For GCS Athletics
The Brunswick High Pirates fell to Bartram Trail for the second year in a row as Brunswick lost 24-7 Friday night at Glynn County Stadium.
Last year, the Bears, who played for a state championship in Florida two seasons ago, defeated the Pirates 37-12 on their home field. The Pirates self-destructed in that game, turning over the ball four times while watching the Bears score at will with their spread offense.
This time, the Pirates (0-2) could not sustain drives against the Bears (2-0) as they had quick possessions or turned the ball over on downs after not converting on several fourth-down plays to keep drives alive.
“We have to make those plays and we’re not doing that right now,” said BHS coach Sean Pender.
Brunswick didn’t score until the game’s final minute when senior quarterback Anthony Mountain capped an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard run. Che Foy made a one-handed grab while stretching out for a Mountain pass that picked up 17 yards and put the ball just outside the goal line.
The Pirates finished with 276 yards – 153 passing and 123 rushing – but they aren’t making big plays that would possibly keep them from having to move the ball in small chunks and getting in these fourth-down situations to keep a methodical drive going.
“We’ve got to do a better job of breaking tackles. We have to make the first guy miss on short passes or runs and we’re not doing that,” Pender said.
Mountain finished the game 13-of-28 for the 123 passing yards with two interceptions. He also led the Pirates in rushing with 63 yards on 14 carries.
The Bears, who averaged more than 40 points a game last season, finished with 301 total yards. Their quarterback, senior Chad Dodson, was 12-of-23 on the night for 174 yards with a touchdown pass and also two interceptions.
Bartram Trail opened the scoring early in the second quarter after their first interception gave them the ball deep in BHS territory. Dodson threw a swing pass to junior running back AJ Jones that went for a 22-yard touchdown on second down.
After BHS turned over the ball on downs after coming up a yard short of a first down at the Bears’ 32-yard run, Bartram Trail covered 68 yards in 11 plays to go in front 14-0 on a 5-yard run by Jones midway through the second period.
The Pirates prevented another score by the Bears before intermission when Devonte Gadson intercepted a pass near the goal line, keeping the Pirates down only 14-0 at halftime.
Gadson had a second interception at the goal line in the third period that denied the Bears another chance to score.
The Bears padded their lead to 17-0 with 7:24 to go on a field goal. They put away the game after a quick three-and-out by the Pirates when they got a 39-yard scoring run from Jones after starting with the ball at midfield.
Before Bartram’s second score of the night, the Pirates thought they had stopped the Bears on an interception in the end zone after a pass bounced off a Brunswick player. The Pirates returned the ball out near midfield, but the officials ruled the ball hit the ground and the pass was incomplete. Bartram kept the ball and would eventually go up by the two-touchdown margin.
In the end, it was simply that kind of night for the Pirates.
“Hats off to Bartram Trail,” Pender said. “They’re a state power, a very, very good football team. I know they’re gonna do well.”
Pender said the Bears have the best secondary he’s coached against in his career. Three players on the back end of the defense have offers from major colleges.
Brunswick will be at home again next Friday against McIntosh County Academy for an early Homecoming game.