By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
When describing his exciting 74-yard touchdown run that sealed Hanceville's 26-12 home upset of Hamilton, Torrey Green referred to the wide-open field as “my home” and “where I need to be.”
That may've been the case on that specific play, which involved the senior escaping the clutches of multiple defenders, cutting across field and racing up the left sideline untouched for the score, but after rushing for 186 yards and three touchdowns in the Bulldogs' winning effort, Green's rightful “home” was in the “other standout performances” section of the Alabama Sports Writers Association's latest Player of the Week release.
Green, who also reached the end zone on runs of 5 and 22 yards, was joined on the list by four other local football players — Good Hope's Riley Eisner, Vinemont's Tyler Boland, and Cullman's Garrett Crider and Tyler Glenn.
When senior signal-caller Sebastion Fendley went down with a gruesome injury to his left forearm in the first quarter, Eisner, a freshman, swiftly stepped in and threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Raiders to a 41-27 victory over Winston County.
The youngster took full advantage of the veteran wide receivers and running backs at his disposal, finishing 19 of 30 with touchdown passes to Austin Crumbley, Chris Raper and Jared McClure.
Surprise, surprise, Boland was off and running against Cordova in his second game back from a major knee injury before having to exit in the third quarter with a hurt ankle. The senior still did plenty of damage before the early departure, claiming 164 rushing yards and touchdown runs of 47, 46 and 43 yards on just eight carries.
With Boland on the bench late, the Eagle D stepped up and made a gutsy goal-line stand to clinch a close 19-15 road win over the Blue Devils.
Crider and Glenn had a hand in all five of the Bearcats’ touchdowns in the Black and Gold’s lightning-delayed, statewide-televised 35-14 victory versus West Point.
Crider scored on runs of 61 and 6 yards, as well as a 15-yard screen pass from Glenn, who also found the end zone on a 16-yarder to Seth Donaldson and 51-yard shovel pass to Mason Jones.
Crider wrapped up the night with 117 rushing yards on 11 carries and 41 receiving yards on two catches, while Glenn was 11 for 20 with 207 yards through the air.
Edgewood Academy’s Taylor Hawthorne was named the ASWA’s Offensive Player of the Week after throwing eight touchdowns — a new AISA record — and finishing 23 of 29 for 414 yards in a 62-20 victory over Lakeside. His scoring passes covered 14, 60, 7, 47, 14, 71, 17 and 46 yards.
Hawthorne’s record-breaking performance beat out two other finalists for the weekly offensive award — Dale County running back Jamarius Henderson and Hale County’s Deacon Medders.
Henderson rushed for 338 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries and added an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a 56-26 win against Pike County. He also had seven tackles and forced a fumble on defense.
Medders accounted for 283 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, as well as an interception at his own 11 with 7.3 seconds remaining, in a 19-12 victory over Cold springs. He finished with 119 passing yards and TDs of 18 and 40 yards and added 164 rushing yards, including a 38-yarder for the go-ahead score.
This week’s ASWA Defense/Special Teams Player of the Week was Robertsdale’s Taylor Garrison. He returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown and sealed a 28-26 victory over Northview-Dothan with a late interception.
The finalists for the Defense/Special Teams award were Houston Academy’s Taylor Lewis and Tuscaloosa County’s Dailyn Patton. Lewis recorded 18 tackles, with a quarterback sack and a forced fumble, in a 27-13 win versus G.W. Long. Patton enjoyed the rare feat of making two tackles in the end zone to score two safeties in an 18-0 victory over Hueytown.
Green, Eisner, Boland and Glenn were also mentioned in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s weekly release, which handed its Week 3 Prep Spotlight to coach Buddy Anderson for notching his 300th win at Vestavia Hills with a 30-8 victory against Huffman last Thursday night.
Anderson, 300-122 in his 36th season at the helm, became the first head football coach in AHSAA history to register 300 wins at the same school.
Glenn Daniel, of Luverne, is the AHSAA’s winningest coach with a 302-169-16 record over 46 seasons from 1947-92. He posted 261 victories in 38 seasons at Luverne and won the 1991 Class 3A state championship. His other 41 wins were at Pine Hilll, which is now closed.
Waldon Tucker, of Fayette County, who retired following the 2010 season with a 309-126-3 career record, won 284 games in the AHSAA at Gordo and Fayette County with a state championship at each stop — 1980 (Gordo) and 1996 (Fayette). He started his career at a non-member school, where his teams recorded 25 victories.
Jimmy Moore, 305-94-6 overall, was 91-30 at Colbert County after compiling 214-64-6 record while coaching in Mississippi.
% The ASWA’s Josh Bean and AHSAA’s Ron Ingram contributed to this report.