Archer running back Ernest Alexander (8) gets wrapped up on the corner by Brookwood's Afolabi Laguda (21) during Friday night's game at Brookwood.
HIGHLIGHTS: Archer vs. Brookwood
Highlights from the Archer vs. Brookwood football game in which the Broncos defeated the Tigers 20-19.
SNELLVILLE --When Brandon Morrow's 22-yard, game-winning field goal split the uprights, Brookwood's stunning comeback was complete.
The Broncos, down by two scores late in the fourth quarter on Friday, closed the margin on Jamaal Cole's touchdown run with 2:41 left and then went on a last-minute drive that resulted in Morrow's kick, which kept Archer from what would have been one of the biggest wins in school history.
Instead, Brookwood closed with a flurry for a 20-19 victory in the teams' Region 8-AAAAAA opener. It was the second straight comeback win for the Broncos, who trailed Mill Creek entering the fourth quarter last week.
"I don't know what it is, but our kids expect to win," Brookwood head coach Mark Crews said. "They kept playing hard, even when it looked like we didn't have a chance."
Archer dominated early and led 16-10 at halftime, extending the lead to 19-10 on a 41-yard Zach Wachholz field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Brookwood closed the margin with an eight-play scoring drive capped by Cole's 2-yard TD run with just 2:41 left. The drive nearly stalled before it got going, but Joey McLane's 31-yard pass to Cole on fourth-and-10 sparked the Broncos (2-1). Cole had 19 rushes for 102 yards and caught four passes for 64 yards.
An onside kick failed, but Brookwood held for a three-and-out and took over possession at its own 27 after an Archer punt. With just 1:30 to work with, Zach Moon (173 passing yards) and Ky Priester (seven catches, 123 yards) went to work.
The two hooked up for a pair of passes, between 15 yards of scrambles by Moon, and the latter moved the ball to the Archer 30-yard line. Priester was hit late by a Tiger defender, moving the ball to the 15-yard line.
The Broncos got to a first-and-goal at the 3, but eventually set up Morrow for his chip-shot, game-winner.
"We stepped up there (at the end)," said Priester, whose 56-yard TD catch was Brookwood's only first-half TD. "Nobody quit on us."
Archer (2-1) owned the first half with Ernest Alexander's 32-yard TD run capping a seven-play, 82-yard drive to open the game. Alexander had 25 rushes for 127 yards and teammate Sean Fowler carried 17 times for 120 more.
Brookwood answered with Moon's 56-yard TD pass to Priester and Chandler Price's interception set up Morrow's 34-yard field goal for a 10-7 Bronco lead. That was the last time the hosts scored before their fourth-quarter rally.
The Tigers tied the score with a 20-play drive that resulted in a 20-yard Wachholz field goal, then went up 16-10 on Alexander's 1-yard TD plunge, set up by a Deondre Singleton interception.
A bad snap led to a missed PAT after that score, a point that hurt badly when Morrow's field goal put Brookwood up by a point instead of tying the score.
The Broncos' defense, led by Shaun McGee's four tackles for losses and a sack, was big in the second half. After Archer rolled up 281 first-half yards, it was held to 88 in the second half.
"You've got to win games like that to hang in there in our region," Crews said. "I'm just proud of our kids."