SNELLVILLE - There wasn't going to be any first-round upset this year.
Not even close.
The Brookwood Broncos erupted for 35 straight points in the second half, taking advantage of some costly South Cobb turnovers, on their way to an easy 52-15 win over the Eagles on Friday night in the first round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs.
Senior running back Demetre Ledlum rushed for 173 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries for Brookwood, which will host Roswell (a 31-28 winner over Collins Hill) in the second round.
It was the second year in a row the Broncos avoided a first-round home loss, after suffering that fate in both 2003 and 2004.
And it was a complete team effort on Friday night as the Brookwood defense, offense and special teams were all outstanding.
"This team is light years ahead of where it was a few weeks ago," Brookwood head coach Mark Crews said. "And this is what you want. You want to be playing well and have confidence going into the playoffs."
With the victory on Friday night the Broncos (9-2) have now won nine straight games.
"We're playing well," said senior offensive lineman Josh Turner. "We're starting to come together. We're starting to click as a team."
That was evident from the opening drive on Friday night as the Broncos marched 80 yards in six plays - all on the ground - to take a quick 7-0 lead on Ledlum's 15-yard TD.
"We just put it down their throat," Turner said.
The Eagles responded on their first drive of the game however.
Running back Jeff Powers sprinted through a hole on a draw and darted into the end zone from 48 yards out to tie the game a 7-7 with less than five minutes gone in the first quarter.
The Eagles wouldn't score again until 34 seconds remained in the game. In the meantime, Brookwood put 45 on the board.
"We made some adjustments (after Powers' run)," Crews said. "We took that away from them."
After their initial drive of the game, the Eagles got just one more first down until the fourth quarter against the stout Brookwood defense.
"They played well," Crews said.
On offense, Brookwood completed just two passes all night. But the first one was a big one.
Junior QB Daniel Peek dropped a perfectly thrown pass into Patrick Moran's arms on a post pattern and the senior took it the distance for a 64-yard touchdown with 3:06 left in the first half.
Zach Simmons then finished out the first-half scoring with a 48-yard field goal as time expired as the Broncos took a 17-7 lead into the locker room.
And the second half was all Brookwood.
Two South Cobb fumbles deep in its own territory led to two short Ledlum TD runs as the Broncos went up 31-7 heading into the fourth
For the game, Brookwood rushed for 261 yards on 47 attempts.
"The O-line did a great job," Turner said. "We just ran it down their throats. The running backs did a great job tonight, too. And they just couldn't stop us."
Junior Kenny Miles got into the act in the fourth quarter, scoring touchdowns on runs of 5 and 48 yards. And the Broncos' final score came on a 75-yard punt return by junior Joshua Jackson with 2:54 remaining in the game.
The Broncos allowed a meaningless touchdown with under a minute left, but it mattered not as Brookwood ran its winning streak to nine games and advanced to the second round for the second straight season.
In fact, the last two years the Broncos made it out of the first round, they advanced all the way to the state championship game (in 2002 and 2005).
Now Crews and his players are crossing their fingers that history repeats itself this season as well.
"I hope so," he said with a smile.
Brookwood 52, South Cobb 15
South Cobb 7 0 0 8 - 15
Brookwood 7 10 14 21 - 52
Brookwood: Demetre Ledlum 15 run (Zach Simmons kick) 9:37
South Cobb: Jeff Powers 48 run (Juan Henoa kick) 7:43
Brookwood: Patrick Moran 64 pass from Daniel Peek (Simmons kick) 3:06
Brookwood: Simmons 48 FG, :00
Brookwood: Ledlum 2 run (Simmons kick) 9:15
Brookwood: Ledlum 2 run (Simmons kick) :35
Brookwood: Kenny Miles 5 run (Simmons kick) 7:29
Brookwood: Miles 48 run (Simmons kick) 6:00
Brookwood: Joshua Jackson 75 punt return (Simmons kick) 2:54
South Cobb: Chris Awuah 12 run (Marcus Carter run) :34
First downs 10 14
Rushes-yards 29-164 47-261
Passing yards 88 64
Comp.-Att.-Int. 10-24-0 2-6-0
Fumbles-lost 4-4 2-1
Penalties 1-10 4-30
RUSHING - South Cobb: Jeff Powers 13-118; Chris Awuah 2-32; Dunderick Mason 3-17; Kendall Williams 2-7; Rick Nightingale 1-7; Austin Kelly 8-(-17). Brookwood: Demetre Ledlum 27-173; Kenny Miles 4-60; Brice Smith 5-24; Justin White 5-12; Joe Moore 1-9; Daniel Peek 4-(-17); Will Gross 1-0.
PASSING - South Cobb: Kelly 10-23-0, 88; Williams 0-1-0, 0. Brookwood: Peek 2-5-0, 59; Smith 0-1-0, 0.
RECEIVING - South Cobb: Cedric Wilson 4-41; Williams 2-30; Marcus Carter 2-14; Powers 1-2; A.J. Rosa 1-1. Brookwood: Patrick Moran 2-59.