PREP FOOTBALL: Arab picks up 49-13 homecoming win over Brewer

Arab’s Hayden O’Reily sprints past defenders during the Knights’ 49-13 win over Brewer Friday night. (Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

ARAB, Ala. — It was homecoming night for the Arab Knights as they looked to extend their winning streak to four against the visiting Brewer Patriots. The Knights forced three turnovers and their offense was firing on all cylinders, leading to a 49-13 win over the Patriots. 

One of Brewer’s players got leveled on the opening kickoff and Arab’s Dylan Morrow recovered the ball at the seven-yard line. Drake Franklin took it in from there on the first play to give the Knights a quick 7-0 lead only 13 seconds into the game. The Patriot offense got a first down on an 18-yard quarterback keeper on the second play, but Arab’s defense stiffened after that as they forced a turnover-on-downs. The Knight offense found a lot of success on the ground on its next possession as Ed Johnson and Hayden O’Reilly picked up three first downs during the drive. Johnson finished off the drive strong as he broke several tackles on his way to a 27-yard score to make it a 14-0 score with 7:21 remaining in the opening period. 

The Patriots used the quick pass on its next possession a lot as they were able to move the ball down the field and found themselves at the 24-yard line after a 37-yard completion. But the Knights’ defense got a huge turnover on third down as John Ray Wilks picked off a Brewer pass at the eight-yard line. Ed Johnson found a lot of success through the air as he went 5/5 for 55 yards. Franklin and O’Reilly found some huge holes and picked up some key first downs as well and Johnson finished off the drive with a 21-yard screen pass to Dakota NeSmith to increase the Arab lead to 21-0 with 9:40 remaining in the first half. 

The Arab defense forced their second turnover of the first half on its next possession as Jackson Martin picked off an errant Brewer pass at the 31-yard line and on the first play, Johnson found Brody McCain for a 31-yard score to make it 28-0. What looked to be a quick three-and-out for Arab’s defense quickly turned disastrous as three straight penalties gave the Patriots a first down. Brewer quickly moved the ball down the field as they converted a huge third and fourth down play and found themselves at the 16-yard line. A huge sack by Patrick Lawler on third down saw the Knights forced a turnover-on- downs on the next play. It took Arab just two plays to find the end zone as Adian Cox found McCain for a 33-yard touchdown and Arab took a 35-0 lead into the locker room. During the halftime festivities, Hensley Elrod was named the 2021 homecoming queen. 

The Knights added a couple of scores in the third quarter as Cox scored on a 19-yard quarterback keeper and Franklin scored from 13 yards out. The Patriots put up a couple of touchdowns in the final period, but it would be too little, too later as Arab picked up a 49-13 win over Brewer. The Knights pick up their fourth straight win as they improve to 5-1 on the season. 

Ed Johnson finished 7/7 for 91 yards and two touchdowns; he added 51 more on the ground and another score in one half of football. Franklin ended up with 93 rushing yards and a pair of scores. McCain finished with four receptions for 86 yards and a couple of touchdowns, while Nesmith added a 21-yard touchdown reception. Cox finished with 63 yards and a touchdown while throwing for 58 more and a score. Morrow recovered a fumble for Arab, while Wilks and Martin each added interceptions in the win.

The Knights will get back to region play next week as they will host Pell City.

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