Brookwood storms past Berkmar

SNELLVILLE -- In a tune-up to begin a run for a second straight state championship, Brookwood needed only 18 plays from scrimmage to score eight first-half touchdowns en route to a 71-8 win over Berkmar on Friday night at Brookwood Community Stadium.

Brookwood (7-3, 6-2), the No. 3 seed in Region 8-AAAAA, travels next week to Peachtree Ridge in the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.

In a matchup of Region 8-AAAAA's haves and have-nots, the Broncos scored at will against Berkmar (1-9, 0-8). Brookwood rushed for 267 yards and six TDs on 17 carries in the first half. Nick Tompkins led the ground attack with three TDs, including two on runs of 55 and 61 yards. Brookwood also played flawless defense, with Toby Guinn and Jamaal Cole each returning interceptions for TDs.

"After last week's loss to Grayson, we wanted to play hard, continue to execute and stay sharp," said Brookwood head coach Mark Crews. "We were able to do that and still stay healthy."

After returning the game's opening kickoff to the Berkmar 41, the Broncos needed only four plays to score on a 3-yard Tompkins run. And it took only nine seconds to score again when Guinn intercepted Deion Perry on Berkmar's first play from scrimmage and returned it 12 yards for a TD.

Brookwood needed only one play from scrimmage to score on two of its next three possessions, with Tompkins taking the handoff from quarterback Zach Moon and running for two long TDs. On the other possession, it took the Broncos only five plays to chew up 77 yards, with Cole carrying all five times and scoring on a 1-yard run.

Cole scored two more times in the second period. After B.J. Sammon returned a Berkmar punt 57 yards to the Patriots' 13, Cole needed two carries to score from the 1. On Berkmar's next possession, he picked off a Perry pass and scampered 41 yards for a TD, making it 49-0.

Brookwood began pulling its starters late in the second quarter. Backup running back David Renard carried the load the rest of the way, gaining 107 yards on 14 carries and scoring two TDs. Brookwood also scored a special teams TD in the third period when D.J. Brown returned a 38-yard punt for a score.

After falling behind 71-0, Berkmar scored its lone TD on a long 71-yard pass from Perry to wide receiver Dorren Miller. Perry finished with 11 of 16 for 126 yards.