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Bulldogs defeat Providence Christian, 48-24

After a sputtering first half that saw the Providence Christian Eagles stay neck and neck with Brantley, the Bulldogs finally came out of the pound and sent the Eagles packing in the second half with a whopping 48-24 win Friday night.

The Eagles didn’t waste any time getting points on the board as quarterback Alex Plagenhoef hit Banks Smith with a 64-yard touchdown pass within the first minute of the game. Smith also kicked the PAT putting the Eagles ahead 7-0.

Brantley added their first seven points for the night when Derek Holley ran the ball in for a touchdown on a 3-yard run; Adam Hill added the PAT to bring the score to 7-7 with 4:58 left in the first quarter.

Brantley’s Torey Upshaw turned right around and snatched a pass interception from Plagenhoef and scored on a 42-yard return; Hill’s PAT was good, and the Bulldogs led 14-7.

But the Eagles soon answered back on a 13-play drive that ended with a touchdown on a one-yard run by Banks Smith; Smith’s PAT was good, and the Eagles tied the game 14-14 with 8:15 left in the second quarter.

Providence Christian recovered the ball on a Brantley kickoff fumble that led the Eagles on a nine-play drive and a 32-yard field goal by Smith, putting the Eagles ahead 17-14.

On Brantley’s next possession, the Bulldogs drove 78 yards in 8 plays, with Zach Wiley scoring on a one-yard run up the middle with 34 seconds left in the second quarter. Hill’s PAT was good, and the Bulldogs ended the first half leading the Eagles 21-17.

A determined Brantley team came out during the second half as the rain began to fall hard Friday night. During the third quarter, a 37-yard pass completion from Zach Johnson to Torey Upshaw led to a Bulldog touchdown three plays later as Derek Holley scored. The extra point failed, but the Bulldogs were up 27-17 with 4:34 left in the third quarter.

Derek Holley added the next TD, which came within the first minute of the final quarter, on an 11-yard run up the middle. Hill’s PAT was good, and the Bulldogs pulled ahead 34-17.

But the Eagles weren’t finished just yet. Providence Christian covered 67 yards in 11 plays and scored on a 10-yard pass from Plagenhoef to Smith with 6:48 left in the game. Smith’s PAT was good, and the Eagles were only 10 points behind the Bulldogs.

Brantley’s next points were set in motion when Jared Hall recovered a fumble for the Bulldogs; Zach Wiley ground out a 32-yard run to the seven yard line before scoring two plays later on a two-yard run up the middle with 4:17 left in the game. Jared Hall ran in the two-point conversion, and the Bulldogs enjoyed a 42-24 lead.

Junior Devonte Porter scored the last Bulldog TD on a 35-yard run with 3:46 left in the game. The PAT failed, but the Bulldogs walked away with a sound 48-24 win.

Senior Derek Holley had 91 yards on 14 carries and scored three touchdowns for the Bulldogs, while Zach Wiley had 72 yards on 6 carries for two TDs. Quarterback Zach Johnson was 6 of 9 for passing for 117 yards. Teven Daniels snatched 7 catches for 45 yards, and Torey Upshaw had two catches for 50 yards plus one interception return for a 42-yard TD.

Brantley will travel to Florala Friday night for its second region game of the season. Game time is 7 p.m.