Story by Kamarri Darrington / Central Alabama Scoreboard
Photos by Brian Tannehill / Director of Photography
ELMORE — It was Edgewood’s turn to honor its seniors on Thursday. Unfortunately, Banks Academy was a rude visitor to Storrs Field.
Edgewood’s defense provided little resistance to the larger Banks Academy offensive front and the Jets took advantage. Banks Academy ran for 314 yards and pulled away for a 47-19 win.
“Banks came out in a formation we haven’t seen all year,” Edgewood coach Chad Michael said. “It really caught us off guard. You could tell the first couple of series. They hit a couple of big plays on us. We had guys there, but we just couldn’t make those plays.”
Josh Bonner led the Jets with 231 rushing yards and three touchdowns on six carries. His first touch resulted in a 66-yard touchdown run that gave Banks (4-2) a 7-0 lead just 40 seconds into the game.
Bonner took the ball 78 yards on his third touch of the first half to extend the Jets lead to 13-0. He capped off the hat trick with a 51-yard run with 7:47 left in the third quarter to give Banks Academy a 27-6 lead.
Banks quarterback Anthony Ruffin completed two passes all game and both went for touchdowns. Ruffin’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Timothy Aldridge gave the Jets a 20-0 lead. Ruffin then hit Issiac Smith on a 69-yard scoring strike for a 34-12 lead.
Quenterius Chandler (19 yards) and Tremael Almacen (44 yards) added touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to end the scoring for the Jets.
Edgewood (2-4) gained 240 total yards, but the numbers would have been much better without seven dropped passes from Wildcat receivers.
Wildcats quarterback Austin Champion completed 10 of 31 passes for 173 yards and three scores. Gabe LeMaster was held to 30 rushing yards on 10 carries and Champion rushed for 16 yards on five carries. Bradley Boone caught four passes for 105 yards and two scores.
Champion hit Boone on a 25-yard scoring strike to put Edgewood on the board at 20-6 late in the first half. Boone caught a 67-yard touchdown pass from Champion late in the third quarter to cut the Banks Academy lead to 27-12. LeMaster caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Champion midway through the fourth quarter.
“I told Austin that I thought he played a great game,” Michael said. “We probably left 14 points off the board with some drops here and there. Austin was composed, stepped up and made great throws. We’ve got to make plays around him.”
Edgewood will have until next Thursday to figure things out before a trip to Macon-East Academy next Thursday to resume region play.
The Wildcats currently sit at 1-1, tied with Abbeville Christian for the third playoff spot from AISA Class AA, Region 1.
“We’ve got to get some of our guys back,” Michael said. “We’re a little banged up right now. We’ve got to hope we can heal up in seven days, because we’re facing a well-coached and very good Macon-East team.”
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