Montgomery, AL – Decatur Heritage Christian School senior quarterback Brayden Kyle turned in the performance of a lifetime in last week’s wild 76-60 Class 1A second round playoff victory over the Ragland Purple Devils.
He accounted for 629 total yards and had a hand in 11 touchdowns to set a number of AHSAA single-game records and grab this week’s AHSAA Football Playoff Spotlight for week 2 of the 2021 state playoffs.
It was originally reported he had 609 total yards with four TD passes and seven rushing scores. However, upon review by Coach Steve Meek and his staff, his total yardage was actually 629 yards – coming on an 11-of-18 passing performance for 271 yards with three touchdown passes and 18 rush attempts for 358 yards and eight touchdowns. Kyle’s 629 total yards in a single game broke the AHSAA all-time single-game record and his 11 touchdowns accounted for also set a new AHSAA single-game state record.
His 629 total yards also rank ninth best nationally all-time. The national record, set in 2015 by Matt Miller of DuBois High School (PA) is 787 yards. Kyle, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior, also had 507 total yards in the Eagles’ first-round 48-28 playoff triumph over Marion County. He was 14-of-20 passing for 353 yards and three TDs and rushed for 154 yards and four touchdowns on 11 carries in that game. He now has completed 25-of-38 passes for 624 yards and six TDs in two playoff games this post-season, and he has had 29 rush attempts for 512 yards and 12 touchdowns – a total of 1,136 total yards and 18 touchdowns accounted for. His average stands at 17.0 yards per play; 17.7 yards per rush attempt and 25.0 yards per completion and a touchdown accounted for every 3.7 plays.
Decatur Heritage’s Meek was still awed by his quarterback’s performance when questioned by Talladega Daily Home sports editor Lavonte Young. “I’m amazed every week and I’m blessed again to have him on our team,” Meek said. “I would hate to scheme against or try to stop him. He is amazing. He loves the game. He loves to compete. He is a competitor and a winner.”
Ragland head coach Wes Tidwell praised Kyle and his own Ragland team after on the loss.
“I don’t know where you find a better football game to watch than this one,” he told Young. “We knew coming in that they were going to be tough to stop. That kid (Kyle) is tough to get on the ground. They did a great job running routes, they are well-coached.
“When you have a kid like that, it is tough. Our kids responded and they played hard. I’m as proud of how they fought in the second half as if we won the ball game. You can’t coach what they did, they came out and fought.”
Ragland quarterback Owen Schall threw four TD passes to lead Ragland, and Ezra Hill returned a kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown for the Purple Devils.
Jack Poundstone of Trinity Presbyterian held the state record (618), which he set in a 2008 playoff game versus Cordova. St. John Paul II Catholic quarterback Seth Brown had 614 total yards in a 2019 game versus West Morgan.
The previous touchdowns accounted for record (9) was shared by three different players. James Raines of Berry High School had nine TD passes and passed for seven 2-point conversions in a 68-0 win over Brilliant in 2015. Hubbertville’s Tommy Haley-Ricks rushed for nine touchdowns in a 76-52 win over Vina in 2008, and Victory Christian’s Brent Gulledge threw nine TD passes in a 70-6 victory over Lyman Ward in 2004. All three games came in the regular season.
Kyle’s eight rushing touchdowns is one shy of the state record (9) set by Haley-Ricks in 2008, and his 50 total points scored ties for 6th most all-time behind Haley-Ricks’ 58 points scored in in 2008.
The 136 points combined in the Decatur Heritage-Ragland playoff game were the most ever scored in an AHSAA state playoff game – beating the previous total (135) scored by Clay-Chalkville (85) and Scottsboro (50) in a Class 6A playoff game in 2014.
Childersburg’s 82-64 win over Central Coosa in the final game of the regular season in 2016 combined for 146 points and is the all-time AHSAA record. Parrish and Hubbertville combined for 139 points in a 2003 win by the Tornadoes 81-58, and Slocomb beat Houston County 124-12 in 1931 for 136 points to set the record originally which stood for 85 years.
Decatur Heritage (10-2) moves into the quarterfinals of the Class 1A state playoffs this Friday with a home game versus Pickens County (10-2) to be played at West Morgan High School.
Classes 1A through 6A will all be competing in the quarterfinals, and in Class 7A, Hoover (12-0) hosts Thompson (11-1) and Central-Phenix City (12-0) hosts Auburn as the AHSAA’s largest class moves into the semifinals this Friday.
The Hoover vs. Thompson rematch of Region 3 rivals will be this week’s AHSAA TV Network / NFHS Network Game of the Week. It will be produced by WOTM TV with Vince Earley serving as executive producer. The AHSAA TV Network will also produce a Small-School Playoff Game of the Week as well featuring Clarke County (10-2) vs. B.B. Comer (10-2) at Sylacauga’s Legion Stadium Friday night. The game will be live over the NFHS Network and delayed over the AHSAA TV Network.
Currently, 24 of the 26 playoff games this week are set to be shown over the NFHS Network’s School Broadcast Program subscriber-based platform, and 21 games are set for live audio over approved radio or internet affiliates.