Arab defense controls Brewer
FLORETTE – Two touchdowns on kick returns and injuries to key players proved to be more than Brewer’s Patriots could overcome as they fell to the Arab Knights, 25-7, in a season-opening home football game Friday night.
Arab grabbed a 6-0 lead on the opening kickoff on an 82-yard return by Trenton Hogeland. Houston Anderson booted the extra point to make the score 7-0 with only 16 seconds elapsed in the first period. Hogeland turned the trick again in the fourth quarter by returning a free kick 58 yards for another score with 5:18 left in the game. Anderson tacked on the extra point to make the score 25-7.
The Knights’ offense scored its only TD in the first period on a two-yard run by Timothy Graham, capping a 64-yard drive on five plays. Anderson added the extra point to make the score 14-0
The Patriot offense, which managed only one first down in the second half, was handicapped by injuries to QB/S Taylor Bowling, TB/LB T.J. Graham and OL Adam Dixon.
“The breakdowns we had on our special teams killed us,” said Patriot head coach Daniel Gullion. “Plus, we couldn’t get anything going with the offense, especially in the second half. The execution was horrible.”
On a positive note, Gullion said he thought the defense played well.
It allowed only one touchdown and stopped four scoring threats. Austin Dorriety recovered an Arab fumble on his own one-yard line midway through the second quarter, Josh Wilson picked off a pass in the end zone to stop a long Knight drive just before the end of the first half and Casey Vest recovered a Knight fumble on his own two-yard line to stop another long drive. The defense also forced the Knights to turn over the ball on downs after they had moved from their own 39-yard line to Brewer’s five.
The Patriots scored their only touchdown on their second possession, marching 69 yards on four plays. Graham broke free over right tackle and scored from 15 yards out with 7:03 left in the first period. Hunter Eddy converted the extra point to cut Arab’s lead to 14-7. T. Bowling got the drive started by picking up 15 yards on a quarterback option play and Matthew Crowe set up the touchdown run on a 34-yard gainer.
A 55-yard runback of the second half kickoff by Graham put the Patriots in good field position on Arab’s 42-yard line; however, they were forced to punt three plays later after two passes fell incomplete.
The Knights scored four of their points on safeties. The first came with 5:23 left in the first half when Graham was tackled in the end zone and the second occurred with 5:18 to go when a high snap of the ball sailed over punter Eddy’s head and rolled through the end zone.
Matthew Crowe paced Brewer with 35 yards rushing on two carries and Phillip Nuby followed with 26 yards on eight carries.