When it mattered most, in overtime, Bryant’s defense prevailed.

On fourth and goal, Hillcrest freshman quarterback Ethan Crawford rolled out of the pocket, looked downfield, but attempted to tuck it and run. He was tackled. The game was over and Bryant’s sideline stormed the field.

Bryant’s 22-16 win is a significant milestone; the Stampede hadn’t defeated the Patriots since 2005.

Early in the game, both teams moved the ball but stalled out, settling for field goals. But, the Stampede stuck to its identity: run the ball and play stout defense.

Senior running back Josh Hinton scored three times, including the game-winner in overtime.

Bryant was the better team and it showed; however, Hillcrest kept getting plays to go its way. With a minute left in the third quarter, Hillcrest had a blocked punt returned for 27 yards and a touchdown. Then again, with 6:38 remaining, Hillcrest intercepted wide receiver Al Shipman Jr. who replaced the injured senior quarterback Ty’Javian Edwards in the second half.

It’s the first time since 2006 the Patriots won’t be in the playoffs.

Bryant (7-1, 4-1 region) will play next week in a region championship game at Hueytown, while Hillcrest (3-6, 2-4 region) has a bye week before playing James Clemens in its season finale.

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