LAWRENCEVILLE --Looking like the defending Class AAAAA state champion for the first time this season, Brookwood played its most complete game Friday night at Central Gwinnett.
The Broncos completely shut down the county's highest scoring offense and their slumbering offense had a huge night in a 56-14 victory over the Black Knights. They rolled up 536 yards of offense, including 378 on the ground, improving to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in Region 8-AAAAA.
"Obviously this was a big win for us, first because it's a region win," Brookwood head coach Mark Crews said. "But it should be a shot in the arm to show us how good of a team we can be."
Jamaal Cole accounted for four touchdowns and rushed for 132 yards on just 10 carries, while running mate Nick Tompkins had 17 carries for 123 yards and accounted for two scores. The two backs combined for 354 total yards.
Meanwhile, quarterback Zach Moon was 5 of 9 for three TDs — a 44-yarder to Christopher Dancy, a 36-yarder to Cole and a 63-yarder to Tompkins.
Meanwhile the defense held Central, which came in averaging a county-best 49.8, in check. Eman Westmoreland completed 21 of 41 passes for 222 yards, but his offense did little after the second quarter.
"Those guys are like lighting in a bottle on offense," Crews said of Central. "I'm proud of how the defense played."
Brookwood took control with a 28-point second quarter, a wild 12 minutes that featured three Central turnovers and a crazy end to the first half.
The Black Knights, with the help of a 23-yard fake punt pass from Westmoreland to Josh Marshall, scored on their first drive for an early 8-0 lead that included a two-point pass from Westmoreland to Louis McGee.
D.J. Brown's strip and Josh Brown's recovery caused the first Central turnover, setting up a 2-yard Cole TD run early in the second quarter. Cole added another 1-yard plunge slightly more than two minutes later and the Broncos led 14-8.
Despite an interception from Zach Jackson to stop one drive, Central still scored next on George Morris' 36-yard run with 3:44 left in the half.
From there, it was all Brookwood to close the half.
Zach Moon found Dancy with a 44-yard scoring pass with 1:44 left, but Central got off just two plays on the ensuing drive before fumbling again. The hosts' defense held Brookwood to fourth-and-goal at the 3-yard line with four seconds left, but the Broncos faked the field goal and Cole dove past a Central defender and across the pylon for the TD as time expired in the half.
The Broncos turned the game into a blowout by scoring on three straight drives to open the third quarter, the first a 36-yard pass from Moon to Cole. Tompkins' 63-yard scoring pass from Moon and his 4-yard TD run made it 49-14 going into the final quarter.
Josh Brown made it four straight possessions with a score, sprinting in from 38 yards out early in the fourth quarter.
That closed out an impressive victory for a team that sputtered in last week's 21-19 win over Archer.
"We were 2-2 (coming in) and we didn't play well last week, so we were at a crossroads as a team," Crews said. "We could have gone either way and hopefully this showed which way we want to go."