The UTV 44 High School Game of the Week presented by Whataburger made its last trip across the bay for the season and saw the 6A Region 2 showdown between the Foley Lions and the Fairhope Pirates.
This was an emotional week for the Lions as one of their own; Chris Dillon was diagnosed with Leukemia and went to Memphis, TN for treatment. Both schools rallied support for Chris, but neither wanted to loose this game.
The play started off fast as the Fairhope Pirates recovered an onside kick to begin the game. Four plays later Fairhope quarterback Gabe Phillips found Nate Andrews for a 19 yard touchdown reception.
On the Pirates next possession, they executed the half back pass and Phillips found David Kirksy for a 39 yard reception. Phillips found Kirksy again, though this time for 17 yards and the touchdown. The Pirates had a 14-0 lead over the Lions halfway through the first quarter.
Looking to extend their lead, the Pirates scored again in the 1st quarter when John Baxter kicked a 35 yard field goal. The Pirates now had a 17-0 lead over the Lions late in the 1st quarter.
The Fairhope defense helped the cause when, defensive lineman Clayton King recovered a fumble from Foley’s quarterback Maison Taylor. Looking to score before the end of the 1st quarter, Phillips connected with Rushing Watson for a 37 yard reception. Unable to find the end zone, the Pirates settled for a 21 yard field goal by Baxter. The Pirates now had a 20-0 lead over the Lions at the start of the second quarter.
Foley was still looking to get on the board and with their first possession they did just that. Volantai Adams helped the Lions when he caught at 40 yard pass from Taylor. And a few plays later running back Cedrix Reed found the end zone on a 3 yard run. The Lions were now down 20-7 to the Pirates with just over nine minutes to go in the 1st half.
Late in the 1st half, Foley began to drive down field. Taylor found Alontai Adams for two consecutive receptions of 34 yards. Those catches helped the Lions get into position for Reed to get in to the end zone again on a 5 yard run. The Lions had now cut the lead down to 20-14 with just over four minutes left in the half.
The Lions defense was able to stop the Phillips and Pirates, and on fourth down Foley’s Christopher Shepard blocked the punt. Five plays later and on fourth down, Taylor found Volantai Adams for a 20 yard touchdown reception. The Lion at one point were down 20-0 and had now taken a 21-20 lead into halftime.
Late in the 3rd quarter, the Lions extended their lead over the Pirates when Taylor found Demarcus Bingham for a 36 yard touchdown reception. The Lions now had a 28-20 lead with just under 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
The Pirates offense had not scored since the beginning of the second quarter. Still late in the 3rd quarter, running back Bryan Bell helped the Pirated get into scoring position when he ripped off a 48 yard run. Phillips later found Devin Odom in the end zone for a 5 yard touchdown reception. The score was now 28-27 with Lions leading late in the 3rd quarter.
The Lions defense stepped up again when Nate Cole forced a fumble on a pitch by Philips. Cole recovered the fumble and ran it in for a Lions touchdown. Foley now had a 34-27 lead.
Both team traded turnovers in the 4th quarter, but the final turnover happened when Foley’s B.T. Sanders picked off Phillips to end the game and give the Lions the 34-27 win over the Pirates.
Foley improves to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the region. The Lions host their first home game since Week #2 as they host Northview.
Fairhope falls to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the region. The Pirates will travel to Daphne for the Battle of the Eastern Shore.
The UTV44 High School Game of the Week E.E. Delaney Stadium on the campus of St. Paul’s for the 5A Region 1 showdown as the Saints host the Vigor Wolves. Join us on Friday at 7pm for the UTV44 High School Game of the Week.