Minor Tigers Trample Bryant, 34-28
The Minor Tigers (2-0, 0,0) won their first game on the road against the Paul W. Bryant Stampede (0-2,0-2), the final score being 34-28.
Both squads started off slow due to an abundance of penalties. Between the two teams, there were 16 penalties in the first half and 22 total penalties by the end of the game.
The score was tied at zero going into the second quarter before junior wide receiver Javion Watkins broke the tie with a 16-yard touchdown run. The Stampede converted on their two-point conversion, making the score 8-0. The Tigers got a score of their own shortly after with a 31-yard touchdown catch on fourth-down.
In less than 30 seconds, Bryant responded with a big play. Jordan Louie took a kickoff back for a touchdown, but the offense failed on its second two-point conversion attempt, making the score 14-7. Minor responded with a touchdown from David Gardner Jr., tying things up 14-14 with 4:04 left in the second quarter.
Minor's wide receivers had the play of the game, with a phenomenal adjustment on a ball that was under-thrown by the quarterback. One receiver came back to make the catch, shook a defender in the secondary, and found the end zone with only a minute left in the second quarter.
At halftime, the score read 21-14 in the Tigers' favor.
Bryant received the ball to open up the second half, but they fumbled on their own 43-yard line, giving Minor good field positioning. Minor capitalized on this major opportunity with a touchdown run by Gardner.
Despite being down 28-14, the Stampede battled their way back into the game, scoring late in the third quarter with a quick touchdown pass from Tobias Burrell. Bryant remained alive with about a quarter of gameplay to go and a Tiger lead of only six points.
Late in the fourth quarter, Minor scored another touchdown, but the extra point attempt was blocked. Bryant sealed the deal with the final touchdown of the game but could not secure a win, losing 34-28.
Minor head coach Adrian Abrams was thrilled with the win. When Abrams talked to the players at the end of the game, he emphasized what the players need to do to move forward in the season.
"Even though we are (2-0), I am talking about where we are going to go and where we are going. Deep in the season, that is going to be the difference and that is going to win us the ballgame," Abrams said.
Eldrick Hill and his team came into the game with a disadvantage, as they had to deal with a pretty significant roster turnover. The Bryant football team lost 26 seniors last year and only has seven seniors on the team now. They typically carry between 75 and 96 players on their roster, but right now they've only able to dress between 50 and 60 players in the last two weeks.
"We struggled, we missed a full a month. For this game, we prepared a little bit better, and we were more physical. We scored 28 points, we don't have to jump ship," said Hill.
Bryant will be chasing their first win against Northridge at home next week, while Minor will continue to build on their success with a matchup against Mortimer Jordan next week.