The Dauphin Junior High Fins (6-0) captured their third consecutive South Alabama Football League (aka Wiregrass Conference) Championship on Tuesday, Oct. 15, with a resounding 34-14 win over Andalusia Middle School at Wildcat Stadium.
Steady rainfall didn’t hamper the Fin offense, which racked up 34 points in the first half and completely controlled the game straight from the start.
“We did outstanding,” Dauphin coach Marc Sieving said. “We came out clicking on all cylinders and they really worked hard for this, so it was awesome to watch.”
The Fins didn’t waste any time getting things started as Dauphin pulled out a flea flicker on the game’s first play as quarterback Wyatt Darlington found running back Amare Griffin for a 55-yard touchdown pass. Andalusia managed to block the PAT but Dauphin still led 6-0 with 7:58 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs responded with a 9-play drive that took up much of the rest of the first quarter, but after getting inside the Dauphin 30-yard line the Fin defense tightened up and forced a turnover on downs.
Dauphin extended its lead with a 53-yard touchdown run from Griffin with 1:15 left in the opening period. The PAT extended the Dauphin lead to 13-0.
A Bulldog fumble on the ensuing kickoff gave Dauphin the ball back at the Andalusia 29-yard line, and just two plays later Darlington found Johntavious Hooten for a 23-yard touchdown pass. The PAT stretched the Fin lead to 20-0 with 6:21 remaining in the first half.
Another fumbled kickoff backed the Bulldogs up inside their own 2-yard line and then a short punt – after a three-and-out – gave Dauphin the ball back on the Andalusia 13-yard line. A few plays later, Darlington punched in a 1-yard touchdown run. Darlington bobbled the wet football on the PAT attempt but dove into the end zone to convert a two-point try anyway. Dauphin led 28-0 with 2:25 left in the half.
On Andalusia’s next drive, Dauphin’s Andrew Peterson snagged an interception at the Andalusia 33-yard line, and just two plays later Julio Jones was celebrating a 22-yard touchdown run. Darlington bobbled the snap on the PAT again but this time couldn’t convert the two-point try. The Fin lead stood at 34-0 with 51 seconds left in the second quarter. The Fins would take that lead into the half.
In the second half, Dauphin emptied the bench and played much of its reserves and Andalusia was finally able to get something going on offense.
Andalusia got on the scoreboard with a 47-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brunson Wilson to receiver J’Marion Burnette with 2:20 left in the third quarter. The two-point try failed and Dauphin held on to a 34-6 lead.
Andalusia scored again with 4:12 left in the fourth quarter on a 25-yard touchdown run. The two-point try was good and the final score sat at 34-6 in favor of Dauphin as the Fins were able to run the clock out.
The Dauphin win gave the Fins their third consecutive conference championship and 19th consecutive win dating back to the 2017 season.
“We try to push them really hard and get them ready for high school,” Sieving said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Dauphin rolled up 170 yards on the ground and 248 yards of total offense, while holding the Bulldogs to just 160 total yards with 109 yards coming in the second half.
Dauphin was led by Jones with 59 yards and a touchdown on just four carries, while Griffin had 57 yards and a touchdown on three carries. Griffin also caught a pass for 55 yards and a touchdown. Darlington completed 2-of-2 passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for nine yards and a touchdown.
Andalusia’s Zaden Netwon rushed 52 yards on 11 carries, while Wilson completed 5-of-7 passes for 59 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Burnette had three catches for 51 yards and a score.