Pats come up short

Cody McKee
Special to the Enquirer

FLORETTE – West Point stopped Brewer on the goal line twice in the second half and used a 99-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter to seal a 25-18 win over the Patriots in 2013 season opener Friday night.

For the second year in row, the Brewer Patriots started their season under Dan Styles against the West Point Warriors from Cullman County.

Unlike the past, the Patriots started off with a lot of momentum executing touchdown drives on their first offensive series of the year. Brendan Deberry and TJ Morrow accumulated for much of the success by showing off the duos individual athleticism on special teams and in the run game. After a three and a out forced by the Patriots defense, Brendan Deberry took a Warriors punt 34 yards down to the West Point 14. After a 6-yard screen that was almost lost by Deberry, downhill style of Morrow took it in for the Patriots at the 8:52 and a missed extra point by Weston Greene 6-0 Brewer. West Point improved on their first drive and established a little bit better run game allowing the Warriors to cross into Brewer territory but ended up turning it over on downs. Morrow went on the attack again and took it from 21 yards out and helped the Patriots push their lead to 12-0 after a two point conversion failed attempt.

West Point changed the momentum of the game as they turned turnovers and defensive stops into 12 early points. West Point’s quarterback took control as he successfully ran the read option consecutive times to set up a touchdown pass to Dudley on a 4th down play from 47 yards out at the 8:57 mark in the second quarter. After stalls on both sides Bryant made it take a little less effort as the first play after a Brewer turnover he cruised into the end zone from 49 yards out to tie it up at 12 at the 6:59 mark. However, the number three of Deberry made it his show again as he managed to escape pressure and convert a long third down which set up a touchdown reception of his own from 30 yards out. After a failed two point conversion it once again stood Brewer in the leading position at 4:59 mark. Stalled drives and a interception by Austin Crouch made it 18-12 at the half Brewer.

A dull start to the second half was on display as both teams were not able to produce much of anything early on in the 3rd quarter. Despite the quiet start, West Point converted a Deberry fumble and make it 19-18 after Bryant Farley connected with Dudley again at the 5:24 mark. Brewer was on the verge on answering. However, a failed fourth down attempted led to another turnover on downs and was the only productive possession for the Patriots in the third.

Brewer took advantage of a short field but was stuffed on a fourth and goal play at the half yard line and turned it over on downs for the third time of the night. Bryant Farley carefully executed a drive that was forcing the Patriots to be even more on the ropes going under the six minute mark. After two big receptions by Lance Ray from Farley, the Warriors capped off a huge 99-yard drive to take a 25-18 lead at the 4:52 mark in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Hunter Griffin and the Patriot offense had a chance to answer and make a big game winning driving, however a penalty and incompletions by Griffin shut the door on that. West Point took over after a punt at their own 42 to try to take the match up for the fourth year in a row. The Warriors ended the game allowing no points for the Patriots in second half and making two goal line stands.

West Point’s Bryant Finley finished with three total touchdowns with two passing and 45 rushing touchdown. Lance Ray finished with 50 yards when he caught two passes on the long 99-yard drive. Brendan Deberry scored twice to help and had an impressive special teams game. Brewer will travel to Boaz next week to face the Pirates.

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