Strong second half propels Brashear past Westinghouse

Saturday, September 16, 2017 | 12:57 AM

Westinghouse entered Cupples Stadium for its City League tilt versus Brashear undefeated and unscored upon through two games. The Bulldogs' streak lasted for one quarter against their rival, as the Bulls offense found its rhythm and came alive, scoring 18 unanswered points en route to an 18-7 victory.

After trailing 7-0 in the first quarter, Brashear (2-2, 1-2) buckled down and pitched a shutout, limiting Westinghouse (2-1, 1-1) to just 57 yards of offense in the second half.

“We didn't change the scheme, we just kind of fixed the things that were going wrong for us,” Brashear coach Rick Murphy said.

“We made some on-the-fly personnel changes from the first half on defense, and guys stepped in and played positions that they weren't used to playing and they really contributed. We felt we knew what we wanted to do on defense, we just had to do it right.”

Defensive back Tra Palmer starred for the Bulls by picking off two Westinghouse passes. Palmer didn't just catch passes while playing defense, however. The senior also got his offense on the board, when in the second quarter he rose above two Bulldogs defenders to haul in a jump-ball pass for a 34-yard touchdown grab.

“He's a pretty special athlete. You don't get to coach many kids that are that kind of athlete. With him, you just have to get the ball near him. If it's near him, he can make the play,” Murphy said of Palmer.

In the second half, Brashear's offense worked its way back from a 7-6 deficit on the shoulders of running back Anthony Carrington. After receiving only two carries in the first half, Carrington broke off six runs that gained 10-plus yards in the final two quarters. He finished with 21 carries for 104 yards.

The improved Brashear rushing attack helped set up a 25-yard field goal for Roman Smith. From there, the Bulls tacked on to their lead by recording a safety. Finally, sophomore quarterback Nick Roell connected with Jayon Blair, who caught a 5-yard curl route, and then sprinted past two Bulldogs defenders for a 31-yard touchdown.

Roell completed 8 of 23 passes for 137 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Westinghouse jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Jermain Rodger dashed past the Brashear defense and tiptoed down the sideline for a 30-yard score.

Rodger finished with 102 yards on 12 carries, and Jeremiah Nash added 65 yards on 17 rushes. Unfortunately for coach Monte Robinson and his team, most of his offense's damage was done before halftime. Once Westinghouse surrendered the lead, it struggled to catch up.

“Brashear did what we thought they were going to do; they loaded the box because we're a running team and everyone knows that. It was just a matter of executing. Today, we didn't play our best football,” Westinghouse coach Monte Robinson said.

“In the second half, I thought they were the aggressor. We controlled it in the first half, but we had penalties, we dropped interceptions and we didn't tackle well. At the end of the day though, you have to tip your hat to those guys. They outplayed us tonight.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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