Maleek Pope goes for 166 against Moody

Maleek Pope led Sylacauga with 166 yards rushing on 18 carries in a 36-6 win over Moody on Friday night. 

SYLACAUGA -- Sylacauga High School's football team cruised past Class 5A, Region 5 foe Moody 36-6 on Friday night at Legion Stadium.

With the win, the Aggies improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in region play.

“There are so many things that we still need to get better at, and we are slowly doing those things,” Sylacauga head coach Matt  Griffith said. “You have to give Moody a lot of credit, they were very stingy and very well-coached. 

“They have a No. 4 (Joel McCormick) that’s an excellent player. In the second half, we had to end up running at him because if you ran away from him, he made every tackle. 

“It is a good solid win at home. We are proud to be 4-0, we are proud to be 2-0 (in the region). We will enjoy it tonight. When we wake up, we will work and get ready for Mortimer Jordan.”

Sylacauga took control early, scoring two touchdowns in less than a minute in the opening stanza. 

Sylacauga started with good field position after a 35-yard kickoff return by Maleek Pope to midfield.

It didn’t take the Aggies long to capitalize as Jordan Ridgeway scored his first of two touchdowns on the night, running 17 yards to pay dirt. Caleb Burns punched in the two-point conversion to give Sylacauga an 8-0 lead with 9:59 left in the opening period.

On the Blue Devils’ opening possession, running back Terrance Moore fumbled, and Sylacauga’s Dontavious Ware scooped up the ball and ran it back 30 yards for a touchdown. Cole Porch’s PAT was good to increase Sylacauga’s advantage to 15-0 with 9:02 left in the first period.

Moody scored its lone touchdown of the game late in the second quarter, getting on the board thanks to a Sylacauga turnover.

The Aggies went into their bag of tricks as Ridgeway attempted a halfback pass, which was picked off by  Moody’s Reggie Williams at the Sylacauga 48.

On the ensuing play, running back Will Grames broke free for a 48-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 15-6 with 1:28 left in the half.

Sylacauga however, responded with a touchdown of its own before intermission. 

Quarterback JD Deloach capped off a 71-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run to increase Sylacauga’s advantage to 22-6 with 26.8 seconds remaining in the period. 

The Aggies added to their lead on their opening possession of the third quarter.  

Ridgeway scored his second touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run to cap off a 49-yard march to increase Sylacauga’s margin to 29-6.

Sylacauga put the game away with a 42-yard drive that was capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by Burns to increase the advantage to 36-6 with 10:04 left.

Three to know

-Sylacauga had 301 yards of total offense. Pope led the way with 166 yards on 18 carries. Ridgeway rushed for 65 yards and two touchdowns. Ridgeway has 11 rushing touchdowns on the season.

-Sylacauga’s defense held Moody in a check. The Aggies allowed 119 total yards and forced three turnovers. Tory Harris recorded an interception for the Aggies. Ware and Journey Stockdale had fumble recoveries.

- Friday’s win was the 70th for Sylacauga this decade. The Aggies need five more to tie the program record, which was set from 1960-1969. 

Who said it:

Griffith on the Aggies’ defensive performance: Every time something happened, the defense got on the field and got a stop and got the ball back. They played very well. We played against an athletic quarterback and a good running back. We were concerned about the quarterback’s speed, and I think we did a good job.”

Up next

Sylacauga travels to take on 5A, Region 5 foe Mortimer Jordan on Friday.

Moody hosts defending 5A state champion Central Clay County on Friday.

LaVonte Young is the Sports Editor for The Daily Home. Contact him at lyoung@dailyhome.com or follow him on Twitter @LYoung_DHSports.

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