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T.R. Miller back Anthony Herbert, Wicksburg’s Richards named ASWA top players

By PAUL BEAUDRY/For the ASWA

After losing the first two games of the season, T.R. Miller found itself in an odd spot – struggling.

But the Tigers turned the corner and won six of their next seven to keep a playoff qualifying streak alive that dates back to 1984.

Running back Anthony Herbert showed part of why the Tigers have kicked things into a new gear on Friday night in a performance that earned him the Alabama Sports Writers Association Offensive Player of the Week.

Herbert rushed for 340 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries in a 48-35 win over Montgomery Catholic. His touchdowns came on runs of 79, 86, 14 and 3 yards as the school picked up its 605th win.

His performance beat out two other finalists as chosen by an ASWA committee in Jonathan Redd of Mobile Christian and Alonzo Harris of Gadsden City.

Redd led Mobile Christian to its first playoff berth since 2007 by going 14 of 24 passing for 405 yards. While he had three interceptions, he threw for TD passes of 35 and 48 yards and ran for 5 and 2-yard scores in a 42-10 win over Cottage Hill. Harris rushed for 231 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries in the Titans’ region-clinching 28-21 win over Hewitt-Trussville Two of his scores came in the last eight minutes of the fourth quarter during a 14-point comeback.

The ASWA Defensive/Special Teams Player of the Week is Gabe Richards of Wicksburg. While the Panthers lost to Barbour County, 34-27, Richards had 12 tackles, four sacks, blocked a punt, forced a fumble and broke up a pass.

The two defensive finalists were Dax Gillespie of Hartselle and Tyler Hayes of Thomasville. Gillespie caused a fumble of a Cullman drive, then recovered it in the end zone for a touchback during Hartselle’s 30-27 win over the Bearcats, and intercepted a pass in the end zone. Hayes excelled beyond numbers on both sides of the ball in Class 4A No. 2 Thomasville’s 35-7 win over No. 1 Jackson as he punted for a 38.3-yard average, had six tackles, rushed for 66 yards on seven carries and caught two TD passes.

Some 78 players were nominated for the weekly honor from ASWA members in Andalusia, Anniston, Birmingham, Brewton, Centre, Decatur, Demopolis, Dothan, Florence, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Gardendale, Graysville, Grove Hill, Hartselle, Mobile, Montgomery, Oneonta, Opelika, and Talladega.

Other top performances included:

OFFENSE

Kyle Caldwell, Dadeville: Completed 19-of-22 passes for 270 yards and five touchdowns to help Dadveille win Class 4A-Region 3 with a 44-34 victory against Beauregard.

Camp Campbell, Bayside Academy: Completed 15 of 20 passes for 304 yards and six TDs (33, 28, 13, 57, 9, 12) in a 57-20 victory over Excel.

Trey Cochran-Gill, Tallassee: Completed 21-of-25 passes for 317 yards and two scores in Tallassee’s 28-23 win against Valley.

Daven Dixon, Hillcrest-Evergreen: Rushed for 242 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-27 win over Alabama Christian.

Malcolm Fossett, Hartselle: Gained 240 yards on 33 carries and scored three touchdowns as the Tigers beat Cullman 30-27.

Blake Fuller, Pell City: Had 10 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns against Austin.

Lorenzo Gray, Pinson Valley: Gray had just 14 carries against Shelby County and rushed for 267 yards and touchdown runs of 67, 2 and a game-winner for 79 yards.

Chris Green, New Brockton: Rushed for 208 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries, completed 5-of-8 passes for 91 yards with a touchdown and had 15 tackles on defense with a sack and had an interception in the Gamecocks’ 24-12 win over Samson.

Rocky Hayes, Cleburne County: Broke his own school all-purpose record after a week, accounting for 365 yards and three scores, two over 90 yards, as the Tigers defeated Oneonta 39-34.

Collin Jarbo, Gaston: Caught seven passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 48-22 win over Woodville.

Jacob Kennedy, Berry: Carried 12 times for 200 yards and a 43-yard TD run, ran for two 2-point conversions, was 4 of 8 passing for 110 yards and two TDs (43, 14) in a 55-52 loss to Hubbertville.

Zach King, Sylvania: Accounted for 404 yards of total offense as Sylvania defeated New Hope 76-48. King ran 12 times for 217 yards and three touchdowns (5, 17, 44) and completed 8 of 12 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns (42, 9, 28).

Mark Lear, Clarke Prep: Rushed for 332 yards on 21 carries and scored 6 TDs (10, 5, 37, 67, 71, 12) as the Gators beat Autauga Academy 61-28.

Austin Martin, Pell City: Threw for 347 yards and four TDs in a 41-29 loss to Austin.

Tony Minnifield, St. Jude: Completed 6-of-8 passes for 237 yards and five touchdowns in a 54-0 win over Fayetteville. Four of the TD passes covered 90, 60, 50 and 23 yards.

Frank Senn, Pleasant Home: Rushed for 374 yards on 31 carries and scored three touchdowns to help lift his team over Geneva County 28-14.

Brandon Silvers, Gulf Shores: Completed 26 of 39 passes for 353 yards and five TDs in a 42-21 win over Faith Academy.

John Slayton, St. James: With his team trailing 14-0 in the second quarter, the running back responded by rushing for 157 yards and scoring five touchdowns in a 52-28 win over Bullock County.

Ardarius Stewart, Fultondale: Was 12 of 16 passing for 215 yards and a TD, while rushing 20 times for 241 yards and five TDs in a win over Victory Christian.

Terrance Timmons, Davidson: Ran for 178 yards on 20 carries, including TD runs of 1, 2, 10 and 2 yards, and a 30-yard TD reception in a 55-27 victory over Murphy.

Jahwon Williams, Headland: Completed 16-of-23 for 284 yards passing and three touchdowns while rushing for 55 yards rushing and a touchdown in the Rams’ 41-26 loss to Andalusia.

Jameis Winston, Hueytown: Had 329 yards in total offense in a win over Wenonah, completing 22 of 32 passing for 313 yards and three touchdowns.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

Josh Appleby, East Limestone: Kicked a 29-yard field goal with three seconds left to give the Indians an upset victory over Athens.

Damien Dickinson, McIntosh: Had 15 tackles, a sack, blocked a punt and forced a fumble in 47-0 loss to Sweet Water.

Eddrick Harris, R.A. Hubbard: Returned two Vina fumbles for touchdowns (78, 50) in 42-6 win.

Harrison Lewis, Thomasville: Had field goals of 38 and 41 yards, and three extra points in a win over Jackson.

Ryan Mason, Pleasant Grove: Had 14 tackles with two for loss against Parker.

Kamryn Melton, Dothan: Returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and had a 70-punt return set up another score, helping the Tigers pull away from city rival Northview 58-14.

Ja’Mel Morris, Deshler: Intercepted two passes in 69-14 win against Wilson.

Chris Rabb, Hueytown: Had 13 tackles, four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks in a win over Woodlawn.

Jeffrey Scott, Bullock County: Returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown and a kickoff 85 yards for a score in a 52-28 loss to St. James.

Luke Tinsley, Sand Rock: Had nine tackles and four assists in Sand Rock’s 20-7 loss at Fyffe.

Tyler Wellington, Fyffe: Finished with 17 tackles, including one for a loss, as Fyffe edged Sand Rock 20-7.

Noah Willis, Piedmont: Returned two punts for touchdowns (55, 52) in the Bulldogs’ 53-20 win over Ashville.

Herbert