Calera native earns honors

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 12, 2003

The Central Alabama Renegades took over sole position of first place in the Panhandle Division of the North American Football League with a 23-13 victory over the Panhandle Tigers of Panama City, Fla.

The win also improved the Renegades’ record to 5-0.

The victory did not come easy and the outcome of the game was still in question until the last three minutes of the contest. After falling behind by 13 points midway through the third quarter the Renegades scored 23 unanswered points to take the lead and secure the win.

On the defensive side of the ball two defensive linemen were named as Co-Defensive Players of the Week.

Defensive tackle Cliff Darrington and defensive end Eric Seabon were dubbed with the honor. Both Darrington and Seabon harassed the Tigers’ quarterback all night. Darrington was in on eight tackles and recorded three sacks. Seabon was also in on eight tackles, four of which were solos. Seabon also had 1.5 Sacks and recorded a safety.

On the offensive side of the ball quarterback J.R. Richardson of Calera was named as Offensive Player of the Week. Richardson 7-for-12 for 132 yards and a touchdown.

On special teams linebacker Benji Adair recorded three tackles on kick coverage and was named as Special Teams Player of the Week.

For 29 minutes and 52 seconds of the first half the game would be a scoreless affair. With eight seconds left in the first half the Panhandle Tigers would break the tie and open up the scoring on a 2-yard scoring run.

The PAT attempt would fail and leave the Tigers with a six-point lead.

The Tigers began the second half just as they had finished the first, with a touchdown drive. The Tigers took the second half kick-off and put together an 8-play drive for a touchdown. This time the PAT would be good and would push the Tigers’ lead to 13-0.

That’s when the Renegades would finally come to life.

With just over eight minutes left in the third quarter Renegades’ wide receiver Lamont Mitchell took the Tigers’ kick-off and returned it 30 yards to the Renegades’ 46 yard line.

This good return would set the tone for the remainder of the game.

The Renegades took only four plays to put the ball in the end zone. Tailback Antonio Parker supplied the big play of the drive, breaking several tackles and dragging Tiger defenders on a 32-yard run.

Tailback B.J. Cook scored three yards out to finish off the drive. Kevin Jones tacked on the PAT to cut the Tigers’ lead to 13-7.

The Renegade defense rose to the occasion and hold the Tigers to three plays and out.

Once again the Renegade offense wasted little time putting points on the board.

This time in only two plays Richardson connected with Rodrice Merkerson from 55 yards out for the Renegades’ second touchdown of the third quarter.

Jones hit the PAT to give the Renegades the lead for the first time, 14-13.

The fourth quarter would be all Renegades.

The Renegade offense mounted another scoring drive. This time Antonio Parker bulled his way in from three yards out. Once again Jones tacked on the PAT to bring the score to 21-13.

The Renegade defense not only held the Tigers to negative yardage in the fourth quarter but would got in on the scoring when Seabon sacked the Tigers’ quarterback for a safety.

With the score now at 23-13 the Renegades took the free kick from the Tigers and run out the clock to preserve the win.

The Central Alabama Renegades will travel to New Orleans this week to face divisional foe the Louisiana Hurricanes.

The Renegades return home on August 23 to host the Memphis Blast.

Kick-off for the home game verses the Memphis Blast is set for 7:30 at Stanley-Jensen Stadium in Prattville. Admissions for Adults are $ 7 and kids 12 and under are admitted free with an adult