Geraldine faces Lauderdale County in 3A playoffs


Geraldine’s Michael Davis catches a pass against Glencoe last week. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times)


One of the state’s top teams in Class 3A will be eliminated from the high school football playoffs when No. 8 Geraldine hosts No. 4 Lauderdale County in the second round Friday night.

The Bulldogs (9-2) are coming off a 14-0 win over Glencoe in the first round. The Geraldine defense, which has been a bit up-and-down this season, carried the day against the Yellow Jackets. In seven games this season, Geraldine has allowed 14 points or less but gave up 26 points to Sardis and 28 points to J.B. Pennington.

Geraldine intercepted Glencoe six times and, overall, gave up only 72 yards of offense to the Yellow Jackets. Jake Boman picked off three passes in a four-minute stretch for Geraldine and was named the Alabama Sports Writers Association Defensive/Special Teams Player of the Week.

Perhaps most importantly, the Bulldog defense picked off passes three times inside their 10-yard line in the last 3 minutes of the game to preserve the victory.

Glencoe’s offense, however, which has been the strength of the Bulldog team this season (averaging over 37 points per game) was held in check. In addition to scoring only two touchdowns, Geraldine gained just 235 yards. Its stable of running backs largely was contained and sophomore quarterback Jake Maddox completed just 3 of 9 passing for 51 yards, one week after throwing for 201 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Crossville.

Michael Davis, the team’s leading rusher, was the only player on offense to do any sustained damage in the win. He rushed 17 times for 90 yards and a touchdown and recorded an interception.

Devan Totherow had the team’s other rushing score. He, C.J. Richey, Damion Totherow and Michael Davis combined with Marcus Davis form one of the deeper running back collections in the state.

The team likely will need to put together a more well-rounded performance if it wants to advance past the Tigers (10-1).

Lauderdale County’s lone loss came in Week 2, a 24-10 defeat at the hands of No. 5 Madison Academy. The Tigers average nearly 37 points per game while allowing less than 11 per outing.

In last week’s opening round, the Tigers demolished Vinemont 49-6.

Like Geraldine, Lauderdale County relies upon a dominating rushing attack, which is complemented by a timely passing game.

D.J. Simmons, C.J. Jackson, Terrell Fuqua and Zach Simbeck play roles in the Tigers’ ground game. They get the ball from quarterback Samuel Grisham and can burn opposing teams on the ground and through the air.

When Grisham does throw it, he favors looking to his running backs out of the backfield.