Late first half blitz rallies NMS past Brewton in opener
Published 9:49 am Monday, September 10, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
His play may not have been a scoring play, but it was arguably the biggest play for the W.S. Neal Middle School Blue Eagles football team.
Hunter Mullin's fumble recovery on a kickoff after his teammates had just scored led to the eventual winning touchdown, as the Blue Eagles downed the archrival Brewton Middle School Tigers 14-8 Thursday at Brewton Municipal Stadium.
W.S. Neal had just scored with 3:02 left in the first half when Ashton Elliott's three-yard touchdown pass to Keith Bradley trimmed Brewton's lead to 8-6.
Mullins set up the Blue Eagles with great field position when he recovered the ensuing kickoff at the Brewton 39-yard line.
It took W.S. Neal eight plays to cover that distance, as Marquese Banks capped off the scoring march with a five-yard touchdown run with 20 seconds left in the half that put the Blue Eagles ahead. Elliott followed up with a two-point toss to T.J. Davis that made it 14-8.
Brewton had a chance to halt the drive when it put the Blue Eagles in a third-and-six at the Brewton 22, but Elliott, who was five-for-seven for 57 yards in the game, connected with Bradley on a 10-yard completion for a first down that kept the drive alive.
Brewton had taken an 8-0 lead earlier in the quarter. The Tigers got their lone score when they went 72 yards over 14 plays in a drive that consumed more than eight minutes off the clock. Kirk Moore capped off the long march with a 10-yard touchdown run and Conner Denton threw a two-point conversion pass to Louis Miller.
Thursday's game was the opener for both teams although W.S. Neal played an exhibition scrimmage two weeks earlier against Andalusia.
Banks racked up 102 yards rushing on 16 carries to lead W.S. Neal, which outgained Brewton 185-139. Moore had 71 carries on 11 attempts to lead the Tigers.
The loss spoiled the debut of Brewton coach Gerald McAnally. It also snapped a 13-game winning streak by the Tigers program, which had not lost since a 40-14 setback to Monroe County in week three of the 2005 season.
Brewton will try to get back on the right track Tuesday when it plays at Monroe County. W.S. Neal is back in action Thursday with a home date against Ernest Ward. Both games start at 6 p.m.