Scottsboro head coach Cris Bell gathered up his team after its win Friday night and asked the players a question.
“How bout them Wildcats?” shouted Bell, sparking cheers from his team.
Scottsboro built a 21-12 halftime lead and then rallied to win on a Keelan Alvarez touchdown run with less than one minute remaining to post a 27-26 Class 6A Region 7 win at Southside Friday night.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Wildcats.
“Our kids have been practicing great, they been showing resiliency during the week by the way they come out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday despite what happens on Friday. I’m really just happy for them to have something tangible to show for the work they’ve been putting in,” Bell said. “That showed the character of these young men. Just really really happy for them. If you hang in there, pound the rock, good things will eventually happen.”
Scottsboro (2-6, 1-4) fell behind 6-0 after Southside returned a Wildcat fumble 98 yards for a touchdown midway through the first quarter. But Scottsboro answered 16 seconds later, taking a 7-6 lead on Caleb Lynch’s 56-yard touchdown run and the first of Alvaro Cazorla’s three PATs.
The Wildcats’ lead grew to 14-6 on Jake Jones’ 42-yard touchdown run, and after Southside cut the Scottsboro lead to 14-12, Alvarez scored from 36 yards out to give Scottsboro a 21-12 halftime lead.
Southside (5-4, 3-3) got a touchdown pass in the third quarter and another one with 3:40 left in the game to pull in front 26-21, but the Wildcats drove 58 yards on 10 plays to regain the lead.
The drive nearly stalled at the Scottsboro 48-yard line, but Jones threaded the needle to Everett Loveless for 17 yards on a fourth-and-four play to continue to drive.
“That was huge. Jake is a gutsy kid. He really showed himself to be a guy that can come through. Everett did a super job reeling that thing in because he had a (defender) all over him,” Bell said.
Two plays later, Scottsboro used some trickery to reach the Southside 6-yard line on a 25-yard pass from Lynch to Kyle Wright. Alvarez busted into the end zone on the next play for the winning score.
Southside’s last possession ended with a pair of quarterback sacks, the last of which resulted in a fumble that Scottsboro’s Sam Dukes recovered to seal the Wildcats’ victory.
Lynch closed with 69 yards rushing on five carries for the Wildcats while Alvarez had 67 yards on 18 carries, Jones had 40 yards on 11 carries, Landon Grider had 41 yards on eight carries and Trey Cooper had 28 yards on four carries. Jones was 4-of-9 passing for 62 yards. Alvarez caught two passes for 38 yards while Loveless had two catches for 24 yards and Wright one for 25 from Lynch.
Barclay Butler had three sacks and a fumble recovery for the Scottsboro defense while Dukes had a sack and a fumble recovery.
Scottsboro returns to Trammell Stadium to play its region and home finale next Friday against Pell City.
› Greg Bell is the statistician/play-by-play announcer for WWIC Radio 1050 AM