Broncos survive in double OT against Grayson

LOGANVILLE - For nearly the entire game, the Grayson defense had Brookwood running back Demetre Ledlum wrapped up.

But in the end, when the Broncos needed big plays, the senior came through.

Ledlum scored with less than a minute left in regulation to tie the score and then had another touchdown in double overtime to give 10th-ranked Brookwood a 13-7 win over Grayson.

Brookwood (6-2 overall, 5-0 in Region 8-AAAAA) needed overtime two years ago to beat Grayson (3-5, 3-2) by the same score.

"He looked like a little bit of a different guy than he did at the beginning of the game," Brookwood head coach Mark Crews said of Ledlum. "That's what champions do when the game is on the line. They rise up and that's what our kids did."

Ledlum, the county's second-leading rusher, was held to 60 yards on 23 carries, but it was his touchdown runs of four yards that were the difference.

"We kept trying to move the ball against them and we couldn't," Ledlum said. "It kept going back-and-forth and it came out great for us."

Grayson certainly had its chances to win.

On the first series of overtime, Brookwood quarterback Daniel Peek fumbled on third down and Tristan Strong recovered. Grayson went for a 33-yard field goal by freshman Will Jessup, but the kick fell short.

Grayson got the ball to start the second overtime and once again had to settle for a field goal by Jessup, but this time from 30 yards. However, Patrick Moran came off the edge to block the kick and two plays later Ledlum was in the end zone for the win.

"I think it was a hard-fought game between two good football teams," Crews said.

Special teams played a big factor the entire night, especially in the first half. A high snap to Grayson punter Justin King resulted in the senior picking the ball up off the ground and kicking a low line drive about a foot off the ground. The punt appeared to touch a Brookwood player, but Brookwood was given the ball at the 46-yard line.

Brookwood used the good field position and went eight plays to get to the Grayson 17. The Broncos settled for a 34-yard field goal attempt by Zach Simmons, but the junior slipped and Grayson took over at the 20-yard line after the miss.

After holding Grayson to three-and-out on its ensuing possession, the Broncos mounted another drive. This time to the Grayson 23 and once again Simmons tried another field goal attempt from 39 yards. But Grayson's Brad Hamilton came through the middle of the line and blocked the kick.

Brookwood threatened to score with 8:52 left in the half at the Grayson 22, but then things fell apart.

The next four plays resulted in a loss of five, a fumble, a block below the waist penalty and a sack by Hamilton. That left Brookwood at its own 22-yard line and faced with third-and-56. The Broncos punted on third down, and both teams were scoreless at the half.

The Rams used an 11 play, 66-yard drive that ate up 9:38 off the clock for the first score of the game in the fourth quarter. Robert Staton (18 carries, 54 yards) carried the ball eight times on the drive for 55 yards and scored with 10:10 left in regulation.

Grayson got the ball back again, but was forced to punt. The Rams tried to catch the Broncos in transition with the defense coming off the field and the return unit on the field, but weren't able to capitalize. Grayson hurried the snap and King got off a bad punt.

Brookwood used the great field position to go 45 yards on six quarterback keepers out of the shotgun by Daniel Peek to put Brookwood on the four before Ledlum's run to tie the game. The drive also featured great second effort from Ledlum on fourth-and-two to keep the drive going.

"It's a heartbreaker," Grayson coach Mickey Conn said. "We had the missed snap on the punt when they had 15 guys on the field and we didn't get the call. It turned out to be the difference."

It was a nice homecoming for Peek. The last time the junior was on the sidelines for a Brookwood-Grayson game he was the quarterback for the Rams, but two weeks later transferred to Brookwood. Peek was 5 of 9 passing for 82 yards against his former teammates.

Before the game, Grayson officially retired its mascot Rambo the Ram and the ram led the team out onto the field for one last time.