Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips. Brookwood's Julian Suber (20) keeps running as he is tackled by Parkview's Christian Newsome (5) on Friday.
SNELLVILLE -- After Ben McLane ran more than 35 yards to gain 18 and give Brookwood a first down, the quarterback looked at his huddle and told them to look into his eyes.
Julian Suber looked. And Julian Suber answered. The running back carried the ball the next four plays and ended the drive and the game with a 24-yard touchdown run to seal Brookwood's 28-14 win over Parkview.
"I believed," Suber said. "Without my teammates I couldn't do it.
"Just to beat Parkview my senior year. We are going to celebrate this win tonight, and tomorrow we'll ready for McEachern. "
That is this win's undertone. This game was more than bragging rights in the Battle of Five Forks-Trickum or in Region 8-AAAAA. It was to keep playing for another week.
With the win, Brookwood advances as the No. 4 and final seed out of 8-AAAAA and Parkview's season ends. It's the first time Parkview has not made the playoffs since 1993.
"It was a playoff game," said Brookwood head coach Mark Crews. "Going in we knew somebody was going home next week and I'm glad it's them, or more importantly, I am glad it's not us."
Who got to keep playing wasn't decided until Suber scored with five minutes left in the game. The senior back finished with 148 yards on 29 grueling carries. He only had three carries of 10 or more yards and 22 went for five or less yards.
"That is what outstanding running backs do, they keep hammering and keep hammering," Crews said. "He got stronger as the game went along."
The offensive line did, too. The five up front for the Broncos wore down the Parkview attack and it showed with Brookwood scoring on its final two time-killing drives. Brookwood threw just two passes in the second half, returning to the familiar run-always approach.
That's not how it started.
Brookwood scored on its first drive with quarterback McLane connecting on 4 of 4 passing for 52 yards including a five-yard slant to Andre Sims for the score. McLane finished 10 of 14 passing for 129 yards. Sims caught six balls for 62 yards, all in the first half.
Brookwood took a 14-0 lead when junior Nick Moore recovered a Parkview fumble and returned it 68 yards for the score. It was one of two touchdowns for Moore, who also caught the only completion of the second half for a 48-yard touchdown.
"My eyes got so big," McLane said of the second touchdown. "This is the best feeling I have ever had in my life. The best feeling. It's the best win I've had. I have watched (this game), but when you are out there doing it, it is so much better."
Parkview rallied from the early deficit on the arm of quarterback Kalik Barnes, who threw touchdown passes in the second and third quarters and ended the game 15 of 24 for 168 yards. He also rushed for 42 of the Panthers' 52 yards. But in the fourth quarter, the Broncos' pass rush finally got to Barnes and his receivers dropped three first-down completions that ended Parkview drives.
The Bronco defense made the stops it needed to, starting with a fourth-down stop on the 1-yard line in the first quarter and ending with another fourth-down stop in the fourth quarter. Parkview turned the ball over three times on downs, two with the ball still in Barnes' hands.
And it all added up to a win and a game next Friday.
"I don't want to practice, but it's exciting," Moore said of facing a team the Broncos lost to earlier in the season. "I am excited to play McEachern. Maybe we can get some revenge."