Coosa Valley comes up short in Class 1A semifinals

Published 12:22 am Saturday, November 14, 2009

Coosa Valley Academy came into Friday night’s Alabama Independent Schools Association Class 1A semifinal at Crenshaw Christian School looking to continue its strong play and advance to the Class 1A championship game.

The Rebels put up a strong effort, but fell short with a 14-12 loss to Crenshaw, as a 40-yard field goal attempt was no good with 25 seconds remaining in the game.

It will still be a season to remember for Coosa Valley that saw them come on strong late in the season with solid play to help them advance to the AISA Class 1A semifinals. After losing two of their first three games, the Rebels rebounded to win seven of their final nine games and finished the season 8-4.

Coosa Valley fell behind early 14-0 to Crenshaw before the offense could get things going in the second quarter.

The Rebels’ offense got things going in the second quarter as Phillip Neal found Ricky Ellison open for a 35-yard touchdown reception. Cody Garrett’s point-after attempt would be no good, leaving the Rebels with a 14-6 deficit.

Coosa Valley’s defense got the offense back on the field in a hurry by getting a quick three-and-out.

Neal found Ellison open once again, this time from 50 yards out for a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed and the Rebels went into the locker room at halftime trailing, 14-12.

Both teams’ defenses dominated the second half as neither team could manage a score.

Coosa Valley put up its final threat of the night when the Rebels took over on their own 20-yard line with five minutes left in the game. The Rebels drove the length of the field, using a balanced attack that saw them get down to the Crenshaw 13-yard line.

The Rebels lined up for potential 40-yard game-winning field goal with 25 seconds remaining on the clock. Garrett’s field-goal attempt would fall short, ending the Rebels’ season.

Coosa Valley head coach Vince DiLorenzo was disappointed to see the Rebels’ season end, but he was proud of the effort put forth by his team.

“It was disappointing to play as hard and well as we did and not come out with a victory,” DiLorenzo said. “We had great senior leadership with our six seniors and underclassmen that followed forth from their lead. I’m looking forward to their play in basketball and baseball to continue what they’ve done this fall.”

Ricky Ellison led Coosa Valley with 133 yards receiving and two touchdowns and 20 yards rushing. Phillip Neal would complete ten passes for 185 yards with two touchdowns and add 42 yards rushing. Tanner Wood would add five receptions for 52 yards.

Defensively, Zaid Kayyali would lead the way with 12 tackles and Ricky Ellison would add 11 tackles.