By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
One week out of the spotlight was long enough for Zac Crocker and Ty Jones.
After disappointing Week 4 losses to Hartselle and Hanceville, the Cullman quarterback and Vinemont running back returned with a vengeance in Week 5. Their latest performances landed the local stars in a place they’ve spent a majority of the season — among the state’s best football players recognized by the Alabama Sports Writers and Alabama High School Athletics associations.
Crocker and Jones both made the list of “other outstanding performances,” as did Cullman’s Mason Jones and Addison’s Jesse Seals, when the two associations released their weekly awards on Monday.
The Bearcats’ senior signal-caller was hard to ignore after his field day against Class 3A Madison Academy. Crocker completed 31-of-39 passes for 296 yards and five touchdowns — two apiece to Mason Jones and Troy Forrest, as well as one to Houston Turner — in No. 10 Cullman’s 42-21 home victory over the then-No. 4 Mustangs.
Jones was busy early with 10 receptions, including touchdown catches of 6 and 12 yards, by halftime. He finished with 11 grabs for 64 yards and the two scores.
Vinemont’s own Jones was a man on a mission after being tamed by Hanceville in Week 4, rushing 29 times for 204 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 21-0 home win over Class 5A Brewer.
That total marked the third time the hard-nosed running back has eclipsed 200 yards this season. Jones has 11 touchdowns on the ground heading into Vinemont’s region showdown with No. 5 Hamilton.
Addison has allowed only three points during its current three-game winning streak, and Jesse Seals has been a big reason why. The senior snared two interceptions in the second half last Friday to keep the Bulldogs’ 18-0 shutout — their second in that three-game span — intact on the road versus Appalachian.
Sipsey Valley’s Garret Lewis racked up more than 500 yards of total offense to earn the ASWA’s Offensive Player of the Week honors, as well as the AHSAA’s Week 5 Prep Spotlight. The quarterback was 10 of 16 for 340 yards and three touchdowns, ran 11 times for 203 yards and crossed the goal line on a game-winning, 2-yard carry with 2:40 remaining to lift the Bears to a 54-47 victory against Curry.
Piedmont’s Marquez Gamble was selected as the ASWA’s Defense/Special Teams Player of the Week with 10 tackles, two sacks and a recovered fumble that led to the game’s only touchdown in the No. 1 Bulldogs’ 7-0 triumph versus second-ranked Leeds last Thursday.
‰ Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.