Keith Bears quarterback Maurice Crumpton, left, tries to break free from St. Jude’s Dekian Clinch during Friday’s game at Selma Memorial Stadium. The Bears lost 20-6, ending their season with a record of 8-3. -- Robert Hudson

Keith eliminated from postseason with loss to St. Jude

Published 12:19am Saturday, November 10, 2012

For two and a half quarters the Keith Bears were in complete control and seemed ready to move on to the second round of the playoffs, but the St. Jude Pirates made enough big plays in the second half to win 20-6 on Friday at Memorial Stadium.

Friday’s loss eliminates the Bears (8-3) from the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 1A playoffs.

Harry Crum, head football coach of Keith High School, said the Pirates took control in the trenches, which led to Keith’s defeat.

“First half, we kind of had them in check — we shut them out the first half. They apparently went back and saw something that we were doing or we weren’t doing that they could capitalize on,” Crum said. “They made some adjustments and they just controlled the line of scrimmage in second half. They just bombarded us, we weren’t blocking them and never really got anything going, which really has kind of been the story of our last three games.”

Defensively, Keith shut down the St. Jude offense in the first half, holding the Pirates to 36 yards in the opening two quarters.

And offensively the Bears capitalized off of big runs by seniors Rodney Ellis and Damarquis Lumpkin, as Keith scored the first half’s lone touchdown on a 2-yard plunge by Delmuss Irby with 10:06 left in the second quarter.

But while Keith displayed success moving the football and shutting down the Pirates in the first half, St. Jude came out of the locker room in the third quarter and took the momentum.

After a muffed punt by the Bears set St. Jude up at the Keith 35-yard line, the Pirates moved to the Keith two, and on fourth-and-goal, Pirates quarterback Tony Minnifield hit receiver Kendall Richardson in the back of the end zone from 8-yards out and the extra point by Jalen Rackley gave St. Jude its first lead at 7-6 with 7:22 left in the third.

After the ensuing Keith possession was halted by penalties, St. Jude kept it going, as Minnifield found Richardson again, this time for a 42-yard touchdown that made the score 13-6 after the extra point was blocked by Keith’s Jearel Black with 4:15 left in the third quarter.

The Pirates added their final score in fourth, as Kasai Farris ran it in from 20-yards out to make the score 20-6 after the Rackley extra point with 8:00 left to play.

St. Jude’s defense dominated up front and harassed Keith quarterback Maurice Crumpton in the second half, as ten of the Bears’ second-half plays went for negative yardage.

Keith receiver Jabari Moore had two catches for 60 yards in the second half.

Crum said he hates finishing up the season with a loss, but he can now only look forward to trying to improve and advance next year.

“I hate it for our seniors,” Crum said, “It’s been a fun year. I hate to go out with a loss, but that’s the nature of the business. Life goes on, so we just have to pick up and be ready for next year.”

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