Addison plays keep away in second half to earn Class 1A title
Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 3, 2005
BIRMINGHAM - The Brantley Bulldogs quest for the 2005 Class 1A State title came to an abrupt end as Addison scored 21 unanswered points en route to a 21-12 win at Legion Field Friday night.
Brantley opened up a 12-0 lead in the second quarter as their defense shut down Addison with four consecutive three and outs.
However, Addison scored with 11 seconds remaining in the half to keep momentum on its side for the rest of the game.
“We never got the momentum back in the second half,” Brantley coach Lowery said.
“Their touchdown before the end of the first half was a big momentum shift.”
Previously, the Brantley defense stuffed Addison's running game and forced the Bulldogs to change schemes.
“They (Brantley) had a great game plan and they forced us to use the spread offense,” Addison Head Coach Randy White said.
“We also had to change our blocking schemes.”
Addison (14-1) would usually set up their passing attack with the running game.
“There defense was aggressive and quick off the ballŠwe had to adjust,” White said.
Brantley's defense only gave up 19 yards on 17 carries in the first half.
Addison only managed 77 total yards in the first half.
“I give Brantley a lot of credit, they had an answer for everything in the first half,” White said.
While the Addison offense was struggling with four three and outs, Brantley was slowly winning the field position game in the first quarter.
By the time the second quarter came around, the Brantley offense caught fire as the Bulldogs took a quick 12-0 lead.
Brantley junior tailback James Pittman lit the fire when he broke off a Super Six 1A record 75-yard touchdown run with 9:54 left in the first half.
“Our offensive line did a great job of opening that hole for me to run thru,” Pittman said.
Pittman finished with a game high 102 yards on just nine carries.
Fellow junior tailback Chris Booker chipped in with 69 yards on 15 carries.
After the extra point miss, Brantley claimed a 6-0 lead.
The Bulldogs defense would force another three and out.
The offense got it going again as the Bulldogs marched down the field on a seven-play 59-yard TD drive to extend the lead to 12-0 with 4:16 left in the first half.
Senior Shane Corley caught the 24-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Edgar Walker.
Walker connected on six of 12 passes for 72 yards while Corley snagged two receptions for a team high 48 yards.
However, Addison's offense woke up and went into their spread and countered with a 14-play 68-yard touchdown drive.
Addison QB Jake Gilliand found tailback Caleb Parker on a four-yard TD reception with 11 ticks remaining in the half.
“The touchdown before half was a huge change of momentum for us,” White said. “That (momentum) carried over in the second half.”
In the second half, Addison controlled the ball and the clock as their offense scored on two consecutive drives.
The first drive drained 5:26 off the clock.
The result was a 14-play 65-yard drive that gave Addison a 14-12 lead with 6:34 left in the third quarter.
“We didn't make the plays and we couldn't stop them in the second half,” Lowery said.
After the Brantley offense sputtered, the Addison offense squeezed off 5:17 the clock en route to another TD and a 21-12 lead with 9:54 left in the final quarter.
Gilliand connected with Blake Turner on a 28-yard strike.
“They (Addison) kept our offense off the field,” Lowery said.
In fact, the Bulldogs only had two possessions in the second half.
“Addison wore us (defense) down in the second half,” Lowery said.
Brantley linebacker Jeffrey Daniels was on the field as Addison played ball control.
“Addison was on a roll and that clock was against us,” Daniels said.
“It was frustrating because we wanted to get our offense back on the field.”
Daniels had a game-high 15 tackles while junior Corey Latham had 10 takedowns.
Brantley's last offense drive ended on a quarterback sack on fourth down.
“You got to give them their props, they beat us,” Daniels said.
James Booker commented on the loss.
“We left everything on the field and gave our all,” Booker said.
“We put our hearts into this season.”
Pittman added his thoughts.
“The senior leadership on this team was phenomenal,” Pittman said. “ It's ashamed that we came up short tonight.”
“We were proud to be here but we came to win,” Lowery said, “and it's disappointing to be on the losing side of it.”
“It hurts to lose a state championship game,” Lowery added.
Brantley finished with a 13-2 record and looks to come back next year.
“We got a good group of seniors coming back next season,” Lowery commented.
“Trust us, we'll be back here next year at 3 o'clock,” Pittman said.
“We want Addison.”