Montevallo falls just short in comeback attempt

By SCOTT MIMS | Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO — Going into the playoffs Friday night, Nov. 8, the Montevallo Bulldogs were hoping to rebound from a heartbreaking loss to Lincoln but ended up falling to the Talladega Tigers by an even closer margin, 20-18.

After recovering an onside kick and scoring with seconds remaining in the game, it was a failed 2-point conversion that brought Montevallo’s season to a close.

“We had a chance to tie it up with 40 seconds to go and got stopped,” said Montevallo Head Coach Brandon Wilcox. “Tonight I think we’d all agree we didn’t play our best football.”

Wilcox went on to praise his team’s defense for allowing only 18 points. The other 2 Talladega points came from a safety following an intentional grounding call on Montevallo in the second quarter.

“On defense our kids played really well tonight,” Wilcox said. “Coach Adams did a good job getting the team prepared.”

Added Wilcox, “I’m very proud of our guys for fighting until the very end. I told them after the game that not every champion gets a ring. I think we’ve got some champions on our team.”

The Bulldogs scored on their opening drive on a 15-yard pass to Jamarius Carter. Following a failed conversion, the teams traded turnovers on downs and then came the aforementioned safety call, with 7:50 left in the half.

Talladega’s D’Corian Wilson rushed for a touchdown with just 25 seconds on the clock, making the score 8-6 at halftime.

A couple of turnovers and many penalties later, Michael McGregor hauled in a pass for another Tigers touchdown in the third.

The fourth quarter saw Montevallo come within 10 yards of the goal line but they couldn’t capitalize on the drive. A Talladega first down on the Montevallo 26-yard line set up another Wilson touchdown run with 2:14 left in the game. The kick was no good, resulting in a 20-6 score.

Montevallo recovered a Talladega onside kick at about midfield. In just three plays, the Bulldogs scored on a pass to Jemari Harris and it was 20-12 with 1:14 on the clock.

The Bulldogs recovered an onside kick and scored again, nearly mounting a game-tying comeback, but couldn’t make the needed 2-point conversion.

Talladega took a knee with .45 on the clock to drain the rest of the time out.

For Montevallo, quarterback Malik Inabinette completed 12 of 24 passes for 166 yards and 1 touchdown, and J.J. Evans completed 5 of 5 for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Deon Gilliland led the team rushing with 95 yards on 11 carries, while Jemari Harris caught 9 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown, and Jamarius Carter hauled in 4 for 59 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Defensively, Rankin Allen made 9 tackles for the team and Grant Cordes and Dylan Campbell each recovered a fumble.