Prep Football: Anson 35, A.L. Brown 28
By Bill Kiser
WADESBORO ó A.L. Brown’s coaching staff warned their players about Anson County.
It took the first half of Friday’s South Piedmont Conference contest for the Wonders to get the message and turn things around.
Brown fought back from a four-touchdown deficit to the Bearcats in the second half, but the rally fell short in the final seconds in a 35-28 loss.
Patrick Polk ran for 168 yards and three touchdowns for Anson County (2-3, 1-1), which also got two first-quarter defensive scores in racing to a 21-0 halftime lead.
By the time Brown (3-2, 1-1) got its game on track, the Bearcats were ahead 28-0 and seemingly in control of the game.
“We just weren’t ready to play in the first half, and that’s my fault,” A.L. Brown head coach Ron Massey said. “We told the kids how good they were. But they looked at them on tape against Parkwood, and they thought otherwise. We tried to tell them that they’re a good football team.”
Massey was referring to Anson County’s game a week earlier ó a 41-20 loss to Monroe Parkwood in which the Bearcats committed eight turnovers.
But against the Wonders, Anson County turned the ball over just once ó a second-quarter interception by Xavier Watson inside the red zone ó while taking advantage of two early Brown turnovers.
The first was Jamill Lott’s first interception of the season and a 40-yard TD return by Leshaun Garris.
The second was Lott’s fumble at the Anson 16 that was picked up by D.J. Ellerbe and returned 84 yards for a score.
“I told the kids before we started that they had the speed to match us,” Massey said. “That caught our kids off guard in the first half.”
Polk, who did not play against Parkwood, took over after that.
His 3-yard TD run with 1:13 remaining gave the Bearcats a 21-0 halftime lead, and his 32-yard scoring run with 6:19 left in the third quarter put Anson up 28-0.
However, A.L. Brown seized the momentum with back-to-back scoring drives in the third quarter ó scoring on Johnathan Williams’ 3-yard TD run with 4:57 left and Lott’s 13-yard TD pass to Zach Massey with 16 seconds remaining.
Polk’s third TD run of the game, a 6-yarder with 7:41 remaining in the fourth quarter, capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive ó a drive that actually began when an 83-yard TD pass from Jordan Hildreth to Rasaun Rorie was called back on a penalty.
But the Hildreth-to-Rorie connection would make two key plays during the drive, both on third-and-long ó a 33-yard completion, in which Rorie wrestled the ball away from Brown defender Mike Robinson, and a 22-yarder to put the ball at the Brown 2.
However, Brown scored quickly.
Lott ran in from the 1-yard line with 6:04 left, and Williams scored on an 8-yard TD run with 2:33 left to pull within 35-28.
Then the Wonders stopped Anson on downs with 56 seconds left to get the ball back for one last gasp.
Lott drove the Wonders to the Bearcats 25 with seven seconds left, but he was chased down and sacked by Anson’s Greg Lomax on the game’s final play.
“I’m proud of our kids for giving us a chance to win,” Massey said. “We had a legitimate chance at the end, fighting back and not quitting. The kids could’ve given up when it was 21-0 at the half.”