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Decatur High's Chris Coffey scores one of five Red Raider touchdowns in the first half of Decatur's 42-13 win over Brewer in Florette on Friday night.
Daily photo by Brennen Smith
Decatur High's Chris Coffey scores one of five Red Raider touchdowns in the first half of Decatur's 42-13 win over Brewer in Florette on Friday night.

After a slow start, Decatur lights up scoreboard at Brewer

By Ross Dellenger
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

FLORETTE — As his players walked single file quietly into the locker room, Decatur coach Jere Adcock trotted off the field with no hint of a smile.

There was no celebration for a championship and an unblemished mark in the region.

No jubilation for an eighth straight win.

No display of excitement for a big road victory.

Just a simple walk and a disappointed coach.

Decatur overcame a sluggish start and an early seven-point deficit to beat Brewer 42-13 on a chilly Friday night.

But the sixth-ranked team in Class 5A struggled early before pulling away with a 35-point second quarter.

"It's about what I expected. That's the way we practiced all week," Adcock said, a scowl on his face.

Brewer (3-6, 1-6 in 5A, Region 8) marched 80 yards on 15 plays to open the game, converting four third downs against a stunned Red Raider defense. Patriots running back Christopher Dickerson capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run.

Just moments later, Dickerson, who also plays defensive end, sacked quarterback Ben Neill on a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line.

"They came out and took it to us," Adcock said. "They rammed it right down our throat."

But Neill quelled any upset possibilities, throwing three touchdown passes to three different receivers in the second quarter.

Running backs Chris Coffey and Ladarion Parker each added a rushing score in a five-touchdown second quarter that led to a 35-7 Decatur lead at the
half.

The Red Raiders (8-1, 7-0) had little problem the rest of the way, handing Brewer its fourth straight loss and coasting to an undisputed Region 8 championship.

"That's one of the goals being able to do that," Adcock said. "That was good."

Decatur hasn't lost since the season opener, when Huntsville beat the Red Raiders.

Adcock expected "a lot" from this team, even after the opening loss. But he was unsure how his team would overcome an early defeat.

"They've handled things well," said Adcock, whose team failed to make the playoffs last year. "We knew we had a good group of kids."

Neill, who completed his first seven passes, finished hitting 9 of 14 attempts for 184 yards and those three second-quarter scores to receivers Justin Bishop, Brooks Johnson and David Martin.

But again the Red Raiders illustrated sluggish play as they emerged from halftime.

On the second play of the third quarter, Neill's lateral pass was recovered by the Patriots. Decatur's defense stopped Brewer on a fourth-and-four from the 17-yard line, but Neill was intercepted on the ensuing series.

Four plays later, Brewer quarterback Tyler Parker hit Zack Graham for a 27-yard pass, making the score 35-13 with 6:53 left in the third quarter.

As Brewer's homestanding fans began to get back into the game, the Red Raiders silenced them again on the next drive.

Following a 31-yard completion from Neill, tailback Desmon Lavelle ran in from 10 yards out for the game's final score.

As region champions, Decatur will host a first-round playoff game.

But before that, the Red Raiders will face a familiar foe Friday night in Ogle Stadium.

"We're playing Austin," Adcock said, finally cracking a smile. "Enough said."

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