Anderson’s big night leads Montevallo to opening victory

By SCOTT MIMS | Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO — Head coach Blake Boren told his Montevallo Bulldogs before taking the field Friday night that they would face adversity at some point. Little did they know it would come four plays into the game, when starting quarterback Kial Cottingham went down. In steps sophomore Braxton King—who had never officially taken the helm as quarterback—to help lead the team to a 30-13 win over Marbury.

Boren said after his 13th game of coaching the Bulldogs, Friday night was his proudest moment so far, and King was no small part of that.

“Quarterbacking is not about throwing the ball, it’s about managing the game, and you’re getting a lot of live bullets thrown at you,” Boren said. “I’ve known Braxton since he was born. It was a really cool moment to see Braxton come in and have the opportunity to play and lead the team to victory.”

Running back Joseph Anderson had a big part in the victory too—he seemed unstoppable, racking up three touchdowns and 308 yards on 30 carries.

“Joseph to me is one of the best running backs in the state,” Boren said. “He’s an All-State performer, and we pretty much made the decision we’re going to ride it and try to go offensive with Joseph, and I’m just really proud of him.”

According to Boren, Montevallo’s Achilles heel in 2020 was their defense. But with two new coordinators and a clean slate Friday night, they tackled and played a physical game—something Montevallo was not necessarily known for in recent years, Boren said.

“All of our guys just played their butts off. All of them played both ways. Our kids played two football games tonight and probably played 150 plays, and I’m just proud to be their coach,” he said.

Kicker Gio Hernandez was the first to put up points, making a field goal with just under 7 minutes left in the first quarter. Cottingham also made waves before having to leave due to injury, scoring on a 16-yard run with 3:17 in the first. The PAT was blocked, making the score 9-0 Montevallo.

In the second quarter, Anderson got loose and ran the ball 88 yards down to the Marbury 9-yard line. Montevallo attempted a field goal on fourth down but Marbury was flagged for roughing the kicker. Then, from 5 yards out, Anderson penetrated to make it 16-0 following the extra point.

Back from halftime, Anderson was just getting warmed up. He cut loose for an 85-yard touchdown with 9:46 on the clock. At that point the Marbury Bulldogs started to fight back and Jack Thompson completed a pass to Cody Whitford for a 30-yard touchdown with 5:28 in the third.

The third quarter came to an end, but not before Anderson cut straight through the middle to score a 39-yard touchdown with the clock reading “0” putting Montevallo up 30-7 going into the fourth quarter.

Marbury’s duo of Thompson and Whitford showed up again with just over 9 minutes left in the game, with a 29-yard touchdown play. Marbury attempted a 2-point conversion but came up short.

Marbury’s Carson Parrott recovered a Montevallo fumble on the ensuing kickoff return, but that was the last good fortune for Marbury as the final score stood at 30-13.

Defensively for Montevallo, Jamion Mack-Prentice led the team with 12 tackles, while Cole Dennis had 8 tackles and a sack. Charlie Adams and Elfreeman Morton each racked up 7 tackles and 2 sacks.