Smith, Turner, defense lead Fort Payne past Brewer 35-0
Correspondent for Fort Payne Times-Journal
Fort Payne’s drive for a spot in the state playoffs is complete. Now the issue becomes where the Wildcats will be seeded.
The ‘Cats pitched their third straight shutout Friday night, holding A.P. Brewer to 164 yards of total offense en route to a 35-0 homecoming victory in Class 5A, Area 14 high school football.
“I’m so proud of the last three weeks because I think we’re progressing in the right direction,” Fort Payne coach Paul Ellis said. “We’ve had a lot of great things happen to us over the years, but I don’t know if we’ve ever had three shutouts in a row.
“Our defense has given us a chance to grow on offense.”
With the win, Fort Payne (5-3, 4-2) clinched its eighth straight playoff berth. Whether the Cats go in as a No. 2, 3 or 4 seed will depend greatly on next week’s showdown for the TopCat Trophy at Wildcat Stadium.
The TopCat Trophy is presented to the Fort Payne-Scottsboro winner each season by the Times-Journal and The Scottsboro Daily Sentinel.
“I think it’s super important with this team as young as it is,” Ellis said of the playoff berth. “I’m so happy for the seniors. They’ve put in a lot of extra time.
“Now it’s in [the team’s] hands from the standpoint of how far do you want to go and how high do you want to be seeded in the playoffs.”
Wide receiver Desmon Turner had a huge game for the Cats. He carried seven times for 114 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 57 and two scores.
Fort Payne quarterback Alan Smith completed 10 of 13 passes for 142 yards and three touchdowns, giving him seven scoring tosses over the last two weeks. He also carried eight times for 52 yards.
Wanya King caught three passes for 72 yards and a touchdown for the winners.
Fort Payne struck for the first touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Smith to Turner with 5:10 remaining in the first quarter.
The Wildcats ended all doubt with a scoring flourish late in the second period.
Turner scored his second TD of the night on a 1-yard run at the 3:33 mark, and Fort Payne got the ball back when Blade Romans picked off a Brewer pass.
Turner then hauled in a 30-yard scoring pass from Smith at the two-minute mark.
Derek Watkins forced a Brewer fumble, which the Cats recovered, and King made it 28-0 when he caught Smith’s 3-yard scoring pass with 1:09 left before halftime.
Turner closed the scoring when he raced 53 yards to the end zone with 4:57 remaining in the third quarter.
Fort Payne opened the second half of the season by shutting out Boaz 33-0, and followed by blanking Columbia 35-0 last week.
Brewer (3-5, 2-4) managed only141 yards rushing and 23 passing.
The loss eliminated the Patriots from playoff contention.
Brewer will play host to region champion Southside next week. The Panthers downed Etowah on Friday to claim their first league title since 1980.