It turns out West Point’s Luke Persall is a mere human after all — if only just barely.

Playing on a broken foot sustained during last week’s win over Oak Grove, Persall came off the bench in the third quarter and led West Point’s furious second-half comeback attempt after starter Caiden Bagwell was knocked out of the game with a concussion.

But despite gaining 93 all-purpose yards and being involved in the most bizarre play of the night, Persall and the Warriors fell short 19-10 in a Class 4A, Region 5 matchup with Haleyville Friday night in West Point.

Trailing by nine entering the fourth quarter, Persall guided the Warriors on a 12-play drive to the Haleyville 8. But on first-and-goal with 5:00 to play, Persall’s pass was intercepted by Jeremy White at the Lions’ 1.

White returned the ball to West Point’s 9, where Persall was on hand to pick up White’s fumble with 4:44 to play.

“It was a play-action pass, and the kid just made a good play on the ball,” said West Point coach Michael Simmons. “But it was a heck of a play on Luke’s part. He gave us another chance, even if it was 90 yards away from a score.”

Starting at their own 9 with 4:44 left in regulation, the Warriors drove to midfield before Persall’s keeper on fourth-and-four was stopped for no gain. Haleyville took over and ran out the clock.

“We had a lot of missed opportunities,” said Simmons, whose team will now almost surely face a road game in the first round of the playoffs. “We drove inside their 20 three times, but we just didn’t cash in when we had the opportunity.”

West Point’s first foray into the red zone came on its opening possession, but the drive stalled when Caiden Bagwell’s third-and-goal pass fell incomplete. Cody Brunkenhoeffer entered and put the Warriors up 3-0 with a 24-yard field goal.

After a 1-yard run by Destin Dye put Haleyville up 6-3, Cody Thompson returned the kickoff 54 yards to the Lions’ 40. West Point again drove into the red zone before a penalty stalled the possession at the Haleyville 24.

Simmons called on Brunkenhoeffer again, but the senior’s 41-yard kick fell short in the Haleyville end zone.

The Lions took over at the 20 and wasted little time getting back on the scoreboard. On third-and-11, Brett Bryson hit White on a quick screen that went 62 yards for another score. Bryson’s extra point missed and the Warriors trailed 12-3.

West Point finally cashed in on its second possession of the second half, driving 45 yards in 10 plays. Blake Cobb punched it in from the 3 and Brunkenhoeffer’s point after made it 12-10.

Haleyville took over and drove 77 yards in 10 plays, sparked by White’s 19-yard reception on fourth-and-15. White scored two plays later on a 10-yard plunge.

“I thought our gameplan was good,” said Simmons. “With what they had on defense, we were able to get the ball into the red zone well. We just couldn’t put it in.”

The Warriors gained 19 first downs and rushed for 156 yards on the night.

Cobb led the ground attack with 58 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries, while Derek Basinger added 55 yards on nine touches.

Patrick Clowers caught three passes for 55 yards.

Bagwell was 3-for-8 with 36 yards before being knocked him out for the game late in the first half. His status heading into West Point’s bye week is uncertain.

For Haleyville (5-2, 3-1 Class 4A, Region 5) White grabbed six passes for 114 yards and one touchdown. He also carried 12 times for 102 yards and another score.

West Point (4-3, 3-2) gets a bye week before returning to regional action at home against Fayette County.

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