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Bryant falls to 0-6 in homecoming loss to Parker

Parker's Tommie Neely (10) passes the ball during the Bryant Stampede's homecoming game against the Parker Thundering Herd on Friday Oct. 4, 2013 at Bryant High School in Cottondale, Alabama.

The Paul W. Bryant Stampede lost to the Parker Thundering Herd, 23-0, on Friday night to fall to 0-6.

The Stampeded offense struggled mightily in the early going, fumbling the ball away on its first two plays from scrimmage. The Stampede defense forced a punt after the first turnover but gave up a 26-yard field goal after Parker took over at the Bryant 14 on the second.

Bryant gave up the only explosive play of the game on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Thomas Neelie to Alontae' Johnson on third-and-26. Juston McCants added another touchdown from 13 yards out for the Thundering Herd, giving Parker a commanding 16-0 lead in the first quarter.

The Stampede had the opportunity to take back some momentum in the third quarter, when the Thundering Herd fumbled the ball near the Bryant goal line. Senior Calvin Martin recovered the fumble and returned it to the Stampede 33, where he appeared to lateral to senior Patrick Porter, who raced to the end zone, but officials marked Martin down.

From there, the teams were locked in a defensive struggle into well into the fourth quarter, when the Thundering Herd scored the final touchdown of the game. Parker again started deep in Bryant territory and finished off a 37-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run from Solomon Muhammad.

Despite the score, the Bryant defense largely held Parker in check, forcing a fumble, an interception and two turnovers on downs. The Stampeded allowed 234 yards and turned in two goal line stands.

Senior linebacker Carlton Robertson, who made the interception, said he was pleased with the way his team performed.

"We did a lot of film study," Robertson said. "We knew our assignments, stayed in formation. We did pretty well, made some plays out there."

Stampede coach Errol Jones said he was pleased with his team's defensive performance but stressed that the Stampeded would need more consistency in the future.

"All I know is our defense played a whale of a game," Jones said. "They kept fighting till the end. They haven't given up, and we've just gotta find some way and somehow to make corrections on our offense."

Bryant sophomore wide receiver Andreaz Spencer, who had 102 receiving yards, said he was still proud of his team's perseverance.

"We did better than we did last year," Spencer said. "I'm proud of us. We didn't get the win, but I'm proud to see that we actually did something. We dominated on defense, we couldn't dominate on offense, but we've still got stuff to work on, and we're going to come back."