BY BRIAN HAMILTON, Sports Correspondent
Aliceville was matched up with the high-octane offense of Collinsville Friday night, but the Yellow Jackets relied on their defense, which has been their calling card all year long, to get the win. The Panthers were driving with a chance to cut into the lead when Nate Latham picked off a Kaleb Jones pass to seal the deal, giving Aliceville a 20-9 win.
“We did an outstanding job defensively in that we held them to nine points and it’s hard to hold playoff teams to nine points,” Aliceville head coach Melvin Pete said. “We made big stops and interceptions to seal the game. As they always say, defense wins championships.”
Collinsville won the toss and deferred to the second half, with Aliceville getting the ball first. The Yellow Jackets drove to the Panthers’ 35-yard line before a penalty forced Aliceville to punt on fourth-and-17. Collinsville would eat up nearly the rest of the first quarter before punting the ball back to the Yellow Jackets with less than a minute left, as the opening quarter ended scoreless.
Aliceville drove the ball to the Panthers’ 23-yard line when Zavien Wilkins fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Collinsville. Each team would trade possessions in the second quarter and the Panthers drove the ball to the Yellow Jackets’ 2-yard line before kicking a field goal for a 3-0 halftime lead.
Wilkins was injured late in the first-half and would not re-enter the game in the second half. Nonetheless, Aliceville came out with a solid drive on their first possession of the second-half and Morris Ball ran for a 28-yard touchdown, but was called back for a holding penalty. On the very next play, quarterback Kavon McGraw ran 28-yards to the left side for a touchdown and a 6-3 Yellow Jacket lead.
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.