The UTV 44 Friday Night Rivals was on the Eastern Shore for the 7A Region 1 matchup between the Alma Bryant Hurricanes and the #9 ranked Fairhope Pirates. Fairhope was looking for another win to keep or even improve their playoff seeding.
Fairhope would get the ball to start the game but the Hurricane defense came up big on the first drive of the game when senior defensive back Aydan Adams picked off the pass from senior quarterback Riley Leonard at their 20 yard line. Senior running back Kyle Carden put the Canes offense on his back to help get them down the field. He picked up a 41 yard reception from junior quarterback Tanner Ewing. The reception would get Bryant down inside the Pirates 10 yard line. Junior running back Landry Huddleston would cap the 82 yard drive from the interception when he would get into the end zone from one yard out. The PAT was good and Alma Bryant had the early 7-0 lead with just over eight minutes left in the 1st quarter.
Fairhope would get the ball inside Bryant territory following the kickoff. Leonard quickly helped the drive when took off on a quarterback keeper that picked up 29 yards. A couple plays later Leonard would again keep the ball himself, this time finding the end zone from one yard out. The PAT was good and the game was tied 7-7 halfway through the 1st quarter.
Early in the 2nd quarter with the score still tied, Fairhope would get the ball back starting at their own 36 yard line. Again Leonard would lead the Pirates down the field on the Bryant defense. Leonard would find junior Pratt Turner, for a 34 yard reception to take back the lead. The PAT was good and Fairhope had their first lead of the game 14-7 halfway through the 2nd quarter.
Late in the same quarter, the Pirates would get the ball with about five minutes left in the 1st half. Leonard would hit senior receiver Dre Matthews for a 24 yard reception to get down to the Bryant 32 yard line. With less than a minute left in the half senior running back Cyline Koen would get into the end zone with the hand off from one yard out. The PAT was good and Fairhope extended their lead 21-7 which they would go in to halftime with that lead.
Bryant would get the ball to start the 2nd half and senior Ayden Adams would take the kick back all the way to the end zone for a 99 yard touchdown return. The PAT was missed but Bryant cut the lead 21-13 on the opening play of the second half.
Fairhope came right back with their own offense to start the second half as well. Koen ripped off a 27 yard run to get the Pirates in scoring range but the Hurricane defense got the stop they needed forcing a field goal attempt by Fairhope. Junior kicker Luke Freer would put the ball through the upright from 43 yards out. Fairhope extended their lead again, now 24-13 with less than 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
Later in the quarter, the Pirates were driving again on the Bryant defense. Facing a 4th down with two yards to go on the Hurricane’s 20 yard line, Fairhope lined up the offense to go for it. Leonard would keep the ball himself again finding the end zone. The PAT was good and Fairhope now lead 31-13 with less than four minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Fairhope executed an onside kick and was able to recover the ball. Four plays later senior receiver Ramone Bradley took the forward pitch from Leonard and got into the end zone from eight yards out. The PAT was good and the score was now 38-13 with just over three minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
Following the kickoff, Ewing and the Bryant offense would try to get something going but a pass by Ewing would get picked off by junior defensive back David Sampy who would return it 30 yards for the pick six. With the PAT the score was 45-13 with just over a minute left in the 3rd quarter.
Midway through the 4th quarter, Bryant would cut the lead when freshman Isiah Dixon would get into the end zone from one yard out. The Hurricane’s went for the 2-point conversion but could not convert. The score was 45-19 and that score would hold as the game clock expired.
Alma Bryant falls to 3-6 on the year and will get set to close their season out on the road again in Baldwin County as they will travel to take on Vigor.
Fairhope improves to 6-3 for the season and will get set to host the Murphy Panthers for their final game of the regular season.
Friday Night Rivals will back for week #11 action this week and to close the 2020 regular season, kick off will be 7PM on UTV44.