Bulldogs hand Florala first loss, 18-7

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2005

BRANTLEY – For a half at least, football supremacy in Class 1A, Region 2 looked as if it was about to change sides in Brantley's 18-7 win over Florala (6-1, 4-1) on Friday night.

At that point, the seventh-ranked Wildcats led 7-0 over Brantley (6-1, 5-0) in a bid to upset the Bulldogs on homecoming.

Miscues haunted the Bulldogs in the first half. Quarterback Edgar Walker tossed two interceptions - one inside the Wildcats' 10-yard line - in the final minutes of the second quarter.

Bulldogs' head coach David Lowery knew his team needed to settle down after halftime.

&#8220We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said. &#8220Offensively, we just couldn't get much going in the first half.”

Brantley got it going in the second. Quickly.

On the Bulldogs' opening possession of the third, Walker connected with Jon Tyson on a 65-yard pass play for a touchdown. The point-after-attempt was no good, but on Brantley's next series, Tyson took a reverse handoff on third and 15 and found Shane Corley open for a 35-yard touchdown.

Brantley led 12-7.

&#8220We've practiced that play all year long and were just waiting for the time to use it,” said Lowery. &#8220This was a time. We're glad it worked. If it hadn't, it would have looked bad. We knew we had to throw it some in the second half to be able to run the ball.”

Florala head coach Doug Vickery said there was some confusion in the Wildcats' defensive backfield, which led to the Bulldogs' two big plays.

&#8220Coach Lowery made some adjustments at halftime and we didn't,” he said. &#8220Hat's off to him and his team.”

However, after a James Pittman fumble at the Florala 10-yard line late in the third, the game was still in doubt going into the fourth quarter. Wildcats' quarterback Robby Evans hit Xavier Jones for a 34-yard gain to the Bulldogs' 33-yard line. Three straight plays, though, netted but 3 yards and Evans' fourth and 7 pass to Jones was incomplete. Prior to that play, the senior split end had broken free and was streaking towards the end zone but Evans' pass was just out of reach.

&#8220I counted at least three chances where we could have scored like that,” said Vickery.

Lowery said although his offense sputtered for most of the night, his defense played well throughout.

&#8220They came in averaging around 50 points a game and for us to hold them to just seven, that's something,” he said.

After Brantley's first touchdown, the defense turned away Florala on four downs at the Bulldogs' 29. Corey Latham broke through to sack Evans on fourth and 12.

Chris Booker finally iced the game for Brantley, scoring on a 31-yard touchdown run with 5:22 remaining in the fourth.

&#8220I couldn't be more proud of my football team than I am tonight,” said Vickery, whose team fell to Brantley 35-6 last season. &#8220We want to see Brantley again, hopefully in the playoffs. Right now, we just have to go out and get better next week.”

Vance Gettis scored Florala's lone touchdown of the game, a 6-yard run in the first quarter that capped off an 88 yard drive by the Wildcats.