Decatur proves too much for SparkmanPublished 10:45pm Friday, September 10, 2010
By JIM SANDOVAL / Special to the Record
HARVEST — The Decatur Red Raiders came into Friday’s game against Sparkman ranked 13th in the state in the Alabama Sportswriters Association poll.
They left looking like a top 10 team, defeating the Senators 28-7.
Led by running back Josh Matthews, the Red Raiders controlled the first quarter, possessing the ball for 9 ? of the first 12 minutes.
After the opening kickoff, Decatur drove 76 yards in 12 plays, mixing in a penalty with 11 straight rushes by Matthews culminating in a 10-yard touchdown run.
After a Senator punt, Decatur again drove for a touchdown, 11 plays for 53 yards, all on the ground with a key 20-yard burst by Desmond Lavelle and Matthews’ 6-yard touchdown run.
Decatur’s defense forced Sparkman to punt after just three plays, with Decatur starting their offensive drive on their own 43-yard line.
Penalties and good defensive plays saw Decatur attempting to punt from their own 27.
A high snap caused a fumble with the Decatur punter being tackled at his own 13-yard line, giving Sparkman an opportunity to get back in the game.
On the Senators first play, however, defensive back Brandon Crayton intercepted a pass at the goal line. His return, plus a penalty, gave Decatur the ball at the 33-yard line.
The Red Raiders immediately went on another long touchdown drive, 67 yards in 10 plays with Will Laughlin racing 16 yards on a quarterback keeper for the score and a 21-0 halftime lead.
In the third quarter after Sparkman was forced to punt out of their end zone, Decatur took over the ball on the 25-yard line. In just a few plays, the Red Raiders found the end zone again on a 15 yard pass from Laughlin to receiver Benjamin Fossett.
The Senators were finally able to get on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.
After a long drive saw their field goal attempt blocked, Sparkman then recovered a fumble on the 9-yard line.
On the first offensive play running back Laquince Love raced into the end zone for the only Sparkman touchdown. Billy Whyte kicked the PAT for a final score of 28-7.
Sparkman falls to 1-2 (1-1) and will next travel to face Hazel Green.
Decatur rises to 3-0 (2-0) and will host Buckhorn in a battle of undefeated teams in a key Region 8 matchup.