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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2007
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Visiting Shoals scores late to sink Brewer
Patriots can't overcome mistakes at home and fall to 1-2 overall

By Paul Stackhouse
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

FLORETTE — Tears streaming down several of the Brewer High football players' faces told the story.

The Patriots had played 48 minutes of hard-fought football against Muscle Shoals, but it wasn't enough. Late in the fourth quarter, the Trojans took advantage of a Brewer turnover, leading to a touchdown and a 21-14 Class 5A, Region 8 victory.

It was the kind of game that Brewer coach Billy Coleman had hoped for. His team didn't slow down and because of that, Coleman paid the Patriots a big compliment.

"This is maybe the best game this team has played since I've been here," said Coleman, who is in his fourth year at the helm of the Patriots. "I can't begin to say how proud I am of our team.

"We had some costly turnovers, and in high school football, that is probably the biggest statistic. But we competed the whole game against a good Muscle Shoals team. My hat's off to them."

Muscle Shoals rolled up 343 yards of offense compared to 309 for Brewer. Most of the yardage was gained in the middle of the field as both teams' defensive units stiffened when the other got close to their goal line.

The score was tied at 7 at the end of the first quarter.

Muscle Shoals (2-1) took the opening kickoff and drove 88 yards in five plays with running back Avery Jackson scoring on a 68-yard reverse play.

Brewer (1-2) retaliated on its next possession.

Starting at its own 31, the Patriots covered 69 yards in nine plays to tie the game. The Patriots were at the Trojans' 15-yard line when Brewer quarterback Tony Dickerson connected
on a 10-yard pass to Zack Graham.

Graham fumbled the ball which landed in the arms of teammate Matt Pinkerton at the 1.

Chris Dickerson then ran across the goal line on the next play from scrimmage.

The second period was a defensive battle that saw Muscle Shoals score a touchdown with 4:01 remaining to take a 14-7 lead at the half. Quarterback Collin Bradford called his own number from the Brewer 7 and ran into the end zone.

With 58 seconds left in the third quarter, the Patriots tied the game at 14 after Chris Dickerson caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Tony Dickerson.

Neither team could produce much offense in the final period until the Trojans received a big break.

After a 13-yard run, Brewer fumbled the ball, which Muscle Shoals claimed at the Patriots' 40.

Four plays later, Jackson gave Muscle Shoals the lead for good with an 8-yard touchdown run.

"That fumble hurt them, but we fumbled the ball right before they did and lost it," said
Muscle Shoals coach Curly Hallman. "We did some silly things, but we also did some good things. We were poised in the fourth quarter when it counted and did what we had to do to win the game. I'm proud of our kids for that.
"

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