A bad bounce Friday night doomed Bradwell Institute’s fourth-quarter comeback bid. As a result, the Tigers fell 32-21 to Effingham County High School in a Region 2-AAAAAA football game at Hokey Jackson Stadium.
It was a difficult setback for the senior players, who were honored before the game along with members of the band, cheerleading squad, color guard and ROTC. Bradwell trailed 18-0 at the end of the first half, but pulled to within 25-21 with 6:40 remaining in the game and Tiger defenders forced the Rebels to punt.
The ball didn’t bounce Bradwell’s way. It instead hit the ground and then a Tiger player in the back of the leg. Bradwell’s Terrius Crimiel tried to jump on the ball, but Effingham recovered at the Tigers’ 25-yard-line.
The Rebels scored the game-sealing touchdown a few players later on Rashaud Roper’s 10-yard run. But early on, it looked like Effingham County might run away with the game even if the Rebels couldn’t make extra point attempts.
Rebel quarterback Jerid Stokes and wide receiver Damrio Gant connected on three touchdown passes, the first a 37-yard scoring strike with two minutes left in the first quarter.
Seconds into the second quarter, the duo connected again, this time on a 70 yard touchdown completion.
With seven minutes left before intermission, Stokes once again tossed a long pass and Gant made the catch for the touchdown.
The Tigers adjusted in the second half, lining up Crimiel as cornerback against Gant. The fix was immediate as Crimiel broke up several passes meant for Gant.
Offensively BI, also started moving the ball, and C.J. Nelson put the Tigers’ first points on the board with a 1-yard run in the third quarter and Delano Blue’s extra point cut Effingham’s lead to 18-7.
The Rebels extended their lead to 25-7 on a 45-yard touchdown pass to Demonte Lee and an extra point, but Bradwell forced a fumble on Effingham County’s next possession and Isaiah Quarterman scooped it up and ran 65 yards for a touchdown. Bradwell quarterback Quin
McMassey ran in the two-point conversion to cut Effingham’s lead to 25-15.
The Tigers’ then recovered an onside kick, and runs by Nelson and Kevin Harris got the ball down to the Effingham 5-yard-line. McMassey ran it in from there two plays later, but the two point conversion failed and the Tigers’ trailed 25-21.
The loss dropped Bradwell to 3-4-1 overall and 1-2 in 2-AAAAAA. Bradwell wraps up the regular season Friday at Glynn Academy.
The Rebels improved to 6-3 overall and 2-1 in 2-AAAAA.