SYLACAUGA — Maleek Pope really doesn’t say much, but his game does. The senior running back rushed for 210 yards and five touchdowns to lead Sylacauga past Childersburg 49-13 on Friday night.
“I give all the credit to my offensive line,” Pope said. “They stayed on their blocks and gave me the opportunity to break loose. They played great.”
Pope rushed for 119 yards in the first half to help the Aggies take a 28-7 lead into intermission. Pope had touchdown runs of 6, 45 and 10 yards in the opening half.
“We just tell them to get a hat on a hat and let Maleek work in and out through those things,” Sylacauga head coach Rob Carter said. “He works hard throughout the week. You can’t wear him out early. He did an excellent job of making big plays out of maybe a 10 yard gain. All that was him breaking tackles, acceleration, and leaving the defense behind. I’m proud of him, he scored five touchdowns. I hope colleges get on him.”
Scenes from high school football action between Sylacauga and Childersburg
Pope’s most impressive run came on the first play of the second half as he was able to break tackles then sprint away from the Childersburg defense for an 80-yard touchdown run to give the Aggies a 35-7 lead.
“I thank God for that,” Pope said. “He gave me the ability to break loose and stay on my feet.”
Pope added a 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth to increase the lead to 42-7.
What to know
—Seth Garrett put Childersburg on the board as he took the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
—Sylacauga’s defense created big plays against the Tigers. At the end of the first half, the Tigers blocked a field goal attempt and returned it to midfield. The Aggies would capitalize of the blocked kick a few plays later as Brayson Edwards connected with Riley Basinger for a 51- yard touchdown. Sylacauga would also get another turnover in the fourth quarter. Jeremy Odem picked off Chris Swain and returned 15 yards for a touchdown to give the Aggies a 49-7 lead.
—Childersburg's Phillip Tilley scored from 10-yards out to cut the lead to 49-13 .
—Childersburg head coach Johnny Johnson on falling to rival Sylacauga: “We wanted to come out and play all 48 minutes. They are a good football team. All we want to do is get better every week. We did some good things and we did some bad things. We want to get ready for region play starting back next week. We still have a shot. We are 1-4 right now but we still have a shot. We just have to win out. We still have some tough games left but I think we are heading the right direction.”
—Carter on the Aggies’ defensive performance: “They (Childersburg) were doing a great job of knocking people off the ball. We understood that we were going to get knocked off the ball. They have improved. We knew that we would bend a little bit, but just don’t break. I think they did an excellent job in the trenches. We got a few turnovers here and there. Defensively, we did a really good job and we will be happy to play someone with a conventional offense hopefully.
—Sylacauga (3-2) will host Elmore County on Friday. Childersburg (1-4) will travel to take on Beulah on Friday.