DJ Dale ran onto the field, and Pinson Valley called timeout.
Dale — the 315-pound Alabama defensive line commit — has moonlighted as a short-yardage running back this season for Clay-Chalkville, so it seemed appropriate for him to jog onto the field with the Cougars facing third-and-3 and the Pinson Valley 8 late in the fourth quarter of Friday’s Class 6A semfina.
Dale, though, found a new way to show off his athletic versatility.
The beefy lineman took the shotgun snap, feinted a run up the middle and instead threw a jump-ball to a wide-open Joel Macon for an 8-yard touchdown pass.
“We just put it in this week,” Dale said. “I was just happy to step up and make a play to help our team.”
The TD pass cut Pinson Valley’s lead to 28-20 with 1:32 to go, but the Indians recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock and earned the 28-20 victory. The loss ends Dale’s high school career.
Watch the play:
So, DJ, do you think Nick Saban will let you show off your passing skills for the Crimson Tide? “I hope so,” he said.
It’s the second straight season Dale has delivered an athletic play in the semifinals. Last year, on the same field, Dale turned a short pass into a 17-yard catch-and-run for the Cougars’ only touchdown in a 31-7 loss.
Watch his TD catch from 2017:
Josh Bean covers high school sports for AL.com.