“We held the ball on offense,” head coach Robert Herring said. “They’re starting to get there. We went tailback by committee; we had about three different guys that ran the ball. LaDerick Stamps toted the load for us at fullback. He had a good night.
“The offensive line is really starting to come together and really know what they’re doing. The defense just played lights out. They (John Carroll) had one real play the whole night, which was a double-reverse pass. We had a guy right there; they just out-jumped us on it.
“It was a great win for us and a great win for this town and this community. They really showed up tonight, just like they were here against TC Central. They came and they cheered. We knew they were there. It puts us 2-1 and 1-1 in the region. We’ll get back up here on Sunday and get ready for Chilton County.”
LaDerick Stamps had the bulk of the carries, including a touchdown for the team. Herring said the team rallied behind the senior class, including Stamps.
“We don’t have that many seniors, but they played for them; this was for the seniors,” he said. “LaDerick Stamps; Richard Williams played probably his best game; Karlos Moten played his best game; all those guys play both ways. It was just a whole team effort by the guys and the coaching staff getting prepared. We’re just trying to do the right things here and get it turned around. Hopefully we’ll play a little better next week.”
Senior Jackson Bailey connected on a field goal for the team. In general, Herring saw improvement from his offense.
“Quarterback Ken Wells is getting better week by week,” Herring said. “He completed a couple balls tonight and receivers caught it and made plays. We got first downs when we needed it throwing it. We came back in the second half and started running the counter. That sort of gashed them. We were running back by committee tonight; we had four different guys that carried the ball and did a great job and receivers blocked on the corners. When you do that, you’re going to give yourself a chance to win.”
The defense managed to get in on the scoring too. They swarmed John Carroll deep at their own goal line and Talladega managed to come up with a safety.
All-State linebacker Ahmad Gooden, who suffered a sprained ankle against Lincoln, continues to get healthier each week. Gooden still isn’t 100 percent healthy, but still managed to come up with several critical plays.
“He had two big sacks on the night,” Herring said. “His big sacks came and then they had to punt the ball away. He’s not full speed yet, but hopefully he’ll be a little better next week. He’s a big part of this team.”