Escambia High Gators: EHS @ Alma Bryant High (AL)

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  Alma Bryant High vs 27      
  Escambia High Gators 14     Stats
Game Played 9/26/2008 7:00PM  

Richardson stopped, Gators trapped
092608 01
Jason Blakeney • jblakeney@pnj.com • September 27, 2008
IRVINGTON, Ala. — The only place Escambia running back and kick returner Trent Richardson can't beat you is sitting on the bench.
Coach Ronnie Cottrell and the Alma Bryant (Ala.) Hurricanes made the sideline Richardson's most familiar position Friday and dropped the Gators 27-14.
Bryant controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, wearing down the defense and refused to punt the ball to Richardson.
"We stopped Trent," Escambia coach Jimmy Nichols said. "Our offensive line just couldn't block anybody. They made all these excuses 'why this' and 'why that' but (Bryant) didn't do anything we hadn't worked on.
"That's the worst game we've had all year. I don't know why. I really thought we'd play better, I really did."
The Hurricanes (1-4) held the Alabama verbal commit to 82 yards on 14 carries in front of their home crowd and hundreds of Crimson Tide faithful who showed up to get a sneak peak of Richardson.
"This is the worst we've played all year," Nichols said. "I don't know why. I really don't know why. We didn't deserve to win, and of course, we didn't win. We didn't play very well. We didn't have any intensity at all. What can I say? They played better than we did, and they won. That's the way it should be."
Nichols removed Richardson from the game to prevent injuries to his star player with 7 minutes remaining in the game.
"There's no sense in taking a chance on getting him hurt," Nichols said, "And we had already lost the ballgame, so I thought I'd let somebody else have a shot at it and see what we could do."
After Escambia (2-2) receiver Quay Dirden pulled in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Porterfield to close to within 10-7 with 2:26 remaining in the first half, the Hurricanes went to work taking advantage of their own mistakes.
The Escambia defense hit quarterback Ricky Laforce in the backfield, causing a fumble. But after the ball sat on the turf for a few seconds, running back Jesse Goodwin picked it up and took off down the right sideline, breaking five tackles and picking up 48 yards to the Escambia 1.
Two plays later, Goodwin finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge.
In the fourth quarter, the Hurricanes scored their final touchdown on a 9-yard run to take a 27-7 lead. The play was set up three plays earlier when a punt was snapped between the Bryant punter's legs. He turned around, picked up the ball and found a receiver standing open in the flat for a first down.
"They've got a great team," said Cottrell, former assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Florida State and Alabama, who is starting anew. "They had a big win over Pace, and I think they could have had a let-down a little bit. Richardson is great. It took everything we had to keep him from running over us.
"Offense was the key for us, though. We were able to play physical and run the ball, and we kept (Richardson) on the sideline a good bit."
Escambia added a touchdown run by Willie Williams with 47 seconds remaining to give the game its final score.
Porterfield finished the game 9-of-19 passing for 151 yards and a touchdown. Dirden caught five balls for 96 yards and a touchdown.
The Gators now have a bye week to recover before entering district play at Niceville on Oct.10. The game will be the first to decide whether the Gators made the playoffs this season.
"It's a real important game," Nichols said. "I think when I get done with them, they'll be ready. This is not the way we are supposed to play, and they'll find that out this week."
Alma Bryant (Ala.) 27, Escambia 14

Escambia 0 7 0 7—14
Alma Bryant 3 14 3 7—27
First Quarter
AB—Jake Switzer FG 3:16
Second Quarter
AB—Jesse Goodwin 1 run (Switzer kick), 4:51
E—Quay Birden 30 pass from Anthony Porterfield (Tim Brown kick), 2:26
AB—Goodwin 1 run (Switzer kick) 0:43.5
Third Quarter
AB—Switzer 22 FG 1:38
Fourth Quarter
AB— 9 run (Switzer kick), 7:36
E—Willie Williams 1 run (Brown kick), 47.1
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Score
Escambia

0

7

0

7

14

A Bryant

3

14

3

7

27