AHSAA Week 1 Special Team Football Spotlight
CHELSEA’S COOPER NEAL BOOTS THE HORNETS TO A 17-14 WIN OVER BRIARWOOD CHRISTIAN’S LIONS
MONTGOMERY – Chelsea High School place-kicker COOPER NEAL delivered a 49–yard field goal in the second quarter to lift the Hornets to a 17-14 win over Briarwood Christian last Friday. NEAL earned the AHSAA Special Teams Football Spotlight as Chelsea beat the Lions for the first time since 2016 and for just the 10th time in the 33-year series. Briarwood owns a 21-10-1 series edge.
The victory evened the record for the Hornets (1-1) of COACH DUSTIN GOODWIN in the series during his tenure. Briarwood (0-1), coached by first-year head coach MATTHEW FORESTER, got a big boost from its special teams when LUKE PREWETT returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter to cut Chelsea’s lead to 14-7. NEAL drilled his 49-yarder, that cleared the goal post by a good 10 yards.
NEAL also had two extra points in the win and edged EVAN BYRD of Lexington, who booted a 27-yard field goal in the fourth period to lift the Bears to 3-0 win over Rogers. It was Lexington’s first victory over their rivals since 2014.
Other top special team performances reported from last week’s games include:
JAYLEN STINSON, OPELIKA: Punted for a 50-yard average, blocked a kick, had eight tackles and an interception as the Bulldogs beat rival Auburn 21-13.
JASON PEREZ, COLLINSVILLE: Booted a 48-yard field goal eight seconds into the second quarter and was 5-for-5 on extra points in the Panthers’ 40-13 win over Crossville. He also had an interception on defense.
LUKE PREWETT, BRIARWOOD CHRISTIAN: Returned a kickoff 99 yards for a TD in the Lions’ 17-14 setback to Chelsea.
EMMANUEL HENDERSON, GENEVA COUNTY: Accounted for 298 combined yards in rushing and kick/punt returns and had three touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 34-26 loss to Geneva. He had 144 yards and TD runs of 49 and 4 yards rushing and had kick returns of 66 and 44 yards and a punt return of 38 yards. The 66-yarder was returned for a TD.
CHAZ POPE, SPRING GARDEN: Had an interception in the third quarter and a big kick return down to Cedar Bluff’s 6-yard line to set up Luke Welsh’s go-ahead touchdown with 5:40 remaining in the Panthers’ 14-12 loss to Cedar Bluff.