Bulldogs triumph over Red Level Tigers

Published 2:44 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023

By Haley Mitchell-Godwin

Last week the Friday night lights at David Lowery Stadium shone bright as the Brantley Bulldogs took on the Red Level Tigers in a decisive 54-13 victory. The game also featured Senior Night, honoring all senior football players, cheerleaders and band members.

The Bulldogs have a winning history of 32 regional titles and four state championships over the last three decades. Local fans proudly assert that the road to the state title always passes through their town, and Friday’s game showcased the determination and skill required to reach such heights.

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Head Coach Roland Jones Jr. expressed his enthusiasm for the team’s performance, emphasizing that the Bulldogs are hitting their stride now that they have some of their key players back in action. The team demonstrated their true potential and Jones shared his optimism about the rest of the season’s trajectory.

“We still had two players out last Friday,” Jones said. “John Harper Kilcrease is a starter that was held out for precautionary reasons but is at full strength now and Fred Bogen did not play who is a backup WR/DB. Everyone should be back for the final game against Florala. I told the guys at the beginning of the season that to win a state championship you have to be lucky and you also have to be playing your best ball at the right time. I think since we have everyone healthy we are playing the best we have all year right now.”

The Bulldogs swiftly took control of the game right from the start with Jayden Parks returning an interception for a 40-yard touchdown just 10 minutes and two seconds into the game. Cooper Layton added to the excitement when he made a touchdown soon after.

With just 4:29 left in the first quarter, Trey Pittman carried the ball from the 35-yard line into the end zone, boosting the Bulldogs to a commanding 21-0 lead, followed by a successful extra point.

A spectacular long throw by Jayden Parks found its way to Cooper Layton resulting in the final touchdown of the first quarter. While Brantley experienced some difficulties with extra point conversions, their ability to score touchdowns was undeniable, ending the first quarter with a commanding 27-0 lead.

Throughout the game, Brantley consistently enjoyed favorable field positions, demonstrating their ability to seize opportunities and keep their 2023 football journey on the right track.

The second quarter was marked by penalties, but the Tigers managed to secure one of only two touchdowns in the game. Jayden Parks scored a rushing touchdown with two minutes and 27 seconds left in the quarter, bringing the halftime score to 40-13 in favor of the Bulldogs.

The third quarter saw Daylan Davis adding to the Bulldogs’ tally with a touchdown, thanks to a pass from Jayden Parks. The score grew to 53-13 with three minutes and 37 seconds left in the quarter.

Jones, in his sixth year at the helm, is the third-winningest coach in the school’s history. His career record is 141-45 and at Brantley it is 58-15 – wins Jones said are all attributed to very good players willing to work and learn, and the high quality assistant coaches that have helped him along the way.

In the final quarter, Coach Jones took the opportunity to provide valuable playing time to the younger members of the team, concluding the game with a final score of 54-13.

For BHS senior Kendrick Welch, the win was truly something special.

“It was a great way to end my senior year regular season with a win,” Welch said. “The team is excited to finally be playing true Brantley football again and I hope to play as many weeks as we can”

The final statistics for the game included the Bulldogs amassing a total of 363 yards, with 269 passing yards and 94 rushing yards, solidifying their all-around strong performance on the field. The Brantley Bulldogs continue their quest for success in the 2023 football season as they take on Florala Friday.