SNELLVILLE -- Afolabi Laguda recovered an onside kick by Archer with 51 seconds remaining, allowing Brookwood to hold on for a 21-19 Region 8-AAAAA Homecoming victory Friday night.
"We got pretty comfortable," Brookwood coach Mark Crews said of the Broncos' (2-2, 1-1) early advantage. "We sure didn't stop them often but our kids kept fighting back and Archer deserves a lot of credit for their effort."
After the teams traded punts to open the game, the Broncos started their second drive on their 36. Riding the rushing of junior Jamaal Cole with a sprinkling of pass completions by quarterback Zach Moon, Brookwood marched deep into Archer (1-3, 0-2) territory. On third-and-five from the Tigers 32, Cole took the handoff on a counter play and raced to the Archer 6. Though the Tiger defense stiffened, Moon was able to sneak into the end zone on fourth-and-one for the touchdown. Brandon Schuster added the extra point and Brookwood led 7-0 with 3:14 left in the first quarter.
Archer responded immediately as quarterback Jarvis Holley scrambled for 23 yards to midfield and then running back Jermaine Morris took the option pitch 50 yards down the the Brookwood 2. On the final play of the quarter, Holley imitated Moon by sneaking into the end zone for the touchdown. Zach Wachholz's PAT was wide right and Brookwood led 7-6 after the first quarter.
The Broncos unleashed a heavy dose of Nick Tompkins on their next drive. Carrying the ball five times for 47 yards, Brookwood moved to the Archer 9. On third down, Moon connected with B.J. Sammon on a come back route just inside the pylon for the touchdown. Brandon Morrow added the extra point and with 7:41 left in the half, Brookwood led 14-6.
In what would become a pattern for the rest of the game, Archer was a victim of its own doing on its next drive. The Tigers appeared to score on a 59-yard run by Ernest Alexander, but a holding penalty wiped out the score. Archer held the ball for 13 plays, moving to the Brookwood 38, where it faced a fourth-and-five. Lining up in punt formation with less than one minute until halftime, the Broncos weren't surprised by a fake punt, and stopped Alexander.
Brookwood took its eight-point lead into the halftime homecoming festivities.
It was Archer however, that came out in a festive mood on offense. The Tigers took over possession on its 35 after the kickoff by Schuster went out of bounds. Patiently, methodically, Archer marched the ball down the field. Eventually the visitors gained a first-and-goal at the Brookwood 1-yard line. Holley was stopped for no gain on first down. Alexander was likewise stuffed on the next play. On third down, the Tigers ran an option left with Holley pitching to a wide open Jermaine Morris. With nothing but green grass and the end zone in front of him, Morris dropped the pitch and was tackled at the 5. After debating over a field goal, the Tigers were turned away when Holley was sacked by Conner Hennessey.
Brookwood set out on a march of its own and it was on the shoulder of Tompkins yet again. Rushing the ball seven times for 52 yards, the junior again ceded the scoring to someone else as Cole swept around the right side of the Brookwood line and just got in the end zone over the pylon for the touchdown. Morrow's extra point was good and the Broncos had a seemingly comfortable 21-6 lead with 8:43 left in the game.
After Archer's Darius Williams returned the kickoff to the 50, it took the Tigers four plays to score. From the Brookwood 18, Holley faked a dive and raced around the right side and took the ball to the end zone for the touchdown. The Tigers elected to try for the two-point conversion but Holley was unable to find a receiver open and was sacked. The Brookwood lead stood at 21-12 with 6:43 left in the game.
Brookwood was unable to get a first down and Archer took over on its own 48 with 5:30 left in the game. Holley kept the ball and raced down the the Broncos' 3 however the drive ended when Holley fumbled and it was recovered by Brookwood's Ramirez Galbreath.
Brookwood was again unable to move the ball and this time Archer was able to score as Willaims took an option pitch from Holley around the left side from 3 yards out with 51 seconds left. Wachholz converted the extra point setting up the final margin of victory and the events of the onside kick.