With a win Friday over Coosa Christian, the Purple Devils will wrap up the region title.
The first two Thunder drives were cut short by fumbles. Both led to Ragland touchdowns.
Nick Daniels scored on a 35-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and kicked the PAT to make it 7-0. John Mark Mintz scored after the second JCA fumble on a 25-yard run to make it 14-0 with 10:08 remaining in the first quarter.
“Ragland has got a really good football team,” Thunder coach Tommy Miller said. “We have to improve in all areas.”
Unfortunately, the JCA defense just couldn’t keep pace with the faster Ragland players. That coupled with poor tackling allowed Ragland to tack on another 14 points making the lead 28-0.
Devane Brewster broke a 10-yard run to make it 21-0, and a Kijana Lindsay 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Scotty Smith made it 28-0.
“I thought we came out and executed well,” Ragland head coach Brian Mintz said. “We focused and got right to work.”
On JCA’s next drive, Thunder quarterback Will Warren threw an interception that was returned 33 yards for a touchdown by Ragland’s Smith. That score extended the lead to 35-0, and the game was still in the first quarter.
It was much of the same in the second quarter until the Thunder started to move the ball well with 3:46 left in the half. That drive ended with a failed fourth-down conversion.
Later in the quarter, Ragland’s Jimmy Brock returned a punt 55 yards for a score; Christian Morrow scored on a 35-yard run; and Jamichael Massey caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Keshawn Killings to make it 54-0 at halftime.
Because of the deficit that the Thunder faced after the half, the coaches agreed to play 6-minute quarters in the second half. The game was a stalemate in the third, with neither team able to score.
In the fourth quarter, the Thunder recovered a Purple Devil fumble at the Ragland 23-yard line.
Camron Bryant scored from eight yards out to put JCA on the scoreboard.
Ragland’s next possession ended in another fumble that was recovered by the Thunder. Five plays later, Dakota Crook walked into the end zone as time expired to make the final score 54-14.
“Our intensity was great,” Mintz said. “I’m proud of the guys.”
Ragland hosts Coosa Christian Friday. The Conquerors upended the Purple Devils last year.
“With a win, we win the region,” Mintz said. “And our guys remember what happened last year. I don’t think it will be hard to get the guys up for the game.”
Austin Faulkner of the Anniston Star contributed to this report.
Contact Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.