AUBURN – Maplesville coach Brent Hubbert has a close connection to Hubbertville, the team the Red Devils beat 49-0 on Thursday for the Class 1A championship.
Hubbert’s ancestors donated the land on which Hubbertville’s school stands.
“I remember spending summers there with my great-grandparents when I was little,” Hubbert said. “We always have a family reunion there, even though I had to miss last year.
“I hope I’m still welcomed there now.”
Longtime Hubbertville coach Lamar Harris said he wished he had hatched a plan to change Thursday’s outcome.
“If I knew what was going to happen, I’d have had some of his kin folks shoot him,” Harris said. “But it does make it easier to swallow when you know the quality of his family.”
Coming attraction: Madison Academy’s Kerryon Johnson may have excited Auburn fans Thursday.
Johnson, an Auburn commitment, ran eight times for 178 yards and scored six touchdowns in a 70-34 win over Dale County.
“I’m happy I will be able to play here the next four years,” Johnson said. “I felt I stepped up today. Hopefully, I can bring some things that I brought for MA and continue it here.”
Johnson, named the Gatorade Alabama Player of the Year earlier Thursday, said he still plans to visit Alabama and Florida State despite his commitment to the Tigers.
“He’s going to be a sight to see for Auburn,” Dale County coach Pate Harrison said.
Power of 1: The much-anticipated showdown between Johnson and Dale County’s Jamarius Henderson — who both wear No. 1 — did not disappoint.
Henderson padded his single-season rushing record to 3,483 yards by gaining 204 yards on 30 attempts.
“I thought both No. 1s would cancel each other out, but they just did a better job of executing and coaching,” Harrison said.
Broken records: Madison Academy’s 70-34 win over Dale County set an AHSAA championship record with 104 points and 1,012 total yards.
Johnson’s six touchdowns and 36 points and kicker Nathan Geis’ 10 extra points were the most since the AHSAA took all of its finals to a neutral site in 1996.
Maplesville’s 49-point win was the third biggest in AHSAA championship history. Madison Academy’s 70 points ranks second all-time. Hazlewood’s 75-0 win over Georgiana in 1989 still reigns in both categories.
Maplesville running back Terence Dunlap’s four touchdowns were the most in a 1A championship since at least 1996.
Devilish defense: Maplesville’s shutout was its seventh of the season. The Red Devils didn’t allow a point until their fifth game and finished with a 7.7-point average against.
“When we had a big hit during the game, I heard one of the guys on our scout team say, ‘I’m glad someone else gets to feel what I’ve been feeling all season’,” Hubbert said.
Perseverance: It took Harris 38 years to finally advance to a state title game, but the wait was well worth it, he said.
“We kept getting closer each year,” said Harris, whose team reached the quarterfinals for the first time in 2012 and made the semifinals in 2013.
“I’m glad I coached long enough to finally make it,” Harris said. “This has been a great experience for our kids and something they will never forget. I wouldn’t have missed it for nothing.”
Stars in stripes: The annual duel between Montgomery’s two officials associations for state championship assignments ended in a tie.
Both the Central Alabama and Mid-State associations had two officials in this week’s games.
Tommy Ellis will be the 2A referee and James York the 2A back judge today from the Central Alabama group.
Charlie Brooks was the 5A field judge and Glenn Wilson will be the 6A umpire today from the Mid-State association.
Central had beaten Mid-State at least the previous four years.
The Troy-based South Central association had one official: Terry Qualls will be the 4A linesman today.
The North Alabama association took home state honors with five on-field officials this week. Metro-Tuscaloosa and Decatur had four each.
Move over dad: There are now two Hubberts with state championships. Jim Hubbert, Brent’s father, won a title at Maplesville in 1996.
“I tried not to think about it during the game, but I have to admit it’s special,” Brent Hubbert said. “It’s emotional to get one and be able to share it with dad.”
A. Stacy Long contributed to this report.