With both teams in contention for the third or fourth playoff spots in Region 1-AAAA, and with less than one month left in the regular season, the annual game between the Columbus Blue Devils and the Shaw Raiders had heightened significance Friday night at A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium.
Columbus beat Shaw for the third straight year, 23-6.
The Blue Devils improved to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the region. The Raiders fell to 3-4 and 3-3.
After losing last week at Westover 51-0, Shaw was nearly shut out for the second straight game until finally getting on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. Columbus followed last week’s 40-22 victory over Americus-Sumter with another strong performance.
Central-Phenix City 44, Lee 17
In their toughest test of the season, the Central Red Devils, ranked No. 1 in Alabama Class 7A, led only 23-17 at the end of the third quarter. But they gave their home fans plenty to cheer for with a 21-0 final quarter.
Central improved to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in Region 2. Lee fell to 4-4 and 2-3.
The Red Devils responded with A’montae Spivey’s 3-yard touchdown run at 10:07. Their 2-point conversion attempt failed, but Camyen Feagins’ interception set up Tucker Melton’s 70-yard touchdown pass to Deonte Williams at 4:24. This time, the 2-point conversion was good. Peter Parrish capped the scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run at 2:07.
Spivey rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Parrish completed 11 of 15 passes for 131 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Melton completed 10 of 14 passes for 139 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Williams had six receptions for 108 yards and one touchdown.
Brookstone 31, Manchester 22
For the first time in program history, the Brookstone Cougars defeated the Manchester Blue Devils after losing their previous six meetings.
Brookstone led 21-8 at halftime and held on for the home win.
“Our defense really played well,” Brookstone head coach Blair Harrison said, “. . . Two fast scores in the second half, but shut them down after that.”
The Cougars improved to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in Region 4-A, moving into second place behind undefeated Marion County in Division A. Manchester fell to 4-3 and 2-2.
Brookstone came in ranked No. 14 out of 37 teams in the GHSA Class A private school power ratings. Manchester was ranked No. 23 out of 51 in public school ratings.
Jeremiah Burgess led the Cougars with 152 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. He also had 58 yards receiving. Rylan Cowart added 106 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.
Burgess and Clark Smith “had monster games on defense,” Harrison said.
Pacelli 25, Greenville 22
The Pacelli Vikings had lost their past three games against the Greenville Patriots by a combined score of 84-18, but they came through with a tough road victory this time.
Pacelli improved to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in Region 4-A Division A. Greenville fell to 2-5 and 1-3.
Marion County 56, Central-Talbotton 14
Undefeated met winless — and they stayed that way.
Travon Mathews opened the game with an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, sparking the host Marion County Eagles (8-0 overall, 5-0 Region 4-A Division A) past the Central-Talbotton Hawks (0-7, 0-4).
Marion led 42-14 at halftime.
Trice McCannon was 3-for-3 passing for 85 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown pass to Johnny Walker. Fred Aldridge had eight total tackles and forced two fumbles, including one he recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. DeChristian Hollis returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown.
The Eagles came into the game ranked No. 2 in the GHSA Class A public school power ratings, trailing only No. 1 Irwin County. The Hawks were ranked last out of the 51 Class A public school teams.
Heard County 56, Jordan 6
The Jordan Red Jackets were overwhelmed at Kinnett Stadium as the Heard County Braves led 34-0 at the end of the first quarter and 50-0 at halftime.
Jordan avoided the shut out with five minutes left in the game, when Cam Green returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown.
The Red Jackets fell to 2-6 overall and 1-3 in Region 5-AA. Heard County improved to 5-2 and 3-0.
Jackson 27, Kendrick 6
The Kendrick Cherokees didn’t score until less than a minute was left in this road game.
Kendrick fell to 1-7 overall and 1-3 in Region 4-AAA. Jackson improved to 4-3 and 2-1.
Veterans 30, Harris County 6
Another local team’s only score came in the fourth quarter.
Harris County fell to 2-6 overall and 0-2 in Region 1-AAAAA. Veterans improved to 7-1 and 1-1.
Pelham 48, Chattahoochee County 6
Jay Evans’ 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the only score for the Chattahoochee County Panthers as their home fans saw their four-game winning streak end.
ChattCo fell to 5-3 overall and 5-2 in Region 1-A. Pelham remained undefeated at 7-0 and 6-0.
Eufaula 52, Russell County 31
This high-scoring Class 6A Region 3 game in Seale left the Russell County Warrirors 1-7 overall and 1-4 in the region. Eufaula improved to 4-3 and 2-2.
Auburn 34, Smiths Station 0
The Smiths Station Panthers hung with the undefeated Auburn Tigers early in their road game. But after a scoreless first quarter, they allowed 27 points in the second quarter.
Smiths fell to 5-3 overall and 2-3 in Class 7A Region 2. Auburn improved to 7-0 and 4-0.
Calvary Christian 36 Lafayette Christian 6
Glenwood 38, Tuscaloosa Christian 35
Callaway 46, Spencer 6
Americus-Sumter 9, Northside 7
Mark Rice, 706-576-6272, @MarkRiceLE.