The Brewer sideline erupts after defeating Priceville 54-49 in the final regular season game Friday night. | Benjamin Maxwell

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Brewer wins shootout with Priceville

Published 10:58am Monday, November 5, 2012

Benjamin Maxwell
Special to the Enquirer

FLORETTE – The Brewer Patriots (2-8) knocked off the Priceville Bulldogs (2-8) in a thrilling sprint to the finish victory 54-49.

The Brewer offense persevered to pull off the come from behind victory in front of its homecoming crowd to put up a school record of most points in a game previously set in 1983 of 49 points.

“If you asked me before the game, a blowout would have been fine,” said Brewer head coach Dan Styles.

“For the future of our team and the growing up we need to do that is what we needed it to be. Certainly you want to send the seniors out with a good note but having a good taste in our mouth and still knowing we have to do things differently if want things to be different and with the offseason ahead, this should make it a little more bearable. It was a heck of a show from the spectators stand point, but it’s what these people deserve every time we step on the field and it’s our job to give it to them.”

The highly anticipated rivalry match-up was a thriller from the start. It was Priceville who made the first error in the record breaking shootout, when a fumble on its opening drive gave possession to the Patriots inside Brewer’s red zone.

The Brewer offense capitalized driving 90 yards down the field and, with a 15-yard TJ Morrow rushing touchdown, drew first blood. Special teams proved influential in the match-up as Brewer’s point after attempt failed leaving Brewer with only a 6-0 lead.

The Bulldogs quickly responded with a 12-yard touchdown run by Strazelle Jiminez on the following drive. A successful Nick Bell extra point gave Priceville its first lead 7-6. Brewer answered back with an 80-yard drive capped off by a Brendon Deberry three-yard touchdown run. A failed two point play still left the Patriots vulnerable with a 12-7 lead.

Priceville controlled the second quarter putting up three more touchdowns with Kaleb Barker rushing for one and connecting to Bell for the other to give Priceville 28-12 lead. However, with only seconds remaining in the half Brewer responded with a fumble recovery that led to a Weston Pritchett to James Daugette 37-yard touchdown. The score sent Brewer into the locker room still trailing 28-18, but with momentum on its side.

The Patriots picked up where they left off to open the second half. Nathan Stuart pounded his way into the end zone on a 10-yard run. Stuart struck again with a two-point rushing play to cut into the Priceville lead 28-26.

Despite the momentum shift the Bulldogs continued to persevere with a Barker to Jiminez six-yard touchdown connection that built the lead to 35-26. The shootout was then on.

Brewer turned again to Stuart, who answered the call with a three-yard touchdown run, making the score 35-32 heading into the fourth quarter.

Priceville’s running back Forrest Clemons exploited the center of the Brewer defense on a five-yard touchdown run to keep his team ahead.

With an injured Bell, Priceville turned to Peyton Morris for the point after attempt. Morris’s keep struck the left upright leaving the Bulldogs with only a 41-32 lead.

Brewer’s Deberry hit a 19-yard touchdown run on the following drive in response. The successful two-point play put Brewer within striking distance again but still trailing 41-40.

The Bulldogs made another crucial error on the ensuing drive as Brewer’s James Daugette picked off Priceville’s Kaleb Barker and returned the interception to the Priceville two-yard line. Brewer capitalized again, this time turning the Bulldog error into a 46-41 lead on the legs of Nathan Stuart.

The success was short lived as Priceville’s Benjamin Patterson responded with an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The successful two-point play put Priceville back in the lead 49-46.

With the clock ticking down to the final three minutes Brewer had one last offensive push. Nathan Stuart punished the Priceville defense with a powerful rush down the center of the field with a 48-yard rush down to the Priceville eight-yard line. Deberry then turned the drive into points with a touchdown run. Pritchett connected to Deberry on the two point play giving Brewer the 54-49 lead.

Priceville, with one last shot at redemption drove down the field on to the Brewer 20-yard line. With nine second remaining and on forth and ten Priceville gave one final heave to the end zone but were cut off by a Brewer interception to run the clock down leaving the Patriots on top.

“All I can say is, I was playing for the seniors,” said Stuart, a Brewer junior. “This win gives us a leg up on next year. We still have a lot to improve but we’re moving in the right direction.”

“This game is for the seniors,” said Deberry, a Brewer sophomore. “I knew this game meant more to them than anything. It’s an experience I will never forget.”

The game was bittersweet for the cross county rivals. Brewer was able to send off their seniors with a victory having beaten Priceville for the fifth time in the seven meetings between the two schools.

“It feels amazing to go out with a bang,” said Pritchett, Brewer’s senior quarterback. “I couldn’t picture it any better.”

For Priceville it is back to preparing for a long offseason after ending with a sour defeat.

“It’s one of those things where we just have to get better,” said Priceville Head Coach Dirk Strunk. “We have to make plays when it’s time to make plays. I’m proud of how hard our guys worked. We have a lot of young guys coming back next year, so we’re still young we just have to get better.”

Priceville is left to move forward leaving behind an influential class of seniors.

“This was our last year,” said Clemons, a Priceville senior running back. “We’ve been through a lot together. We wanted to win it but it just didn’t turn out that way. We’re just going to keep support the underclassmen and hope that they turn it around next year.”

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