It wasn’t quite that simple, but that pretty much surmises the series of unfortunate events that led to Anniston’s 24-21 loss to Springville on the road Friday night.
The Bullldogs let a 12-point halftime lead slip away to drop their first region contest in almost two years.
“It was really a lack of focus,” Anniston coach Edddie Bullock said. “We looked at them on film and we saw one good game and one bad game. We thought we could just go out there and beat them. We had them against the ropes. We just didn’t put them away.”
Springville pulled to within 21-16 to start the second half marching 68 yards in 15 plays, culminating in a 3-yard touchdown run from quarterback Brandon Gilliland.
Anniston’s hopes began to unravel midway through the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs fumbled on first-and-10 from their own 20 but managed to recover it. Then, they lost 5 yards on a sack and — to make matters worse — were whistled for a personal foul on second down. On third down, they threw an interception, which gave the Tigers possession at the Anniston 35.
Springville’s Shawn Gipson scored the go-ahead touchdown with 2:49 to play. A successful 2-point conversion made the score 24-21.
Anniston had two more possessions to tie or take the lead but failed to gain a first down, going a combined 0-4 on passing plays in both series.
“I told them we can beat anybody on any given day,” Bullock said. “But we’re not good enough to where we can go out and not play. They (his team) think they can go out there make 10 or 11 mistakes and commit 10 or 11 penalties and win because we can outrun everybody.”
Anniston standout running back Troymaine Pope scored all of Anniston’s touchdowns on runs of 34, 43 and 1 yards in the first half, during which he gained 100 yards. He was limited to just six touches in the second half
The Bulldogs (2-2, 2-1) host Lincoln next week.