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Birmingham Almost Lets Victory Get Away

Football: Braves fumble seven times, but defense shuts down Grant in second half, 30-21.


VAN NUYS — Birmingham High is going to need to learn a few things--holding on to the football, for starters--if it expects to make the City Section 4-A Division playoffs.

But the Braves have mastered one lesson: how to win without one of their best players.

Playing without standout linebacker and fullback Bobby Davis, sidelined with an elbow injury, Birmingham spotted Grant a 13-point lead before rebounding for a 30-21 victory Friday night at Birmingham High.

Senior tailback Emmanuel Evans, who gained 165 yards in 23 carries, scored on a five-yard run that gave the Braves the lead for good at 16-13.

Quarterback Scott Doherty helped balance the attack, completing 13 of 20 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns for Birmingham (2-0). Two were caught by Jerome Riley, who had six receptions for 102 yards. Demetrus Patterson had five catches for 81 yards and one touchdown. At one point, Doherty completed eight consecutive passes.

"I was in a zone tonight," Doherty said. "I had plenty of time, plenty of protection."

The only glitches came on fumbles. Birmingham had seven of them, losing four and had five turnovers overall.

"It was a wet ball, a wet night," Doherty said. "We'll have to work on the exchanges."

The Braves held Grant to one yard of offense in the third quarter and sacked quarterback Lawrence Monroy five times.

"We miss [Davis] more on defense," Doherty said. "But we had guys come up and make plays."

The Lancers (1-1), coming off an impressive victory over Verdugo Hills in the season opener, took full advantage of the two first-half fumbles by the Braves to grab a 13-0 lead.

One play after he gained 34 yards on a run, Evans bobbled a pitch from Doherty right into the hands of Grant's Agustine Schuster.

Schuster went 49 yards to the Birmingham 19.

Four plays later, David Smith scored on a four-yard run.

The Braves fumbled again in the second quarter, this time on a handoff between Doherty andEvans that EloyNavarro recovered for Grant at the Lancer 41.

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