Thompson’s Bria divides fog

Published 2:30 am Saturday, October 18, 2008

Things were foggy for both teams playing football Friday night. That was even more true for Thompson quarterback David Bria, who was playing without a contact.

You never would have known, however, as he led Thompson (3-5, 2-5) to a 30-23 victory on the road over Oak Mountain (2-6, 1-6) in Class 6A, Region 6.

With 36 seconds left, and facing a fourth-and-3 from his own 48, Bria parted the fog that loomed over Heardmont Park with a pass down to the Oak Mountain 30. Senior wide out Jordan Chism leapt high to bring down the pass and take it to the house for the 52-yard winning touchdown.

“We hadn’t been able to get it all year. I had no doubts though. I told David to throw it to me, that I was going to catch it,” Chism said. “I couldn’t see it. I had to go up farther than I thought he was going to throw it. I just told him to put some air on it. The safety ran up under me, so I just went up and when I came down the ball was between my legs and I just happened to pull it up and score.”

The winning pass was just one of two long touchdowns Bria threw for in the second half, after losing his left contact on a quarterback sneak before halftime.

“Throwing in the fog, seeing double – it was a challenge,” Bria said. “I just really had to sharpen up my skills, read the plays how they’re supposed to be read and trust in my receivers.”

Bria, who was 13-25 passing for 212 yards, opened the scoring in the game with a 59-yard touchdown run. Oak Mountain answered the touchdown with a 24-yard field goal by Jeff Haney and later took the lead on a touchdown run by quarterback Drew McKnight.

Bria lost his left contact when he punched in a touchdown from the 1-inch line with 7:34 to play in the opening half. The Eagles answered with a score from Eric McKelvey before to regain the lead, 16-15, before halftime.

The second half opened with a 54-yard touchdown pass down the left side to Darvick Lucas, as Thompson moved back on top, 22-16, but Ross Ware pushed the Eagles back on top, 23-22, with a short run late in the third quarter.

Penalties killed Oak Mountain in the second half, including a delay of game call with fourth-and-goal at the 1 midway through the fourth quarter. A field goal attempt by the Eagles was missed to keep Thompson down a point.

Oak Mountain rushed for more than 300 yards in the game and threw for 117, while holding Thompson to 113 yards on the ground and 325 yards of total offense. Ware and McKelvey had 147 and 107 yards, respectively for the Eagles.

The loss keeps Oak Mountain at the bottom of Class 6A, Region 6.

“It’s squarely on my shoulders. We wasn’t ready. I don’t think our mental focus was what it should have been. I did a poor job coaching. The kids deserve better,” Oak Mountain head coach Jerry Hood said.

Bria said he wanted to win the game for Chism and the other Warrior seniors.

“We want them to finish out with a .500 season, so we’re shooting to win every game from now on,” Bria said.

Chism, who was out of breath and had tears of joy in his eye after the game, said he really wanted this win.

“It means a lot to us,” Chism said. “I told the team we wanted to win this one. Now we’ve got to go play Vestavia. It’s going to be hard, but I think we can do it.”

Vestavia lost its third game of the season Friday, 17-2, to Hoover, but the possibility of a bounce back win for the Rebels doesn’t bother Chism.

“Let’s go. I’m ready,” he said.

Thompson will travel to Vestavia Friday, while Oak Mountain will host Spain Park (2-6, 2-5).