Fyffe defending state title vs. Reeltown

Fyffe quarterback Zach Pyron (5) runs the ball against Collinsville’s Kaleb Jones during the second half of a Class 2A semifinal-round state playoff game in Fyffe last Friday night.

FYFFE — The Fyffe Red Devils want to turn Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium into their own Long-Ridgeway Stadium.

The undefeated Red Devils look to repeat as Class 2A state champions as they defend their title against Reeltown at 3 p.m. Friday. 

“It’s probably going to come down to who makes the most makes, field position, blocking and tackling,” Fyffe coach Paul Benefield said during the AHSAA Super 7 coach’s meeting this week. “You just never know when you get to the big show down there what might happen.” 

Fyffe (14-0) returns to the AHSAA Super 7 for the fifth time in 6 years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019). 

Reeltown (13-1) defeated Leroy 29-28 in overtime to advance to the state title game for the first time since 2010. The Rebels lost to Leroy 34-7 in the championship game in Auburn. The Rebels’ previous semifinal appearance was in 2012, when they lost to Tanner 35-14.

This season, Reeltown won the Region 4 championship, with its lone loss (27-26) coming against Ranburne in its regular-season finale Oct. 25.

Averaging 36 points per game and surrendering 13 points per game, the Rebels set a team record by scoring 507 points this year.

“Reeltown is a very talented and athletic team with tremendous speed,” Benefield said. “We definitely have to tackle well to win the game.”

The Rebels’ defense has limited opposing offenses to one score or less in six games. They beat Zion Chapel 56-0 in the opening round of the postseason, before notching a 30-20 victory against J.U. Blacksher in the second round and a 41-22 win against G.W. Long in the quarterfinal round.

“We are just going to try to play sound, fundamental defense and try to stay in the proper places to hopefully slow them down at times,” Benefield said.

“Every team I've seen has done different things against them. Their defense is very fast and physical.”

Fyffe overcame a strong defensive front seven to beat Region 8 rival Collinsville 21-0 in the semifinal round last week. Zach Pyron threw for 112 yards and ran for 92 yards and a touchdown, while teammate Ike Rowell finished with 102 yards receiving with 55 yards rushing and two rushing scores.

Collinsville’s Kaleb Jones passed for 120 yards and Michael Tucker had 80 yards receiving. 

“Keeping Jones in the pocket and not letting him get around the edge was key,” Fyffe’s Will Gillilan said.

Gillilan nearly intercepted a fourth-down pass on Collinsville’s final drive. The pass was knocked out of his hands on the play, but Fyffe regained possession with 6 minutes remaining and holding a 21-0 lead.

Fyffe’s run game was slowed but not stopped. Pyron, Rowell and others used a variety of runs to keep the chains moving. The Red Devils mixed in passes in key situations, as well. 

After taking a 14-0 lead into halftime, the Red Devils weren’t going to shy away from the run game that has been the backbone of its offensive success.

“We just had to put our heads down and run the ball,” Pyron said. “We had some tricks in there that got us some big plays and we cut down on some mistakes in the second half.”

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