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Patrician-South Choctaw game has extra meaning

By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
Oct. 31, 2002
To say the Patrician Academy Saints have a lot to play for Friday is an understatement.
With a win against fellow county rival South Choctaw Academy, the Saints not only gain bragging rights but also an extension of the season.
Patrician can gain the AISA AA West No. 4 seed by beating South Choctaw Academy in Toxey, Ala., at Jackson Field. The Saints have won two of their last three games to move to 3-3 in the AISA Class AA standings. The key win was an upset of Sumter Academy in Butler in week seven.
Last week, the Saints took another step by beating Warrior Academy 43-22 in Eutaw. The win improved the club's record to 4-5.
Saints head coach Jim Archibald says his team has made steady improvement.
The AISA West has Marengo in first followed by Wilcox and Southern Academy. Sumter is next at 4-3 but the Saints can tie it and the head-to-win will be the difference.
The Saints could have locked a berth sooner had they been able to hang against Wilcox. Wilcox pulled out a 13-12 decision to remain second in the league standings.
The Saints are led by running back Allen Gibson who paved the way for the 35-20 over Sumter by rushing for 220 yards and four touchdowns. When Gibson has big games, the Saints usually win. He had 144 and 183 yards rushing in the two other league wins.
Kicker Roel Bekker has been a plus, too. He made a 46-yard field goal in Eutaw last week.
South Choctaw is also 4-5 after beating Clarke Prep last week 19-13 in Toxey. Quarterback Rob Dahlberg threw for 137 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Receiver Jeffrey Mason caught TD passes of 74 and 55 yards from Dahlberg.
Dusty Welford keys the Rebel ground game with 67 yards against Clarke Prep. The SCA defense is paced by Angelo Downey who had eight more tackles. Landis Herndon made a key interception to stop a fourth quarter drive by Clarke.
Livingston at Sumter County
The playoffs vanished from Livingston's grasp last week at Greensboro. The Cougars fell 26-0 in their final Region 4-4A game. The loss left the Cougars 3-4 in the eight-team region.
The Cougars (4-5) can still play for a .500 season when they head down the road to York to battle Sumter County in a match-up of bragging rights between Livingston and York.
Sumter County, meanwhile, picked up its second win of the year after beating Francis Marion 46-14.
The Cougars are led by quarterback Corey Speight and defensive end LaRon Moss. The Wildcats can counter with running back Anthony Watkins.
Southern Choctaw at Millry
Southern Choctaw is the new No. 1 team in Alabama's Class 2A in a poll done by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
The Indians ascended to the top spot after beating the Leroy Bears 34-14 in Leroy last week. Top-ranked Gordo lost to Fultondale to drop in the poll released on Tuesday.
The win at Leroy finished off an unbeaten run to the Region 1-2A title. The Indians, now 8-0 overall, will host a first round 2A playoff game next week in Silas.
Leroy did put a bit of pressure on the Indians getting to within 21-14 in the third quarter. The Indians used two fourth quarter scores to put the game away.
Bernard McGrew threw a pair of TD passes of 43 and 33 yards. He also had a two-point conversion and a 3-yard TD run. The 43-yard TD went to Detric Causey. The 33-yarder went to Joseph Gibson.
The Indian defense was led by Chris Pugh, Jeremy McGrew and Billy McGrew.
Choctaw County at Leroy
The Tigers picked up their second win of the season by beating Monroe County 26-6 last week in Monroeville, Ala.
Choctaw County improved to 2-7 overall and finished 2-5 in Region 1-4A. The win leaves the Tigers in sixth place in the 8-team region.
Choctaw opened the game in fine fashion with Brian Witherspoon returning the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.
Quarterback Dexter Leverette then threw a pair of touchdown passes to Brad Ford to put the Tigers ahead to stay. Dorian Murphy had the other score on a 3-yard run.
Sumter Academy at Demopolis
The Eagles need South Choctaw Academy to beat Patrician on Friday in order to extend the season into the AISA playoffs. Sumter is 4-3 in AISA Region 2-AA but Patrician can match that record with a win at Toxey.
Patrician beat the Eagles 35-20 in week seven in Butler.
Sumter closes outs its regular season with a trip to Demopolis on Friday.