Lowery, #8216;Dogs get second shot at title

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 3, 2005

Brantley coach David Lowery has heard all the stories.

He's heard the stories of the state championships that the Bulldogs have won in 1993 and 98. He's heard of those that got away, which includes a 1976 loss.

That one probably is the more talked about championship loss since it was against the same team the Bulldogs will face at 3 p.m. at Birmingham's Legion Field this Friday.

&#8220Yea, I've heard about that game a time or two,” Lowery said with a laugh.

But there is a one game that stands out more than any other to Lowery around this time of year. It was Lowery's first loss as Brantley's football coach. It also was for the Class 1A championship against Courtland, which is now known as R.A. Hubbard.

&#8220I replay things and situations in my mind a lot from that game,” Lowery said. &#8220Hopefully those things will help us be better prepared this week. It will be a different team, a different year and hopefully a different result.”

But those are just some of the distractions Lowery has had to deal with along the road to Friday's championship game.

&#8220The main thing is to get focused on the football game and not the travel and Legion Field,” Lowery said. &#8220We're going to keep them focused on practice and what to do to be successful on Friday.”

The road to Birmingham may seem to have been easy for Brantley, but not so. After easing past J.U. Blacksher in the first round the Bulldogs faced the defending Class 1A champ Sweet Water in the second round.

After shutting down their three 1,000-yard rushers, Brantley took their game on the road to face one of the more athletic teams in the state in Loachapoka. Brantley's offense wasn't clicking on all cylinders that night, but the Bulldogs did come away with a shutout victory.

Then, the Bulldogs withstood American Christian quarterback Chris Smelley's 574-yard and three-touchdown performance to advance to Friday's title game.

Addison coach Randy White said that what he has been most impressed with after having seen the Bulldogs on film is team speed.

&#8220They are fast everywhere,” White said of Brantley. &#8220Their slowest guy is probably as fast as our fastest guy.”

Chris Booker certainly opened some eyes during his five-touchdown performance last week. The junior running back leads Brantley with 2,026 all-purpose yards and 23 touchdowns.

He has rushed for 1,407 yards and 18 touchdowns so far on 162 attempts, while catching 15 passes for 178 yards and two more scores.