Selma loses late lead

Published 1:14 am Saturday, October 8, 2011

Selma quarterback Darion Alexander takes a vicious shot from a Boorkwood defender. The Saints held a late lead, but were unable to hold off Brookwood in a 28-25 homecoming loss. -- Tim Reeves

Selma High football coach Leroy Miles thought his defense had the answer for the Brookwood offense in the first half. They didn’t.

At halftime, Miles thought his defense had the answer for the Brookwood offense in the second half. They still didn’t.

In the end, the Saints inability to stop a bruising running attack proved to be the difference as the Panthers beat Selma, 28-25, in front of the Saints’ homecoming crowd.

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“Brookwood does a good job running the football and we knew that coming in to this game,” Miles said.  “In the first half we had no answers. In the second half, we thought we had the answer but as you can see, we came up a little short there too.”

A little short is exactly how close the Saints fell.

With just two seconds remaining, the Saints lined up for a 30-yard field goal, but it appeared the kick was partially blocked, forcing the ball to fall short of its goal.

The loss dropped Selma to 3-4 on the season, while the win improved Brookwood’s record to 3-4.

After a strong opening by Brookwood, which saw the Panthers take a 14-0 lead just seconds into the second quarter, the Saints appeared to gain their balance.

With 5:01 remaining in the second quarter, Selma’s J’Vantae Furlow connected on a 26-yard field goal to put the Saints up.

Moments later, the Selma defense forced a turnover as J’Miere Solomon picked off Brookwood’s Jacob Bush, giving the Saints the ball Panther 10 yard line with 3:49 to play in the half.

Three plays later Selma’s Darion Alexander hit Anton Summers just inside the goal line for a 5-yard touchdown pass. Still trailing by four midway through the third quarter, the Selma defense finally held the Panthers to a punt.

On the return, Selma’s Roderick Brewer took the ball at his own 30 yard line, broke through a wall of Panther defenders and then outran the final two would-be tacklers en route to a 70-yard touchdown, giving the Saints their first lead of the night.

It would not last.

Brookwood would drive down the field on their next possession, going 80 yards on seven plays for a touchdown to take the lead yet again at 21-17. The drive was spearheaded by the running of Keelen Lewis, who accounted for every single yard, including the final 14, which he picked up on a run right through the Selma defense.

In the fourth, Selma would again take the lead, this time scoring on a touchdown by Alexander with 7:38 to go. His 3-yard run capped off a 9-play, 69-yard drive that was done mostly through the air.

But Lewis and the Panther offensive line drove the final nail of the night.

Now trailing by four, with Selma’s touchdown and 2-point conversion, the Panthers killed the clock and the Saints’ hope for a victory, as they drove 80 yards on 16 plays. The drive, which was topped off with a Lewis 4-yard run, took nearly seven minutes off the clock and gave the Panthers their 28-25 win.

Lewis finished the night with a game-high 104 yards and two touchdowns. Bush finished the game with 45 yards rushing and went 7-for-10 for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
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