BRYANT -- Fayetteville spent the first half of Friday night's Class 7A quarterfinal just trying to keep up with Bryant.Gallery: Fayetteville vs. Bryant
Fayetteville's Luke Rapert (#22) runs the ball as Bryant defenders Madre Dixon (left) and Devon Alpe (right) make the tackle Friday night during their game in Bryant.
Fayetteville’s Luke Rapert (22) gets past Bryant defender Quinton Royal on Friday to score during the first quarter in Bryant.
The Bulldogs spent the fourth quarter scrambling to hold on, finally securing a 30-24 victory at Hornet Stadium.
"Doesn't matter how you win, just win," Fayetteville Coach Daryl Patton said. "That's what it's about in the playoffs. Give all the credit to Bryant. We got outcoached tonight and you can tell that bye week paid off because they had a great game plan.
"We were really hit and miss all night on offense and defense. But our defense got going there at the end. ... We started bringing pressure on defense and that made a difference."
Fayetteville (10-2) needed to stop the Hornets twice in the fourth quarter -- once inside the 10-yard line and then needed an interception by Nick Scalise of a Gunner Banks pass in the closing minute.
Bryant (9-2) scored on its first three possessions with Banks hitting Austin Kelly with a 81-yard touchdown pass and Landon Smith for another 26-yard TD pass play. Banks scored Bryant's third touchdown on a 3-yard run with 54 seconds left in the first quarter to take a 21-13 lead.
Bryant got 138 yards on 21 carries from De'amonte Terry, but Fayetteville kept up with the Hornets the rest of the way.
Fayetteville trailed 24-16 at the half, but tied it at 24-24 on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Powell to Garland Allison with 9:43 left in the quarter. Powell's two-point conversion run tied the score.
Fayetteville took its first lead with 9:55 left in the game when Powell hit Terrance Rock on a 30-yard pass for a 30-24 lead. The extra-point attempt failed.
Fayetteville's defense stopped Bryant twice in the closing minutes, first on fourth down when the Hornets got inside the 10.
Powell's fumble on a third-down sack gave the ball back to Bryant with 1:09 remaining.
Then Banks, rolling away from pressure, was intercepted by Scalise on the sideline.
"Gunner was trying to throw the ball out of bounds and the ball just slipped out of his hands," Bryant Coach Paul Calley said. "Just an unfortunate play, but he played so well for us tonight.
"I'm so proud of our kids. We faced so much adversity this season and we played a tremendous game and had a great year."
Sports on 11/21/2015
Print Headline: Fayetteville holds off Bryant