By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
An off night for Ty Jones is still better than most high school football players’ best nights.
In one of his worst statistical performances of the season, which speaks volumes about the kind of monster 2012 campaign he’s enjoyed thus far, Vinemont’s one-of-a-kind running back tallied only 192 yards on 25 carries in last Friday’s 47-20 home victory over Winston County.
But don’t feel bad for Jones. The Alabama Sports Writers and Alabama High School Athletic associations certainly don’t. Both groups included the senior in their weekly awards on Monday, marking the eighth time in nine weeks he’s been recognized.
Fairview’s Luke Bailey, another familiar face in the ASWA and AHSAA’s spotlights, also made both associations’ lists of “other top performances.”
Jones streak of four straight contests with at least 200 rushing yards came to an end against the Yellow Jackets, but he still managed to keep his season average at just under 195 yards per game.
The bruiser’s five touchdowns also upped his total to 28 through nine games, equaling the number of scores Diamond Simmons, last year’s Class 3A Back of the Year, compiled in 11 games. Jones’ 1,753 rushing yards leaves him trailing the Hanceville graduate and current University of North Alabama running back’s 2011 total by 353 with at least two more games on the Eagles’ schedule.
Vinemont will end the regular season on the road this Friday versus 4A Randolph before traveling to Lauderdale County the following week for a first-round matchup.
Fairview’s Bailey easily proved his selection as a finalist for Week 8’s ASWA Offensive Player of the Week was no fluke, following his five-total-touchdown tirade against Sardis with an impressive one-half display during the Aggies’ 47-6 blowout of Crossville.
The senior signal-caller needed only two quarters to amass 202 yards on 8 of 11 passing. Bailey’s trio of touchdowns — a 63-yarder to Trent Shoemaker, a 13-yarder to Bryant Powers and a 67-yarder to Jake Chandler — were all part of a five-minute scoring frenzy in the second quarter.
Fairview will welcome county-rival West Point to town for its regular season finale this Friday night, one week before beginning the playoffs at Dafford Smith Stadium against Munford.
Fairhope’s Nate Andrews was awarded the AHSAA’s Week 9 Spotlight after piling on 268 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in the Pirates’ 58-23 victory over Northview.
The 6A quarterback edged out Hazel Green’s Austin Dempsey, St. Jude’s John Hawkins and a team effort by Hewitt-Trussville for the top honor.
Dempsey came up huge in the Trojans’ 26-21 win against Buckhorn, returning a punt 70 yards and a kickoff 61 yards for touchdowns, picking off a pass and later deflecting another in the end zone during the last 60 seconds to seal the ballgame.
Hawkins gave new meaning to the position of return specialist in a 46-6 rout of Fayetteville, taking a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and adding two more scores on punt returns of 85 and 75 yards.
Hewitt-Trussville had seven interceptions and forced nine total turnovers — the other two were a recovered fumble and blocked punt — to easily defeat Woodland 31-6.
Kendrick Doss was tabbed the ASWA’s Offensive Player of the Week for an unbelievable first-half showing. The Florence quarterback racked up six touchdowns and 338 total yards of offense to push the Falcons to a 41-2 lead by halftime. His touchdown passes were of 55, 36, 23 and 11 yards, which his rushing scores came from 49 and 35 yards out.
The ASWA’s other finalists were Fairhope’s Andrews and Shoals Christian’s Daniel Wood, who rushed for 382 yards and six touchdowns in a 56-32 romp of Phillips.
Hazel Green’s Austin Dempsey earned the ASWA’s Defense/Special Teams Player of the Week honors, beating out St. Jude’s Hawkins and Russellville’s Jalen Scott, who had two fumble recoveries against Hartselle. His second came with 45 seconds left to help the Golden Tigers clinch a 6-3 victory.
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at email@example.com.