Brantley tops Highland Home in preseason game
The Crenshaw County football season began in exciting fashion last Friday night in Brantley as the Bulldogs hosted the Highland Home Flying Squadron.
Although the teams do not face off during the regular season, the two teams were able to test their starters, B-teams and JV squads against one another in the jamboree-style game.
Brantley received the ball to start the game, but quickly turned over to the Squadron.
A Highland Home drive, bolstered by a series of Brantley penalties, ended in the first touchdown of the game and a 7-0 score after an extra point.
Brantley’s next drive ended in a punt.
Highland’s next drive ended in yet another touchdown when quarterback John Tyler Hoffman connected with frequent target Andrew Gipson.
With the score at 14-0, Brantley’s next offensive effort ended in another punt.
The Brantley defense was finally able to stop Highland Home at the beginning of the 2nd quarter, and the effort led to a comeback for the Bulldogs.
Brantley quarterback Tucker Kilcrease led the charge on the offense, connecting with wide receiver Morell Edwards and running the ball himself to drive from the Bulldog 30-yard-line.
Finally, a pass to receiver Lucas Richardson finally put the Bulldogs on the board.
After a successful extra point, the score narrowed to 14-7.
Highland Home’s offense faced an early turnover on their next drive when Kilcrease managed to intercept Hoffman’s pass.
The Bulldogs took back over with just over 5 minutes remaining in the first half and drove again, utilizing screens and short passes.
Kilcrease connected with receiver Keldrick Brown for another 2nd quarter touchdown.
The extra point went wide this time, leaving the score at 14-13.
Highland took back over desperate to recover their 1st quarter success, but their next drive ended in a fumble that allowed Brantley one more chance at the end zone before the 2nd half.
A screen pass from Kilcrease to running back DeAndre Owens left the team in the red zone, and they went on to push in for another touchdown and the lead.
With the 2nd half ending, the score stood at 20-14, Brantley.
In the 3rd quarter, both teams began substituting in non-starters.
The teams traded turnovers to start the 3rd quarter, though Brantley’s fumble in their own end zone that resulted in a Highland Home touchdown was more substantial.
Highland Home’s Danyal Kull recovered that fumble, and the Squadron led 21-20 after a successful extra point.
Brantley wasted no time when they took back over, embarking on a drive that ended with a touchdown reception by Owens.
In the 4th quarter, both teams subbed in 7th, 8th and 9th grade roster members to complete the preseason game, and the game ended 26-21, Brantley.
Brantley head coach Roland Jones said that although his young team “started slow, we kept sticking to what we were doing and got better.”
Brantley will start their regular season at home this Friday, August 30 against New Brockton.
Highland Home will also be playing at home the same night, taking on Headland.
Games begin at 7 p.m.