SUPER 7 CLASS 4A CHIAMPIONSHIP
Handley 30, Madison Academy 7
AUBURN – Handley High School used big plays in the first half to score four touchdowns and a tenacious defense in the second half to seal the Tigers’ 30-7 victory over Madison Academy to capture the Super 7 Class 7A state football championship at Jordan-Hare Stadium Friday afternoon.
(Hear from Coach Larry Strain as Chase Robinson recap's Handley's win in the featured video.)
Handley place-kicker Hudson Burns kicked a 26-yard field goal midway through the first quarter to give the Tigers of Coach Larry Strain a 3-0 lead. Senior quarterback Rhett Fetner connected with Malik Meadows on a 75-yard touchdown passed with 44 seconds left in the quarter and then found Christian Allen down the middle for a 68-yard TD pass and Handley led 16-0. Fetner, named the game’s MVP, was 6-of-9 passing in the first half for 210 yards. He finished the night 9-of-18 for 232 yards.
Handley running back Devonte Houston capped a six-play, 55-yard drive late in the second quarter with a 2-yard TD run. Twenty seconds later, Allen scored his second touchdown of the night scooping a Madison Academy fumble at the Mustangs’ 20-yard line and speeding untouched into the end zone for the final score of the first half.
The Mustangs (11-4), who missed two field goals in the first half, also had three lost fumbles that kept Grant Reynolds’ team from gaining any real momentum.
Madison Academy senior quarterback Grayson Edgemon was 9-of-34 passing for 197 yards. His 24-yard pass to receiver Jaelin Ferdinand with 3:12 left in the third period got the Mustangs on the scoreboard. Handley’s defense did the rest, limiting Madison Academy to minus-11 yards rushing for the game and just 186 total yards.
Ferdinand finished with four catches for 135 yards for Madison Academy.
Devontae Houston was the game’s leading rusher with 35 yards on 15 carries for Handley. The Tigers also struggled on the ground managing only 82 yards on 46 attempts. Meadows had two catches for 77 yards, Allen had two for 75 and Jay Brown had three for 45 yards.
Joshua Hatcher had eight tackles and an assist to pace the Tigers’ defense. Tyrese Heard had three tackles for losses. Hunter Schrader had nine tackles and two assists for Madison Academy, and Bronson Schad was in on eight tackles with three resulting for 19 yards in losses.
Handley’s championship was the school’s second overall and first since 2011. Strain (123-91), who led Woodland to Class 2A runner-up finishes in 2004 and 2006, is in his second season as head football coach at Handley. He was at White Plains for a year (2014) before moving to Roanoke. Reynolds is in his first season as head coach at Madison Academy.