Alto decimates Cayuga, advances to Area football play

by Michelle Dillon
Photo by Beverly Milner Photo by Beverly Milner

The Alto Yellowjackets had the privilege of playing the first playoff game in the recently renovated Tomato Bowl in Jacksonville Thursday, Nov. 14. Alto wiped out the Cayuga Wildcats in the 2A Division 1 Bi-District game with a 62-0 win.

Alto dominated the field both offensively and defensively. The Jackets earned 647 offensive yards, 450 from the running game and 197 passing.

On just eight carries, Vi’Dareous High totaled 208 yards and scored five of Alto’s nine touchdowns in the game. The scores came on 61-, 36-, 13-, 3- and 67-yards respectively.

Aaron Skinner accumulated 169 yards on 14 totes, adding touchdowns from 63 and 22-yards out. Skyler Atkins posted 44 yards on three runs, including a 23-yard touchdown. Carter Pursley gained 24 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown, on seven carries.

Harmon West earned a 55 percent pass completion rate, hitting receivers five out of nine attempts. Todd Duplichain posted 62 yards on two receptions. Taylor Bowman added 57 yards on a single pass. High and Skinner each received one pass for 39 yards.

Eight out of nine attempted point-after kicks were sent through the uprights by Julio Serrano.

The Jackets held the Wildcats to exactly zero offensive yards. Alto ended Cayuga’s rushing game at negative 10 yards and restricted the pass plays to a mere 10 yards, intercepting one aerial.

Isaac Weatherford posted eight tackles, five for losses, one sack, one caused fumble and one fumble recovery. Harmon West recorded eight tackles, two for losses. Cayle Irvin added seven stops and a fumble recovery. Foster Hall also posted seven tackles, five for losses, as well as two sacks. Todd Duplichain recorded six stops, one for a loss and Landry Smith put in five tackles and a sack. Jackson Howell added five tackles and two pass deflections.

With the undefeated season and decisive victory over Cayuga, head coach Ricky Meeks was asked how he would convince his team the next playoff game would not be a cakewalk and they would need to work.

“That’s the good part about, I guess, the playoff season is now they have to have the mindset that if we do not prepare correctly and come out and play, the season is over with,” Meeks stated. “There’s no guarantee anymore from week to week. That definitely helps the preparation and getting ready for the next game.”

When asked if preparation for the next playoff would be any different than it has been for the regular season or the bi-district game, Meeks said they would not be changing anything.

“We’re going to continue to prepare how we have” Meeks said. “Offensively and defensively, we’re playing pretty solid and we have all year long. We’re just going to keep getting better at what we do and keep working on details and get ready for the next one.”

The Mean Sting (12-0) is scheduled to face the Joaquin Rams (9-2) in the Area round playoff match beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22. The game will be hosted at the Abe Martin Stadium, 309 S. Medford Drive, Lufkin.

Be aware that cannons, confetti and air horns are not allowed at the Abe Martin Stadium. Ice chests for spectators, as well as tobacco, sunflower seed and gum are also banned. Cross over from home side to visitor side of the stadium, or vice-versa, is prohibited.

Gates will open at 6 p.m. but there are no re-entry privileges. Anyone leaving the stadium will need to purchase a new ticket to re-enter.