Bulldogs chew up Squadron, 56-6
The Class 1A powerhouse and 3rd ranked Brantley Bulldogs journeyed into Clay Jordan Stadium this past Friday night looking to go 5 – 0 on the 2008 football season and improve on their lofty standings as one of the teams to be reckoned with on their march to a state championship. It did not take long for Coach David Lowery and his Bulldogs from south Crenshaw County to make that statement as they scored often and early to put away the winless Highland Home Flying Squadron 56 – 6.
With this win, coupled with the 21-6 win over the Luverne Tigers in week number one, the Bulldogs were back on common ground as they captured the 2008 Crenshaw County Championship, after a one-year absence.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Dawgs left little doubt that their wing-T formation would control the clock as they rushed for 368 yards on 33 carries, compared to their counterpart from Highland Home, which had only 98 yards on 22 rushing attempts.
The only thing that Coach Scott Booth’s blue clad Squadron troops won in this game would be the opening coin toss.
Setting up their Notre Dame box offense at the Squadron’s own 20 yard line, they got their initial 1st down as they moved the ball out to the 39 yard line on two quick passes from Junior QB Tyler McGough. But the Dawg defense said, “No more”, as Highland Home lost 4 yards on their next three snaps and were forced to punt from their 35. That’s when Brantley return man Devontay Porter outraced the Flyboys’ punt coverage 65 yards into the Squadron end zone. Senior place kicker Britt Barnes’ kick was true, as the Dawgs went up 7to 0 with 9:46 left in the opening stanza.
On Highland Home’s second possession of the quarter, the turnover bug bit the Squadron offensive 11 as Bulldog linebacker Junior Chris Walker recovered tailback Cody Peterson’s fumble at the Squadron 33 yard line, but on the very next play the Dawgs gave the ball right back as Senior defensive tackle Kevin Bowen pounced on a Dawg loose ball at his own 24.
After two plays moved the ball out to their own 27-yard line, the Squadron decided to put the ball in the air. That’s when Dawg safety man Chase Hall picked off the Tyler McGough pass at the Highland Home 33-yard line. It took the Dawgs only one play to cover the distance as Senior running back Anthony Gulley raced around left end for their 2nd touchdown of the night. Barnes’ PAT kick was good as the score read BHS-14, HHS-0 with 5:55 showing on the clock.
Once again, turnovers hampered the Squadron offense as for the 3rd straight possession they laid the ball on the ground as Peterson dropped the hand-off for the second time with 4:56 left in the first quarter.
With the ball at the Highland Home 41-yard line, it took the Dawgs three plays to hit pay dirt as Porter got his 2nd touchdown of the game on a 16-yard run to give Brantley a 21 – 0 lead as the 1st quarter came to a close.
The start of the 2nd quarter saw the Flyboys move the ball out to their own 42-yard line. But the Dawg defense clamped down at that point to force a Squadron punt. After a Tyler McGough punt, the Bulldogs moved the ball 62 yards in seven plays to rack up their 4th score of the game when QB Chase Hall hit a wide-open Anthony Gulley on a 46-yard scoring strike. Once again place kicker Britt Barnes’ kick was good as Brantley led 28 – 0 with 6:45 left in the 1st half.
Highland Home moved the ball out to the Bulldog 49 from their own 25-yard line as once again the Flyboys turned the ball over for the 4th time in the half when Tyler McGough was picked off for the 2nd time by Brantley’s Anthony Gulley with 3:35 before halftime.
Chase Hall’s 16-yard pass to Dawg wide-out Tory Upshaw was a perfect strike as he burned the Flyboys’ secondary to tally their 5th score of the half, as the half-time horn sounded with Dawgs up 35 – 0 over the home team.
Brantley wasted very little time in notching their 6th score of the night after receiving the 2nd half opening kickoff. With only two and one-half minutes off the game clock, QB Chase Hall threw his 3rd touchdown pass of the evening as he connected with running back Gulley for their 2nd combo connection on a 40-yard pass into the Highland Home end zone. Britt Barnes hit on his 6th consecutive PAT kick as Brantley had a commanding 42 -0 lead.
Unable to move the ball against a ruff and tuff bunch of Dawgs, the Squadron were forced to punt the ball for the 4th time when Tyler McGough knocked out a 27-yarder. On this possession, Coach Lowery brought in the little Dawgs to close out the game, leading 42 – 0 with 8:48 left in quarter number 3. That’s when back-up QB Zach Johnson got his name in the scoring column when he directed the Dawgs on 65-yard, 11-play drive as he hit Brantley wide-out Adam Hill on a 19-yard line touchdown toss.
Down 49 – 0 to the visitors from Bulldog Land, the Flyboy Squadron finally dented the score board as Junior running back Chris Wasden zig-zagged his way into the Dawg end zone with 1:55 to go in the quarter. This touchdown run went for 40 yards.
Brantley closed out the scoring with 5:45 to go in the game with Jamie Burnett out-racing the Flyboys’ defensive unit 44 yards for the score. Barnes nailed his 8th straight PAT to put the 3rd ranked Dogs up 56 – 6.
The struggling Highland Home offensive team had one last opportunity to put points on the board, but an Adam Hill interception of a Tyler McGough pass ended the scoring threat as Brantley revenged last year’s 30 – 21 loss to the Squadron by winning this year’s contest 56 – 6.
Brantley had 467 yards of total offense as they carved out 19 1st downs.
Brantley’s Britt Barnes was 8 for 8 on PAT kicks as the Dawg punt team never hit the playing field.
Leading rusher in the game was Bulldog Anthony Gulley, who had three touchdowns on six carries and 134 yards.
The Dawg passing attack was also strong as they went 5 for 10 for 99 yards and 4 touchdowns.
On the other hand, the Flyboys had 185 yards of total offense and punted 4 times for 95 yards. Squadron QB Tyler McGough was 12 for 15 from the pocket, but threw three picks as the offensive unit added 3 fumbles for a total of six turnovers.
This week, Coach David Lowery and his Bulldogs play at home against Pleasant Home.
Meanwhile, Coach Scott Booth and his low-flying Squadron hit the road to face Francis Marion as both teams are winless this year in Region 3 Class 2A.