Anniston CC action

Anniston's Mondrecko Thompson runs by Cherokee County's Clark Oliphant during the Cherokee County at Anniston AHSAA football game.. Photo by Stephen Gross / The Anniston Star

Win No. 1 is in the books.

Behind a solid defensive effort and Charrell Brown’s explosive second half, Anniston picked up head coach Rico White’s first win, a hard-fought 14-10 home victory Friday over Cherokee County.

“That’s what we work out for. That’s what we prepare for,” White said. “The kids really wanted to redeem themselves from last week, because we had opportunities last week that we didn’t take advantage of. But this week we did, and it worked out for us.”

Brown finished with 184 yards on only 11 carries for the Bulldogs.

Anniston’s defense did an outstanding job during the first 24 minutes, keeping the halftime score knotted at 0-0 after the Bulldogs failed to cash in opportunities on offense.

The third quarter was nothing like the first half, as all 24 points were scored near the end of the period.

Cherokee County’s Kendrick Fife picked off a Tyree Carmichael pass, setting up a successful 37-yard field goal attempt that gave the Warriors’ a 3-0 lead.

After only touching the ball twice in the first half, Anniston turned to Brown. He picked up 31 and 13 yards on Anniston’s ensuing possession. Carmichael finished off the drive with 5-yard touchdown run.

It didn’t take K’Von Stubbs long to answer back, breaking off a 40-yard touchdown run to put the Warriors back on top. Not to be outdone, Brown used his speed to score from 60 yards out on the very next play, giving the Bulldogs a lead they never relinquished.

What to know

—Before going to more of a ground attack after halftime, Anniston spread the ball around in the first half. Carmichael hit four different receivers. He finished the night 9-of-20 passing for 115 yards. Blake Heard caught four passes for 40 yards and Ladreka Hall finished with two catches for 47 yards.

—Anniston’s defense came up with some big plays in the fourth quarter. Cherokee County drove the ball down to the Bulldogs’ 11-yard line, but Brown stuffed quarterback Caden Hubbard for a 3-yard loss on third-and-one. The Bulldogs pressured Hubbard on fourth down before he dumped the ball off to Stubbs, but Anniston was all over him, dropping the running back for a 4-yard loss. The Warriors had one more chance to score, but Jaden Woods picked off a Hubbard pass to seal the win.

—Jaden Parker was in the Warriors’ backfield a lot Friday night, sacking Hubbard on two different occasions. Maliq Myles came up with an interception in the first half as the Bulldogs held Hubbard to 9 of 18 passing for only 32 yards.

Who said

—White on Brown: “Charrell Brown is a great athlete. It’s like I tell him, ‘Just do things the right way, and good things will follow you.’ He believed in his teammates, and he did a great job. He had some great explosive plays. It really put us over the edge. We appreciate that good effort he gave.”

Next up

—Anniston is 1-1 overall and 1-0 in Class 4A, Region 6. The Bulldogs travel to Cleburne County next week.