1A teams lose; Florala plays Brantley hard

Published 12:16 am Saturday, October 4, 2014

One couldn’t tell that Florala lost 35-21 to top-ranked Brantley by the inflection of Wildcats head football coach Brad Rhodes voice Friday night.

“I’m extremely proud of our guys,” Rhodes said.

Going into halftime, the Wildcats trailed 21-0.

Rhodes said they felt like they left some missed opportunities out on the field as the Wildcats (4-2, 1-2 in Class 1A, Region 2) had one touchdown called back on a penalty and a pass ruled out of bounds near the end zone.

“We still felt good about where we were at, even though we were down 21-0,” he said. “We just challenged our guys to play the second half, one play at a time.”

Florala went on to score 21 unanswered points to tie the game when Austin West returned the opening half’s kickoff 76 yards for a TD; Brandon Russell rushed in from 12 yards after a pooch kick and drive down the field; and Ray Hall’s 8-yard TD pass from quarterback Avery McNeil.

However, the Bulldogs would score two touchdowns within the last minute of the third quarter on a quick “bang-bang” play and a pick six.

“It was a great game,” Rhodes said. “It was a battle.”

West rushed for 120 yards on 22 carries; had 117 yards in kick off returns; and tallied eight tackles on defense to lead the Wildcats. Chandler Holmes recorded 16 tackles and two forced fumbles; and Blake Donaldson had nine tackles and a fumble recovery.

Offensively, FHS had 332 yards of offense. Two-hundred-and-fifty-four were on the ground.

“Again, I can’t say how proud I am of the character and fight our guys showed tonight,” Rhodes said.

Florala hosts McKenzie next week.

In other Class 1A action, Pleasant Home lost 35-0 to Georgiana.

Despite suffering a 40-12 loss to McKenzie on Friday night, Red Level head football coach David Godwin said his players played the best four quarters, “effort wise,” so far this season

Undefeated MHS led 22-0 at halftime.

Red Level’s A.J. Nicholson recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown; and Jon Lee scored on a short run to cut the game to 34-12 going into the fourth quarter.

“They got one in late on us,” Godwin said. “I thought we played probably, effort wise, the best fourth quarters of the year. McKenzie most of our players away. We missed some tackles and they’ve got some real shifty guys. I’m proud of our effort through four quarters.”

Godwin added that if the team has that effort for the rest of the season, it will shape the year.

RL hosts Pleasant Home next week.