PREVIEW: Brookwood at Berkmar

Brookwood's Mitch Hotop

Brookwood's Mitch Hotop

Brookwood Broncos (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Mark Crews

Record: 5-2, 4-1 region

Last week: Beat Central Gwinnett 42-21

Berkmar Patriots (8-AAAAAA)

Coach: Jonathan Sanks

Record: 1-6, 0-5 region

Last week: Lost to Archer 42-0

Except for a win over Meadowcreek, it’s been a tough season for the young Patriots, who face another big challenge in Brookwood. The Broncos need a win for a tighter grip on a playoff berth and also have the incentive of improving their seeding since they still have a shot at the No. 2 spot and a home playoff game. Berkmar, which continues to get strong play from Jaden Le (110 tackles), is looking for late-season positives.

“The focus of the team is to finish strong and build some momentum going into the offseason program,” Berkmar head coach Jonathan Sanks said.

Brookwood’s last few games, though victories, have been interesting. Central hung close last week before the Broncos pulled away, and they led Shiloh big the week until they had to hold off a late rally. Most of the Broncos’ opponents have stacked the run and they’ve generally delivered results through the passing game. That was the case last week as Zach Moon and Ky Priester teamed up seven times for 213 yards and two touchdowns. But there were plenty of missed opportunities in the passing game, too, with dropped passes and errant throws.

Brookwood head coach Mark Crews also knows his up-and-down defense, which has given up at least 17 points in every game, needs to play a complete game. Christopher Dancy (14 tackles) and Matt Price (interception for TD) were bright spots last week.

“They’re getting better,” Crews said of his defense. “At times, they’ve played really well. We just have to get some consistency.”

Bronco punter Mitch Hotop also is coming off a big week, averaging 44.5 yards on six kicks.

Last meeting: Brookwood won 71-8 last year

Directions to Berkmar High School: From I-85, go east on Pleasant Hill Road; school is on the right just before Ga. Highway 29.