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Broncos' offense different challenge for Knights

Having given up 109 points in its last two outings, Central Gwinnett’s defense is probably tired of seeing spread offenses.

That shouldn’t be a problem this week.

CENTRAL GWINNETT AT BROOKWOOD

Central Gwinnett Black Knights (8-AAAAA)

Coach: Todd Wofford

Record: 2-2, 0-2 region

Last week: Lost to South Gwinnett 62-27

Brookwood Broncos (8-AAAAA)

Coach: Mark Crews

Record: 3-1, 1-1 region

Last week: Beat Archer 37-0

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Brookwood won 28-21 in overtime last year

Directions to Brookwood High School: From I-85, go east on Pleasant Hill Road and merge onto Ronald Reagan Parkway. Proceed to the Five Forks-Trickum Road exit. Turn right and take the next left on Dogwood Road. School is on the right.

Series history:

2009: Brookwood 28, Central 21*

2009: Brookwood 28, Central 21*

2008: Brookwood 27, Central 14

2007: Brookwood 45, Central 19

2006: Brookwood 21, Central 0

2005: Brookwood 17, Central 6

2004: Brookwood 21, Central 9

1997: Brookwood 28, Central 6

1996: Brookwood 21, Central 0

1995: Brookwood 11, Central 10*

1994: Brookwood 10, Central 7

1994: Brookwood 22, Central 13

1993: Central 13, Brookwood 10

1993: Brookwood 17, Central 0

1992: Brookwood 14, Central 3

1992: Brookwood 21, Central 0

1991: Brookwood 32, Central 9

1990: Brookwood 13, Central 10

*Overtime

“This is the first time this year we’re not going against a version of the spread offense,” first-year Central head coach Todd Wofford said of tonight’s matchup at Brookwood. “It’s a more traditional, pro-style offense. It’s different for our kids so we’ll see how that goes. This is more physical, running downhill right at you.”

The Bronco duo of Nick Tompkins and Jamaal Cole have put up big numbers at running back nearly every week this season, outside of the 3-1 team’s only loss to Dacula. Every other week they’ve racked up big yardage, including 199 last week from Tompkins in a win over Archer.

While the rushing game is strong, Brookwood uses the pass more effectively than ever with wideout A.J. Sims and quarterback Ben McLane.

“(Tompkins) stands out to me, he’s great, and the Sims kid, you can tell he’s explosive. If he touches the ball, he can score from anywhere,” Wofford said. “Personally I like the quarterback. He’s a big, strong-armed kid. He’s got great fundamentals.”

Slowing down that attack will be a challenge for Central, which lost 62-27 to South Gwinnett last week. That came on the heels of a 47-23 loss to Berkmar.

While he wasn’t encouraged by giving up 62 points, Wofford said he wasn’t discouraged, either.

“As crazy as it looked in the end, the effort we gave from a defensive standpoint was pretty good,” Wofford said. “The kickoff return (TD) to start the second half was a big momentum shifter. With two offenses like that out there, a lot of points was a given. But I liked our kids’ effort against one of the best teams in the state.”

Central’s offense continued to put up big numbers in the South loss. The unit averages 27 points with sophomore QB Eman Westmoreland and a group of playmakers that includes George Morris, Tray Brown and Ozzie Exume.

“(Central’s) given up a lot of points, but they’ve scored a lot of points, too,” Brookwood head coach Mark Crews said. “They’re extremely athletic and they’ve got a lot of guys who can run. They’ve scored a lot of their points on big plays. ... And we haven’t done a great job against teams that spread things out and get their athletes into space.”

After struggling to stop Dacula the previous week, Brookwood’s defense fared better last week in a shutout of Archer. Cameron Lynch led the way with 19 tackles.

Crews doesn’t expect his team to overlook Central (0-2 in the region), which took the Broncos to overtime last season before falling 28-21. At the time, the Black Knights were 0-6.

“You certainly want to avoid two region losses for obvious reasons,” Crews said. “If you want to determine what happens (in the playoff chase), you’ve got to win. If we’ve got the one region loss at the end, we’ve got a good chance of being a 1 or 2 (seed). If it’s more than that, there’s a good chance we could be 3 or 4 or out (of the playoffs).”