoff semifinals with the win.
EDWARD OSLEY, CLAY-CHALKVILLE: Ran 22 times for 175 yards and three touchdowns to pace the Cougars (12-0) to a 56-21 Class 6A playoff win over Briarwood Christian.
DEMARCUS LACEY, PLEASANT GROVE: Ran 17 times for 174 yards and two touchdowns AS THE Spartans (11-1) downed Leeds 35-0 in the Class 5A playoffs.
JAMARI THOMAS, OPELIKA: Ran for 173 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries to lead the Bulldogs to a 28-14 Class 6A playoff win over Spanish Fort.
CHRISTIAN BURNETTE, FAITH ACADEMY: Finished with 155 yards rushing, 112 yards receiving and three TDs as the Rams beat Central-Clay County 40-33 in the Class 5A playoffs. Burnette’s 80-yard run with 3:01 remaining gave Faith the lead for good.
BRADEN MOORE, ONEONTA: Had 18 carries for 153 yards and two touchdowns as the Redskins beat Gordo 36-26 to advance in the Class 4A state playoffs.
WILL WALDROP, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Ran 21 times for 157 yards and three touchdowns as the Spartans (11-1) beat Jackson-Olin 45-14 in the Class 6A state playoffs.
KYLE DUKES, FYFFE: Ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns (60 and 5 yards) on 14 carries in a 43-14 Class 3A playoff win over J.B. Pennington. It was the Rebels’ 17th straight playoff win.
JASHAWN COOPER, MONTGOMERY ACADEMY: Had 29 carries for 131 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 21-17 Class 3A playoff win over Trinity Presbyterian.
KYLER MURKS, BROOKS: Scored on four touchdown runs covering 70 and 38 yards and two from a yard out) and also passed for two TDs (66 and 35 yards) as the unbeaten Lions (12-0) downed Randolph (10-2) in the 4A playoffs 42-21.
DREW SEYMORE, DEMOPOLIS: Completed 16-of-31 passes for 355 yards and two touchdowns in 48-26 Class 5A playoff loss to Andalusia.
TANNER BAILEY, GORDO: Was 18-of-29 passing for 250 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-26 Class 4A playoff setback to Oneonta.
ETHAN CRAWFORD, HILLCREST-TUSCALOOSA: Had 283 yards total offense in the Patriots’ 28-22 Class 6A playoff victory over Baldwin County. He was 11-of-17 passing for 148 yards and rushed 15 times for 135 yards.
MILLER HART, T.R. MILLER: Passed for 237 yards and three touchdowns to lead T.R. Miller past Opp 35-14 in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.
SAWYER DEERMAN, AMERICAN CHRISTIAN: Was 9-of-14 passing for 233 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 58 yards and two more scores to lead the Patriots past Jacksonville 49-35 in the Class 4A playoffs.
GABE REYNOLDS, SARALAND: Was near perfect with a 15-of-16 passing performance for 221 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Spartans defeated Lee-Montgomery 35-6 to advance to the Class 6A quarterfinals.
CHAPEL POPE, SPRING GARDEN: Connected on 14-of-17 pass attempts for 202 yards and five touchdowns (2, 17, 27, 26 and 36 yards) and also ran for 66 yards on 21 carries in the Panthers’ 40-35 Class 2A playoff win over Aliceville.
JAVION BELLE-McCRARY, PICKENS COUNTY: Had a 9-of-15 passing effort for 159 yards and three touchdowns and added 82 yards rushing with two more TDs as the Tornadoes advanced in the 1A playoffs with a 38-16 win over Winterboro.
AIDAN QUINN, WINFIELD: Tossed touchdown passes of 68, 50 and 22 yards in a 56-27 Class 3A playoff victory over Ohatchee.
TYLER CAMPBELL, JACKSON: Had two touchdown catches for 150 yards total as the Aggies beat Saint James 45-33 in the 4A playoffs.
CAM’RON WRIGHT, DEMOPOLIS: Snagged six pass receptions for 144 yards in the Tigers’ 48-26 Class 5S loss to Andalusia.
AUSTIN ESTES, PIEDMONT: Caught five passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns (57 and 36 yards) in the Bulldogs’ 31-0 Class 3A victory over Lauderdale County.
LAWSON NEEL, GORDO: Had five receptions for 109 receiving yards and one TD in a 36-26 Class 4A playoff loss to Oneonta.
R.J. HAMILTON, HOOVER: Caught nine passes for 103 yards and a touchdown in the Bucs’ 24-23 Class 7A playoff win over Hewitt-Trussville.
COOPER AUSTIN, SPRING GARDEN: Led the Panthers (12-0) with seven receptions for 100 yards and three touchdowns (2, 17 and 36 yards) and also rushed for a 10-yard touchdown as Spring Garden beat Aliceville 40-35 to advance to the Class 2A state playoff quarterfinals. Teammate Cam Welsh also had six catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns (27 and 26 yards).
OMARI KELLY, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: Caught nine passes for 85 yards and a touchdown in A 24-23 Class 7A playoff loss to Hoover.
JERMAINE BREWER, ALICEVILLE: Accounted for four touchdowns – including a 65-yard pass, 10-yard run, and pass plays covering 22 and 8 yards for a total of four touchdowns in a 40-35 Class 2A playoff loss to Spring Garden.
IVERSON HOOKS, PIKE ROAD: Returned an interception 100 yards for what appeared to be a game-clinching touchdown, but an illegal block inside the 10-yard line nullified the score. He then ran 19 yards for the TD on the next offensive play to seal the win – leading the unbeaten Patriots (11-0) to a 29-17 Class 5A win over defending Class 5A state champion St. Paul’s Episcopal. Pike Road’s quarterback/defensive back also rushed for 113 yards and two TDs on 27 carries. Teammate Khurtiss Perry also recorded a safety, a sack and five tackles.
ROBERT COURTNEY, UMS-WRIGHT: Returned a Greenville fumble 14 yards for a score with 3:17 left to help the Bulldogs hold on for a 14-12 win in the Class 5A second round. He also had 12 solo tackles and 3 assists.
LANDON SMART, PIEDMONT: Registered 16 tackles, including five behind the line of scrimmage, in the Bulldogs’ 31-0 Class 3A playoff victory over Lauderdale County.
KOBE HARPER, ONEONTA: Totaled 11 tackles and blocked two punts, recovering one for a touchdown, in Oneonta’s 36-26 Class 4A playoff win over Gordo.
BRYANT STORY, JR., LANETT: Returned an interception 58 yards for a touchdown and teammate Tieka Williams added a 37-yard pick for a TD as the Panthers beat Luverne 33-0 in the 2A state playoffs.
OMARION FOSTER, PIEDMONT: Picked off a pair of passes in the Bulldogs’
31-0 Class 3A playoff victory over Lauderdale County. He now has eight interceptions for the season.
WEBBER McCLINTON, TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN: Totaled 11 tackles in a 21-17 Class 3A playoff loss to Montgomery Academy.
BRAD HARPER, AUBURN: Blocked an Enterprise punt, picked it up and ran 54 yards for a special-teams touchdown as the Tigers advanced to the 7A semifinals with a 56-21 win over Enterprise.
DREW COOK, WINFIELD: Recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown in the Pirates’ 56-27 Class 3A playoff win over Ohatchee.
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