Brantley tops HHS in pre-season jamboree

Published 10:51 am Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One of Crenshaw County’s football rivalries got an early start last Friday night as Brantley and Highland Home squared off in a pre-season jamboree with the Bulldogs winning 39-14.

New Highland Home head coach Tom Pinkston said he was pleased with his team’s effort, but he also said that the Squadron still have to make progress before the season starts.

“We did some good things, but we just weren’t consistent,” he said. “We made some mental mistakes that led to big plays. Also, Brantley is a good football team.”

On the other side of the ball, Brantley head coach David Lowery also said his team isn’t quite ready for the regular season.

“I don’t think we’re quite in shape,” he said. “I’m pleased with how well our first team played in this heat, though, but we’ve got to get more people ready to play. We had some young guys play big for us.”

One standout group for Lowery was the offensive line.

“They played really well, so I’ve got to give them credit,” he said.

The Bulldogs started the game with one of those big plays.

On the second play from scrimmage, Devonte Porter broke a 40-yard run and punched it in from inside the 10-yard line several plays later to make the score 6-0.

Chester Person came up with an interception on Highland Home’s first offensive possession, but the Squadron defense held the Bulldogs on fourth down.

Despite being stopped on that possession, Brantley would score twice more before the end of the half: once on a two-yard run by quarterback Zach Johnson and once on a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown by Cassius Tillis.

That interception ended a drive by the Squadron deep into Brantley territory, and HHS also moved the ball inside the Brantley 10-yard line late in the first half.

The Bulldogs’ big plays continued in the second half as Porter had a 50-yard pass reception for a touchdown to make the score 25-0, and Russ Kilcrease found an opening in the middle of the offensive line and scampered 65 yards to the endzone to make it 32-0.

However, the Squadron were down but not out.

With just over two minutes left in the game, Raheem Berry caught a pass and ran 60 yards to the Brantley nine-yard line.

On fourth down, quarterback Kase Kelly punched it into the endzone from three yards out.

Brantley’s Zane Johnson responded on the first play of the next drive by breaking a 68-yard run from scrimmage.

Less than 30 seconds later, Highland Home’s Kelly threw a perfect spiral to John Dunn, who raced 31 yards to make the score 39-14.

“Being consistent is going to be a key for us,” Pinkston said.

Both teams open the regular season this Friday night.

Brantley travels to Red Level, while Highland Home plays host to Central-Hayneville.

Kickoff for those games is set for 7 p.m.