Cross-county rivalries are the best in high school football and none is more rivaled than the Sneads Pirates and Cottondale Hornets. Last year, it was the Hornets hosting and they walked away with a 40-28 win. Sneads didn’t like the sour taste that first game loss left in their mouths and had an entire year to let it gnaw at their insides. Last Friday night, they had a chance to redeem themselves when Cottondale opened their season on Pirate territory. And that they did, with a 32-16 victory over the visiting Hornets.
Cottondale won the toss and elected to defer to the second half, putting the Pirates on offense first. The opening kickoff resulted in a penalty landing Sneads on the Cottondale 40-yard line and a short field to work with. Courtavious Garrett scurried inside the five to make it first and goal with just minutes off the clock. With 9:18 in the first quarter, Sneads was in the endzone with six points on the scoreboard. The kick was wide right but the Pirates were up 8-0.
Cottondale answered back quickly on their first drive of the game. Early in the second quarter, Dalvin Barnes found the endzone from five yards out to tie the game at six but that lasted for only a second. A two-point conversion behind the legs of Barnes gave the Hornets an 8-6 lead that held until half time.
After the halftime break, it was a battle with Cottondale picking up a touchdown and a conversion but Sneads coming through four. All five touchdowns came on the ground for the Pirates with the Hornets mixing it up in the air for one and on the ground for one.
Cottondale went to the air on a 21-yard pass from Barnes to Logan Pumphrey for their final touchdown of the game. It was again Barnes crossing the white line for the conversion, giving Cottondale 12 points.
Calvin Stringer showed up and showed out for the Pirates with four touchdowns, 116 yards on 15 attempts. His longest run was 43 yards.
Courtavious Garrett finished the night atop the leaderboard with 172 yards on eight carries and one touchdown. On board with 30 yards on three carries was Trent Smith with Alonzo Hill carrying the ball seven times for 27 yards.
Defensively, Jay Nathan Hayes led the team in tackles with seven solo and one assist, followed by Colton Mercer and Zach Thomas with three solo tackles each. Mercer added six assisted tackles. Ryder McDaniel was on board with two solo tackles and three assists, followed by Ryan Cloud and Matthew Thomas with one tackle each.
Mercer nailed two punts for 64 yards.
Sneads will be on the road at Jefferson County Friday night with a 6:00 p.m. kickoff while Cottondale opens at home again Jay. Kickoff for the Hornets will be 7:00 p.m. Jefferson County is coming off a 50-21 loss to Dixie County last Friday night. Jay will be looking to break into the win column following a 27-0 shutout by Flomaton Friday night.