Brewer scored touchdowns on its first two possessions and then withstood a second half scare by South Hills en rout to a playoff-securing win at Clark Field, 38-21, on Thursday.
Quarterback Carson Ingram spearheaded the Bear attack with 138 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown. The senior was also 14-20-1 for 152 yards and another touchdown.
In the third quarter, Anthony Watkins of South Hills (4-6, 3-5) broke away for a 71-yard touchdown and rushed for the ensuing two-point conversion to pull within nine, 24-15.
Then in the same quarter, the Scorpions appeared poised to turn the tables when Calu’ub Holloway intercepted to set his team up at the Brewer 32.
But on the following play, the Bears’ Tavish McCain returned the favor by intercepting and thus thwarted the threat.
With momentum back in their favor, the Bears eventually scored two more touchdowns, the last on the game’s final play to ensure the win.
Brewer (7-3, 6-2) led 24-7 at halftime. In their first two touchdown drives, Justin Davis and Cornelius Houston scored on two and one yard runs, respectively.
Throughout, Ingram kept and threw short screens.
South Hills got on the scoreboard midway in the second quarter with a two-yard run by Anthony Watkins. The 64-yard drive was aided by three pass interference calls by the Bears for 37 yards. Quarterback John Vela also completed a 23-yard pass to Eric Smith. Vela scrambled about and finally, out of desperation, underthrew to Smith near the sideline that the receiver returned to make.
However, Brewer drove 70 yards in 11 plays to reinstate the 14-point lead at 21-7 with 41.1 seconds left in the half. On all of the plays but one on the drive, Ingram and C.J. Houston alternated on rushing duties with Ingram finally scoring off-tackle from four yards out.
South Hills was in District 7-5A last year and has found the transition to District 3-5A difficult. The Scorpions were undefeated in regular season last year. In district, four of their previous games were decided by seven points or fewer. In that span, they went 1-3.
Game was over when: Senior linebacker Kelvin Spencer scored on the game’s final play, the extra point notwithstanding, in his only carry of the night.
Play of the game: There were two plays. Just before the end of the half, Brewer retained possession with less than 20 seconds at its 49 yard line. Ingram scrambled 19 yards to the Scorpion 32. Then with four seconds left, Jorge Estrada booted a 48-yard line drive of a field goal into the wind and rain for a 24-7 lead.
Offensive player of the game: Carson Ingrams for Brewer.
Defensive player of the game: Tavish McCain with his momentum-killing interception.
Unsung hero of the game: C.J. Houston of Brewer had 64 yards on 17 carries.
What’s next? The Bears are awaiting the outcomes of certain games to determine their opening round playoff opponent.