Prep Football Persall carries Warriors to 49-42 victory | The Cullman Tribune

Prep Football

Persall carries Warriors to 49-42 victory

WEST POINT – It only took 17 seconds and the feet of Hunter Persall to put West Point up 7-0 over Corner, as he took it to the house on the opening kickoff. Persall continued to see the ball often once Corner was shut down on its next drive, giving West Point an open path for a 35-yard run by the West Point junior running back to set up his own 1-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 13-0, following a botched extra point attempt.

Less than a minute later the Warriors forced the Yellow Jackets to go three-and-out. The Warriors took over at their 35-yard line. For the third time in the first quarter, Persall broke away, this time scoring on a 55-yard run. The Warriors tacked on the 2-point conversion with Persall punching it in again for the 21-0 lead as time expired in the first.

Following a botched punt reception, the Warriors took over from their 5-yard line. Rylan Jones connected with Nathan Appling for a 45-yard pass, putting West Point inside Corner’s territory. Corner stiffened up for the next couple of downs, but Persall would not be denied as he broke through for a 2-yard run to keep the drive alive. This allowed West Point to spread the field and Appling took advantage with 27-yard sweep into the end zone, putting the Warriors in dominant control, 28-0, in the waning moments of the first half.

With 2:28 left in the half the Yellow Jackets scored on a 10-yard run to cut the deficit to 28-7. Following a big knockdown from the Warriors’ Anthony Woods, the team muffed the punt return and Corner recovered for the second time of the evening at its 45-yard line. It didn’t take much time for Corner’s Garrett Purvis to punch it in on a 30-yard run to pull the Yellow Jackets within two scores, trailing West Point 28-14 at the half.

Corner started the second half strong and pushed the Warriors to the limit as the Yellow Jackets began their second half barrage. Corner’s Purvis scored on a 2-yard run and claimed the 2-point conversion to pull Corner within six points, 28-22 with plenty of time left in the third. This added to the 22 unanswered points put up by the Yellow Jackets.

Just nine seconds later, West Point’s Jones fumbled the snap and Corner grabbed possession at West Point’s 15-yard line. Moments later a quick touchdown throw put the Yellow Jackets ahead 29-28, with 29 unanswered points.

The pressure began to crack the Warriors as Corner forced yet another fumble and the Yellow Jackets reclaimed possession at the West Point 10-yard line. Corner took the 8-yard carry into the end zone, increasing the lead to 36-28, pushing the unanswered streak to 36 points.

The Warriors attempted to come back, but Corner quickly regained the ball and marched down the field.  The Yellow Jackets broke the defense to take it in for another rushing touchdown, but a missed 2-point conversion, putting the Yellow Jackets ahead 42-28 as the third quarter expired, the unanswered streak creeping up to 42 consecutive points.

West Point would not give up, marching down the field and allowing the Warriors’ Jones to take it in on a quarterback sneak to pull West Point to a 42-35 deficit.

Following three minutes of pressured football, the Warriors stood tall, forcing a turnover to take back the ball on West Point’s 8-yard line. This was all Persall needed to reopen the game, taking one rush for 50-yards before scoring on a 5-yard carry to tie the game 42-all with just more than six minutes left to play.

Levi Farley intercepted the Yellow Jackets’ next pass, giving the Warriors great field position at the 50-yard line. Despite a penalty, Persall kept rolling, breaking the plane to give West Point the 49-35 lead. Corner tacked on another touchdown late to bring it within a score, but Persall’s monster carries and touchdowns brought home the win.

West Point will have a bye week on Friday, Sept. 29 but return to play Fairview on Friday, Oct. 3.

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