Brewer stumbles in opener
By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
FLORETTE - A second half comeback effort by Brewer’s Patriots came too little, too late as they fell to the Madison Academy Mustangs 28-6 in a season opener for both teams at Randolph Ryan Stadium in Florette Friday night.
The visitors put all of their points on the scoreboard in the first half while committing no turnovers; however, they left the door open for the Patriots in the third quarter when they turned the ball over on a pass interception and a fumble.
Two sophomores rose to the occasion when the Patriots had their backs to the wall, trailing 0-28.
Cornerback Taylor Graham picked off a Mustang pass on the second play of the third quarter and returned it 30 yards to give his team a scoring opportunity from the 10-yard line. However, the Patriots were unable to put the ball in the end zone and turned it back over to the Mustangs on the seven. Four plays later they got the ball back when they forced the Mustangs to punt from their own 14-yard line. That’s when running back Philip Newby made his presence felt in dramatic fashion.
Newby hauled in the Mustang punt at midfield and returned it 10 yards. He then sparked the attack that led to his team’s only touchdown. On six carries he gained 42 yards and capped the eight-play drive by scoring from three yards out. The highlight play in the drive was a 17-yard run in which Newby broke several tackles before being dragged down on the three-yard line. Two plays later he bulled his way into the end zone over left tackle. Vinny Muggeo’s kick for the extra point was blocked and the score stood at 28-6 with 3:12 left in the third period.
The Patriots had another golden scoring opportunity slip from their grasp when the Mustangs fumbled on their next possession and lost the ball on their own 20-yard line. However, the Patriots were able to gain only five yards on four running plays and had to give up the ball on downs.
The Mustangs got all of their touchdowns on long passes with transfer quarterback Travis Eakin throwing to wide receivers Jordan and Justin Matthews and Jared Brinson.
Eakin connected with Jordan Matthews on a 15-yard pass to post Madison Academy’s first touchdown on the last play of the first period. Tim Mennes booted the first of his four extra points to make the score 7-0.
A 73-yad pass from Eakin to Justin Matthews accounted for the Mustangs’ second touchdown. It came with 5:51 left in the second period and followed the interception of a Brewer pass.
The Mustangs scored again on a 78-yard pass from Eakin to Brinson with 3:42 left in the same period and extended their lead to 27-0 on a 35-yard pass form Eakin to Jordan Matthews with 53 seconds left in the first half. Mennes upped the score to 28-0 with his fourth extra point conversion.
Brewer quarterbacks Tony Dickerson and Tyler Parker combined completed 10 of 19 passes for 67 yards. Newby led the team in rushing with 53 yards on 10 carries.