A big second half scoring outburst from the Saraland football team ended Wetumpka’s season on Friday night.
Saraland beat visiting Wetumpka, 37-7, in the first round of the AHSAA Class 6A playoffs. The Indians end the season 5-6 after entering the playoffs as the No. 4 seed.
Wetumpka trailed only 21-7 at halftime, but Saraland (9-2) went on to score 16 unanswered points in the second half to eliminate the Indians.
Saraland advances to the second round of the playoffs and will face Montgomery Lee in the second round next Friday night.
Wetumpka’s defense, much like it has all season, showed out early in the game. The Indians forced a Saraland turnover on downs on the Spartans’ first drive of the game, but after going three-and-out and giving the Spartans a short field, Saraland found the end zone for the first time on the night.
The Spartans started their third drive on Wetumpka’s 37-yard line, and capped off the scoring drive with when junior quarterback Gabe Reynolds scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper to put the Spartans up, 7-0, midway through the first quarter.
A few drives later, Saraland punted the ball away to Wetumpka, and the Indians took over at their 1-yard line. Following a 81-yard run by quarterback Nate Rogers, the Indians stalled out and attempted a field goal, but missed.
Rogers had over 100 rushing yards in the first half of the game alone.
Following the missed field goal, Saraland freshman running back Santae McWilliams Jr. then raced 80 yards untouched and put Saraland up, 14-0, at the end of the first quarter.
Wetumpka’s offense battled back and scored on a 13-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 14-7, then had a chance to tie the game with three minutes left in the half.
Rogers, however, couldn’t find his open receiver for the touchdown and the drive failed.
Right before the half, Saraland’s Reynolds connected with Charles Englebert on a 11-yard touchdown to put the Spartans up, 21-7, at the half.
That score remained into the fourth quarter, but not even thirty seconds into the quarter, Saraland three-star defensive lineman Trevon McAlpine and Trevor Pope combined to sack Rogers in the end zone to force a safety and go up, 23-7.
Following the safety, Saraland got the ball back and scored on a 35-yard touchdown run by Ryan Williams. Up 30-7, Reynolds connected with Jared Williams on a 21-yard touchdown pass for the final score of the night and put Saraland up, 37-7.