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Brandon Rallies, Tops Durant 49-38

MATTHEW POSTINS, Tribune correspondent Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 26, 2013 at 11:18 PM

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BRANDON - The final score was better suited for the Arena Football League.

But Brandon proved it could overwhelm opponents offensively Friday night, scoring 21 fourth-quarter points to defeat Durant 49-38.

While the Eagles (3-2) were happy to have big rushing games from Marquel Gilmore (166 yards, three touchdowns) and Samir Baker (134 yards, three touchdowns), Brandon coach John Lima was just as impressed with the drive that kick-started the rally midway through the fourth quarter.

The Eagles fell behind 38-28 after two misplays in punt formation gave the Cougars (2-3) field position deep in Brandon territory. Cougars back Ryan Rice scored both times, giving Durant the lead. Rice, who rushed for 122 yards, added another 5-yard score early in the fourth quarter, his fourth of the game, to give the Cougars the 10-point lead.

The Cougars trailed 28-17 at halftime after the Eagles went on a 14-point tear to end the half.

Down 10 with 10:56 left, Brandon started at its 10-yard line and methodically drove the field, culminating in Tracy Burr's 32-yard touchdown pass to Baker to cut the lead to 38-35 with 6:07 remaining.

Burr completed six of seven passes for 74 yards on the drive.

'We've been working on the passing game for a year and a half,' Lima said. 'It's nice to see it come through when you need it.'

The Eagles forced a three-and-out on the next drive, and they didn't need a long drive this time. Baker caught Burr's pass on the first play, broke four tackles and got to the Durant 18 before he stumbled. But he set up Gilmour's third touchdown, a 15-yarder, with 3:51 remaining.

Baker finished with 194 total yards.

'That No. 5 Baker is just so explosive,' Durant coach Mike Gottman said.

Gilmore's score gave the Eagles a 42-38 lead. But Durant still had time - almost four minutes - and decent field position after a Brandon pooch kick left the Cougars at their 30.

But the Eagles' defense stepped up again, sacking quarterback Jeremy Fussell twice, including lineman John Way's sack of Fussell on fourth down to end the drive.

Baker added a touchdown run in the final minute.

The teams combined for 87 points and plenty of excitement, including Gilmore's 90-yard touchdown run with 47 seconds left in the second quarter to give Brandon a 21-17 lead.

A big play by Fussell set up Rice's fourth touchdown of the night, as Fussell deftly worked a play-action fake into a 47-yard keeper to the Brandon 5.

Also, the Cougars converted a fake field goal in the second quarter, as holder Damon Kolanowski threw a shovel pass to Rice for a 25-yard gain to set up Fussell's 5-yard touchdown run with 1:15 left.

Durant107147-38Brandon721021-49 DUR-FG Kelly 38

BR-Gilmour 4 run (Keefe kick)

DUR-Rice 24 run (Kelly kick)

BR-Baker 12 run (Keefe kick)

DUR-Fussell 5 run (Kelly kick)

BR-Gilmour 90 run (Keefe kick)

BR-Baker 25 run (Keefe kick)

DUR-Rice 10 run (Kelly kick)

DUR-Rice 6 run (Kelly kick)

DUR-Rice 5 run (Kelly kick)

BR-Baker 32 pass from Burr (Keefe kick)

BR-Gilmour 15 run (Keefe kick)

BR-Baker 18 run (Keefe kick)

TEAM STATISTICS DURBRANFirst downs 1418Rushing 41-17233-280Passing 6-12-8911-17-173Total yards 261453Interceptions by 01Sacks by 05Fumbles-lost 2-01-1Penalties-yards 2-126-30

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