Bulldogs build momentum, round 2 later today

Published 2:45 am Friday, November 17, 2023

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

In a thrilling matchup on Nov. 9, the Brantley Bulldogs (7-4) emerged victorious against the Linden Patriots (6-3) in the first round of the 1A playoffs, securing their spot in round two with a 42-17 victory. 

The game showcased the Bulldogs’ resilience, determination and the remarkable comeback of their star quarterback, Jayden Parks.

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Parks, who recently earned the title of WSFA Athlete of the Week, made a triumphant return to the field after overcoming a significant injury. Breaking his ankle in July, Parks defied the odds and returned to play at the end of October. His impact on the team was immediate, and this playoff game was no exception. 

Parks completed 13 of 20 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 85 yards and contributing four touchdowns to his team’s total.

Reflecting on the win over Linden, Parks expressed confidence in the team’s tenacity.

“The win over Linden gave us some good momentum that we will put to use as we get deeper into the playoffs,” Parks said. “The team is excited, and the coaches have us a game plan in place for Friday. We just have to get out there and execute the plan, play hard and do what we do. We have great coaches, great fans, great teammates and a great community behind us so we can’t go wrong regardless.”

Defensive standout John Harper Kilcrease led the way with seven tackles, emphasizing the Bulldogs’ readiness for the challenges that lie ahead in the next round.

The Bulldogs set the tone by putting six points on the board early in the game. However, the Patriots quickly responded with a touchdown and successful extra point, taking the lead with a score of 7-6. Undeterred, the Bulldogs managed another touchdown before the end of the first quarter, keeping the score close at 14-9.

In the second quarter, Linden managed a safety, closing the gap to 14-9, but the Bulldogs remained relentless. A touchdown with 3:13 left in the second quarter would prove to be the last for Linden, leading to a halftime score of 14-17 in favor of the Bulldogs.

As the game progressed, the Bulldogs continued to dominate, with the score reaching 35-17 with just five minutes and 23 seconds left in the game. A final touchdown before the game’s final whistle secured the Bulldogs’ decisive victory with a final score of 42-17.

Looking ahead, the Bulldogs are set to face off against the Loachapoka (10-0) in round two. With the momentum gained from the victory against Linden and the unwavering support from their community, the Bulldogs are poised for continued success in the playoffs.