Purple Devils outscored by Hubbertville, 42-35
by Gary Hanner
RAGLAND — The season came to an abrupt end for the Ragland Purple Devils Friday. The undefeated, second-ranked team in the state was outscored by the Hubbertville Lions 42-35 in the opening round of the AHSAA state playoffs at Joan Ford Stadium.

And the Lions did it all on the ground. Of the 72 plays Hubbertville ran, 70 of them were on the ground, and the Purple Devils defense just wore down.

Hubbertville put together its game-winning drive with 7:53 remaining in the fourth quarter. They marched 55 yards in 14 plays, all on the ground, with Aaron Dillard scoring from three yards out with 45 seconds remaining.

Dillard scored the first touchdown of the game on a 26-yard run to make it 6-0 midway of the first quarter.

The Lions made it 8-0 two plays later when Christian Morrow was tackled in the end zone for a safety.

Ragland tied the game when Jimmy Brock scored on a 13-yard run and the two-point conversion was good to make the score 8-8 after one quarter of play.

The Lions took a 16-8 lead with 7:42 remaining in the second quarter, but on the very next play, KiJana Lindsay hooked up with Brock for a 66-yard touchdown pass to make it 16-14.

Dillard scored again on a 4-yard touchdown run to make it 22-14 with 1:50 remaining before halftime.

Ragland drove down to the Lions’ 1-yard line where with 14 seconds remaining, Lindsay threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Brewster to make the halftime score 22-20.

Ragland took the second half kickoff and marched 64 yards in three plays. Lindsay scored on a 10-yard run and Brock added the two-point conversion to put Ragland on top 28-22.

Dillard was the Lions’ workhorse and scored another touchdown from two yards out to tie the game at 28-28 with 2:29 remaining in the third quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter, Dillard scored again on a 2-yard run to put Hubbertville back on top. The two-point conversion was no good and the score was 34-28.

The Purple Devils put together a 60-yard drive in six plays with Devane Brewster scoring on a 1-yard run. Ronnie Isbell kicked the PAT to give Ragland a 35-34 lead with 7:53 remaining in the game.

That’s when the Lions made their long drive and scored with just seconds remaining to give Hubbertville the victory.

“We knew they were big and physical up front,” Ragland coach Jonathan Nix said. “We knew what that Dillard kid had done earlier in the year. He was just hard to stop. We prepared, and we had a good week of practice. It was just a physical ballgame by both teams. Hats off to Ragland for giving it all they had. I am so proud of each and everyone of them for the season we had.”

Ragland finished the season 10-1.

Contact Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com

© 2012