New Brockton receiver Colton Marsh (3) picks up yardage against Brantley. 

The New Brockton Gamecocks (0-2) continued a tough start to the 2019 football season on Friday, Aug. 30, with a 59-20 road loss to Class 1A’s No. 4-ranked Brantley Bulldogs (1-0).

A nearly unstoppable Bulldog offense and five turnovers spelled disaster for the Gamecocks as they lost their second straight game to a Top 10-ranked team to start the season.

“We had a better week of preparation than the week before but on Friday night we didn’t execute when we needed to,” New Brockton coach Zack Holmes said. “You’re not going to win football games when you turn the ball over five times.

“We have to take (better) care of the football. We have to be better than that. We have to be fundamentally sound on defense and make sure we’re running to the football.”

Brantley went up 21-0 in the first quarter after two Gamecock turnovers, and the Bulldogs never looked back.

In the second quarter, the Bulldogs continued to pile one scoring three more touchdowns and taking a 41-0 lead into halftime. New Brockton turned the ball over three more times – two interceptions and a turnover on downs – in the second quarter.

Finally, the Gamecocks got on the scoreboard to open the second half as quarterback Kaden Cupp threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Russell Weeks with 6:19 left in the third period. A failed PAT cut the Brantley lead to 41-6. The Bulldogs were not done, however.

Brantley scored on a 30-yard touchdown pass on its next drive and then intercepted a Cupp pass and returned that for a touchdown to go up 53-6 with 3:43 left in the third quarter.

New Brockton running back Kyan Horne scored on an 8-yard touchdown run with 2:47 left in the third quarter and a two-point conversion cut Brantley’s lead to 53-14.

In the fourth quarter, Gamecock sophomore Ja’Marcus Brown scored his first career touchdown on a 2-yard plunge with 8:16 left. A two-point conversion chipped away at the Bulldog lead 53-20.

Brantley put the exclamation point on their dominant win with a 15-yard touchdown run with 3:04 left in the game. After a failed PAT, Brantley took a 59-20 lead for good.

The Bulldog offense piled up 521 yards of offense with 341 yards coming in the air. Quarterback Tucker Kilcrease completed 13-of-20 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 47 yards and another touchdown on the ground. Running back Dequan Pittman added 11 carries for 99 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

Despite New Brockton’s struggles, the Gamecocks were on the sideline lifting each other up rather than blaming each other or getting down on one another.

“That’s good to see and that’s what we’re preaching,” Holmes said. “We’re preaching teamwork and we’re in this thing together. It’s their job to love each other and encourage each other and they’re doing that.

“We just have to continue to do things the right way – like that – and eventually it will pay off for us.”

The New Brockton offense struggled to get going all night and could muster just 233 yards of total offense. Cupp completed 6-of-19 passes for 73 yards and one touchdown along with four interceptions and a fumble. Horne carried 15 times for 91 yards and a touchdown. Colton Marsh had three catches for 42 yards.

Kaden Hood led the Gamecock defense with six tackles.

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