Brashear ends Perry’s 37-game winning streak with late field goal
Brashear senior Justin Geary told his psychology teacher on Friday that the Bulls were going to beat Perry, 24-21, later that afternoon.
“He wrote it down on paper,” Geary said. “So I can prove it.”
Brashear proved something much more tangible at Cupples Stadium in the showdown between the City League’s top two football teams — Perry can be beaten.
Geary kicked a 37-yard field with 10 seconds to play to snap the mighty Commodores’ 37-game City League winning streak with a 24-21 victory yesterday at Cupples Stadium.
It was Perry’s first loss to a City League team since falling to Oliver, 20-14, in the 1999 City League semifinals.
No. 2 Brashear (5-0, 5-0) built a 14-point lead in the second half and used the dramatic field goal for the improbable victory after No. 1 Perry (4-1, 4-1) had rallied to tie the score at 21-21 with 1:01 to play in the fourth quarter.
“Hopefully, our kids learned from a valuable lesson from this,” Perry coach Bill Gallagher said. “Brashear is a better team. They beat us.”
The most anticipated City League game of the regular season seemed to be headed for overtime after Brandon Lincoln scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Scott Knapp to complete the Perry comeback with 61 seconds to play. But Brashear’s senior Lamar Phenizy returned the squib kick to midfield with 55 seconds left in regulation. Tailback Darnell Payne carried three times for 11 yards, and quarterback Kevin Flaherty completed a 19-yard pass to fullback C.K. Mayo to the Perry 20 with 9 seconds to play.
Geary, the top kicker in the City League, booted the field goal with room to spare to give Brashear sole possession of first place and gain partial revenge for last year’s 47-0 humiliation by Perry at Heinz Field in the City League title game.
Two plays later, defensive back Tywone Bray intercepted Knapp’s desperation heave as time expired to send the Brashear players into a wild celebration in front of elated Bulls fans and a spectator-packed McArdle Roadway bridge overlooking the field.
“Beating them felt real good,” said Flaherty, who completed 9 of 14 passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Payne rushed for 92 yards on 32 carries behind a physical Brashear offensive line. Mayo accounted for 117 total yards. He carried five times for 52 yards, and caught five passes for 65 yards.
One week after having its 14-game City League shutout streak snapped, Perry was outgained 268-172 in total yardage and turned the ball over twice.
Lee carried 28 times for 123 yards, but 65 of those yards came on one third-quarter drive. Twenty of his 28 carries netted four yards or fewer. Knapp was hurried and off-target all game, finishing 5 of 18 for 64 yards.
Perry grabbed a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on Knapp’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Paul Favers. But Brashear tied the score at 7-7 on its next possession on Flaherty’s 8-yard touchdown run.
Taking a tie into the locker room seemed to rattle Perry, which had won its past 37 City League games by an average score of 46-2.
“I think being tied at halftime put them in a different mind-set,” Brashear coach Ron Wabby said.
Brashear didn’t let up. The Bulls went ahead 21-7 on a pair of Flaherty touchdown passes in the first six minutes of the third quarter.
“When we went up, they didn’t know what to do with themselves,” senior lineman Chris Crist said. “But they’re a good team and they got themselves back together.”
The Commodores drove 65 yards on eight plays, cutting the deficit to 21-14 on Lee’s 1-yard run late in the third quarter.
The teams traded possessions and Perry took over at the Brashear 40 with 3:58 to play. Perry, after converting a fourth-and-1 at the Bulls 31, tied the game on Knapp’s touchdown pass to Lincoln with 1:01 to play. But Geary’s heroics won the game.
“They’ve got to work through this and learn that when you face adversity, you have to look it in the face,” Gallagher said.
Wabby, who had dropped his past five games to Perry by a combined score of 240-0, expects the Commodores will rebound.
“This is good for them,” he said. “They’ve never been in a game like this, and this is only going to make them better.”
|Oliver blasts Langley|
Oliver tuned up for next week’s Perry game by blanking Langley, 35-0, on Friday night at Cupples Stadium in City League action.
Jaevone Jackson rushed for 87 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass. Oliver quarterback Jamon Steele completed 6 of 11 passes for 107 yards and one touchdown.
Oliver (3-2, 3-2) took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter on Steele’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Jason Hale. Oliver sandwiched a safety between Jackson’s 40-yard touchdown run and a 12-yard pass from Jackson to Chris Cox to go ahead 21-0 over Langley (1-4, 1-4) at the break.