HEFLIN — At midweek, after watching film of Anniston’s games with Montgomery Catholic and Cherokee County, Cleburne County head coach Michael Shortt said the Bulldogs were a different team when senior Charrell Brown was in the game at running back. Brown was a difference-maker Friday night as Anniston downed Cleburne County 28-8. The Bulldogs broke open a close game with three touchdowns in the second half.
Brown, who also plays on defense at times, ran 16 times for 193 yards and three touchdowns. He seemed to be going full-speed after his first step forward. Brown’s initial score came on a 4-yard run late in the first quarter. The first of Kevin Escareno’s four extra points made it 7-0 and that’s the way the first half ended. In the second half, Brown added touchdown runs of 48 and 12 yards.
“You’re talking about a four-year guy that has experience. He knows how to play the game. You’re talking about explosive plays. Every play he’s got to be accounted for,” Anniston head coach Rico White said. “He makes the offense totally different.”
Brown deflected a lot of credit to his offensive line.
“I try to give my 100 (percent) every play. That’s the same thing I expect from my line. They give me their 100. I give them my 100,” Brown said.
What to know
—Junior quarterback Tyree Carmichael scored on a 37-yard keeper to make the score 21-0 with eight minutes left in the third quarter. Carmichael had 68 yards rushing on 12 carries before taking a knee twice to run the final 56 seconds off the clock. He was 4-for-10 passing for 46 yards with one interception. Tight end JaQuain Thomas had one catch for 20 yards, wide receiver Ladreka Hall one for 19 yards and wide receiver Maliq Myles two receptions for seven yards.
—Anniston’s defense completely shut down Cleburne County’s run game. The Tigers had the ball four times in the first half and netted 28 yards on the ground. In the third quarter, they rushed for eight yards. Cade Smith scored for the Tigers on a 4-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
—Cleburne County came out throwing to start the third quarter. Reese Morrison passed to C.J. Higgins for 32 yards over the middle then hit Richard Cantrell for 20 yards. Cantrell had scored but a block in the back flag negated the touchdown.
—Anniston defensive tackle John Foster on the Bulldogs’ defensive play: “We’re a unit. We work as one. We’re together like a fist, not divided like a hand. We play fast at practice every day.”
—White on the benefit of playing Hokes Bluff at home next week: “Major, major. Hopefully, we can build a wall and slow them down. We’re looking to build a wall because they’ve got great running backs, great line. That program over there is immaculate so we’ve got our hands full.”
—Anniston is now 2-1 overall and 2-0 in Class 4A, Region 6. The Bulldogs will play at home next week against Hokes Bluff (3-0, 2-0), one of the preseason favorites in Region 6. Cleburne County (0-4, 0-2) travels to Jacksonville (4-0, 2-0), another preseason favorite to win Region 6, next week.