TUSCALOOSA — Terence Dunlap shined even brighter in another state championship game and set a lofty goal for exceeding it again as a senior.
The junior ran for 260 yards and four touchdowns and caught a 35-yard TD pass to lead Maplesville in a 59-24 win over Cedar Bluff on Thursday for the Class 1A championship.
He had 241 yards rushing and four touchdowns last year when the Red Devils beat Hubbertville 49-0.
In 2016, when he’s a senior?
“How about seven?” Dunlap said.
Dunlap’s touchdown runs Thursday covered 3, 35, 5 and 61 yards. He ran 24 times, 11 more than last year.
“Terence is a tremendous athlete and has great vision,” Maplesville coach Brent Hubbert said. “He does a great job with the ball in his hands.
“I’m glad he’s back again next year.”
The Red Devils, Dunlap said, were inspired when other schools said they wouldn’t repeat. Maplesville officially finished with a 13-1 record, though one victory was over a school that closed in May.
“People said we couldn’t make it,” Dunlap said. “They said we were too cocky, too little, small and weak. We wanted to prove them wrong.”
Movie men: St. Paul’s, after seeing a movie before last year’s championship, made sure to see a sequel Thursday.
The latest installment of “Hunger Games” drew semi-positive reviews.
“It was good for about an hour and a half,” senior B.J. Edmonds said after the Saints’ 41-26 win in Thursday night’s 5A championship. “But I’m not complaining about it now.”
Last year, it was “Mockingjay” Part 1. This year, of course, the Saints saw Part 2.
“At the end, it was amazing,” senior Ostin McPherson said. “You should go see it. At first, you can go to the bathroom or whatever, but be ready for the final 30 minutes.”
Switch pitch: Piedmont’s Taylor Hayes, a two-time All-State linebacker entering the season, didn’t fret when coach Steve Smith approached him about making a move.
Smith saw some quarterback in Hayes, who helped lead the Bulldogs to the Class 3A title.
“His immediate reaction was, ‘I’ll do it,” Smith said. “He said he wasn’t worried about that. ‘I’m worried about getting a ring.’”
Hayes ran for two touchdowns and threw for one in Thursday’s 44-7 victory over Bayside Academy.
“I don’t think I’m special,” Hayes said of the position change. “I think anybody on the team would do it.”
Sites, sounds: St. Paul’s is the third team to have won at all three sites since the AHSAA took all championships to neutral stadiums.
Brantley and Hoover were the first two teams to win at Birmingham’s Legion Field, Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium and Bryant-Denny.
“There’s not going to be too many of us to have won at all three,” St. Paul’s coach Steve Mask said.
Legion Field had the event from 1996-2008. It has since alternated between Tuscaloosa and Auburn.
High scoring: Maplesville’s 59-24 win was the fourth-highest scoring game in AHSAA championship history.
Madison Academy’s 70-34 win last year over Dale County is first, followed by Thomasville’s 59-34 win over Deshler in 2010 and Lowndes Academy’s 61-27 win over Woodland in 1968.
The Red Devils’ total ties for fourth with Thomasville. It trails only Hazlewood (75-0 over Georgiana in 1989), Madison Academy and Lowndes Academy.