Decatur comes up short against Cullman

By R. Sirvell Carter
For The Decatur Daily

Decatur fell one yard shy of the potential game-tying touchdown and dropped a 21-14 Class 6A, Region 7 game to Cullman on Friday.

Quarterback Bradin Dupper rushed for 125 yards on 19 carries but needed one more on fourth and goal with 41 seconds left in regulation. He accounted for both Red Raider touchdowns with passes to Rhys Dorsey of 39 and 28 yards.

Decatur dropped to 1-3 with its third straight loss and fell to 0-2 in the region.

Red Raiders coach Aairon Savage will look to keep his team engaged as it attempts to end its slide next week at non-region opponent Hazel Green.

"We've got to keep pounding," Savage said. "It is what it is. We've just got to keep pounding."

Jackson Sessions rushed for three touchdowns for Cullman (2-2, 1-1).

The Bearcats closed out a stretch of three consecutive road games with its second victory in those contests. They beat Jasper 15-13 two weeks ago and lost to Hartselle 42-0 in the teams' region opener.

"They stepped up to the challenge," first-year Cullman coach Danny Stiff said of his team. "We had a good week of practice, and we came out here and got it down.

Cullman scored first after holding Decatur to three downs and a punt to start the game. Sessions scored on a 2-yard run at the 5:54 mark of the first quarter. The Bearcats failed on the extra point attempt.

The Red Raiders took the lead before halftime. Dupper connected on his first touchdown pass to Dorsey (39 yards) with 2:17 left before intermission.

Decatur recovered a Cullman fumble at the Red Raiders' 26 on the Bearcats' opening possession of the second half (8:58). The offense converted with Dupper's 28-yard score to Dorsey (5:53).

Cullman responded with its own touchdown drive and capped it with Sessions' 6-yard run and Tanner Gaines' 2-point conversion pass to Wyatt Buchanan to tie the game at 14 (1:34).

Decatur punted after three plays before Cullman took the lead with a 14-play drive that spanned from 43 seconds left in the third quarter to 5:23 left in the fourth period.

Sessions closed it out with 2-yard run, and Wyatt Harris tacked on the point after.

Decatur drove from its 33 yard line to Cullman's 1 but the drive stalled on downs.

The Bearcats ran one play to drain the final seconds from the clock.

Cullman will host Lee-Huntsville next week. Decatur plays at Hazel Green.