Bryant offense stymied, drops homecoming
Fri. October 19, 2012 at 11:02 p.m. | By Brett Hudson
Paul W. Bryant’s Jaleel Jackson runs the ball down the field against Fairfield High School. (Photo by Marion R. Walding)
COTTONDALE | The Paul W. Bryant Stampede was held to 91 yards of total offense and three points as it lost to Fairfield, 27-3, on Friday night.
Fairfield pulled away with two special teams touchdowns in the fourth quarter. With a 13-3 lead, Derrick Abrams blocked a punt that was recovered by QuaDarius Wade in the end zone to give Fairfield a 20-3 advantage.
“We did (have a max protect punt called),” Bryant coach Errol Jones said. “We had some leakage because we had someone hurt. His replacement had to go in.
“Again, injuries, but I’m not going to blame the injuries.”
Fairfield forced a three-and-out, then Roderick Dedrick returned a punt for 52 yards and the game’s final touchdown.
“He’s a special kid. He’s been everything on offense for us this year,” Fairfield coach Anthony Jackson said.
Fairfield’s other touchdowns came on 11- and four-play drives of 66 and 48 yards, respectively.
“We had some penalties that kept drives alive and a couple of missed tackles, but overall I thought we played a great defensive game,” Jones said. “Even though the score is going to show 27-3, you take away the special teams and we were in the ballgame.”
Bryant had to fight through a change in its starting quarterback. Keonte’ Chambers threw for 38 yards and ran for three more against the Tigers.
“He did fine,” Jones said. “He’s been sick and has missed about a week and a half of practice, but he did fine. Just have to give him more repetitions and he’s going to improve nicely.”
Chambers’ running ability through the read option was contained well by Fairfield.
“It was what they were doing defensively,” Jones said. “They had a 30 front, then bumped down to 50 and would bring pressure up the middle.
“That caused us some problems so we had to abandon that game.”
Chambers began to have success throwing the ball later in the game, connecting on 11-yard passes to Cordarious Washington and Cedric Church in the fourth quarter.
“The choice of routes, easier reads so he could get comfortable throwing the football instead of trying to go deep,” Jones said. “We ran some shallows to try to get him more comfortable in the passing game.”
Bryant’s score came on a 49-yard field goal from Adam Shepherd.
“That was good for him because he’s had rough practices,” Jones said.
“In pregame, he was kicking the ball really well. When we got inside the 30 he told me, ‘Coach, I can make it,’ and I said, ‘Go for it.’”
Bryant (0-8) will continue its three-game homestand against Pleasant Grove next week.