Brookwood’s Brandon Morrow kicks a field goal during Friday’s game against Grayson. Morrow hit a game-winner in overtime to beat the Rams. (Photo: Richard Craine)
SNELLVILLE – The first time it missed at the end of regulation, but Brookwood kicker Brandon Morrow wasn’t going to let it happen again in overtime as he kicked a 31-yard field goal to send the Broncos into the playoffs with a 30-27 win over Grayson.
“It’s a great feeling to know the coaches trust me that much,” Morrow said. “I’m just glad I could help the team win.”
For Grayson (4-6, 4-4 Region 8-AAAAAA), the loss ends their season after South Gwinnett beat Parkview.
In a rivalry that seems to be a heavyweight battle every year, this year’s game between the Rams and Broncos was no different.
Both teams ran the football and made plays when they had to. In the end, however, it was Morrow and his five field goals that gave the Broncos the win.
“What can you say about this game?” said Brookwood head coach Mark Crews. “It was a battle between two proud programs and it finished the way it should.”
The excitement picked up early in the fourth quarter with Grayson up 20-19. Brookwood took the ball on its own 23-yard line and went to work with 8:53 to go in the game.
Jesse Brown rushed for 24 yards to move the ball to the 47. After two plays that went nowhere, the Broncos got a third-down conversion when quarterback Joey McLane found Matthew Price for 17 yards. Two more plays followed that went nowhere, but again McLane found an open receiver on third down. This time it was Nick Aube for 16 yards and another first down. Three plays later, the Broncos faced another third-and-long, and again McLane found Price for eight yards and another first down.
Finally, the Broncos completed the drive with yet another third-down completion, this time to Keenan Sweeney, who was open in the middle and took it into the end zone to make the score 25-20. Brookwood (5-5, 5-3) went for two, and McLane found Sweeney again to make the score 27-20.
But Grayson wasn’t going away.
Cameryn Brent, who finished the game with 187 yards on the ground, rushed for 18 yards to the Grayson 49-yard line. After going nowhere on the next three plays, Grayson went for it on fourth down and was able to move the chains on a defensive pass interference call. Brent went 28 yards on the next play to take it inside the 6-yard line.
“Cameryn Brent played his tail off,” Grayson head coach Mickey Conn said. “All of our kids played their tails off. You can’t ask for anything more from them.”
Three plays later, Daniel Fennell scored from the 3-yard line. Austin Hoyt’s extra point tied the game with 27 seconds left on the clock.
Brookwood then attempted to win the game in regulation. A 34-yard completion to Aube set up Morrow for a game-winning field goal attempt. An offsides penalty on Grayson moved the ball up five yards, setting Morrow up for a 45-yard game winner. But, it went wide left, sending the game into overtime.
In overtime, Brookwood’s defense stopped Grayson on four downs, prompting Crews to send in Morrow to win the game and send the Broncos into the playoffs.
Brookwood jumped out to an early lead, getting a 41-yard field goal from Morrow on its first drive. After forcing Grayson to its second three-and-out in as many drives, Brookwood drove down the field, powered by a 33-yard run by McLane, setting up Brown for a 15-yard rushing touchdown.
A bad snap on a punt on Brookwood’s next drive put the Rams in business, setting them up on the Brookwood 20-yard line. Five plays later, quarterback Chase Brice took it in from the 1-yard line to put the Rams on the board, 10-6.
Morrow added a 47-yard field goal on the next drive, pushing Brookwood’s lead to 13-6.
Late in the second quarter, Grayson was in business again as Jordan Hayes intercepted a McLane pass on the 34-yard line. Five plays later, Brent took it in from the 16-yard line, tying the game at 13-13.
Morrow would add a 47-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, making it 16-13.
In the third quarter, Grayson took its first lead on a three-yard run by Brent, who jumped into the pile and was pushed back. But a second effort around the corner netted him the touchdown and gave the Rams the lead.
Morrow added another field goal late in the third quarter, setting up an exciting finish to the game.
Conn said it’s disappointing the way the season ended, but his Rams will be back next year.
“I hate it for our seniors, but we’ll be back,” he said.
For the Broncos, it marks their 12th straight playoff appearance and ends a short, two-game losing streak against the Rams.
“After the way we started 0-3 this season, this is a tribute to our kids,” Crews said. “They never quit and continued to battle. That shows you what kind of character they have.”
Brown finished the game with 122 yards on 25 rushes, while McLane was 11-for-23 for 198 yards. Price added four catches for 86 yards and Aube had four catches for 61 yards.
In addition to Brent’s 187 yards for Grayson, the Rams also got 50 yards from Aares McCall.
Grayson 0 13 7 7 0 - 27
Brookwood 10 6 3 8 3 - 30
Brookwood: Brandon Morrow 41 field goal 7:15
Brookwood: Jesse Brown 15 run (Morrow kick) 3:5
Grayson: Chase Bryce 1 run (kick failed) 10:31
Brookwood: Morrow 47 field goal 9:08
Grayson: Cameryn Brent 16 run (Austin Hoyt kick) 2:28
Brookwood: Morrow 47 field goal :00
Grayson: Brent 3 run (Hoyt kick) 8:02
Brookwood: Morrow 20 field goal :50
Brookwood: Keenan Sweeney 8 pass from Joey McLane (Sweeney 2-pt. conversion pass from McLane) 3:13
Grayson: Daniel Fennell 3 run (Hoyt kick) :27
Grayson: Morrow 31 field goal :00