Brookwood’s Zack Lee (21) consoles Leonard Warner (35) after Warner fumbled the ball during their game against Valdosta in the Corky Kell Classic on Saturday at McEachern High School in Powder Springs. (Staff Photo: David Welker)
Corky Kell Classic
Scenes from the 2014 Corky Kell Classic held Aug. 24 at McEachern High School.
POWDER SPRINGS — If effort were the only measuring stick, Brookwood coach Mark Crews would’ve been pleased with his team’s season opener against Valdosta, especially his defense.
But the other areas of the game left the Broncos in search of answers after dropping a 31-0 decision to the Wildcats in the Corky Kell Classic on Saturday at McEachern’s Cantrell Stadium.
Most of those questions might concern an offense that managed just 151 total yards — many of those late when the issue was no longer in doubt — turned the ball over six times and committed its share of the team’s 10 penalties at some of the most inopportune times.
“I’m proud of our defense,” Crews said. “Our defense kept us in the game as long as they could. We struggled on offense from the first series on. It would be different if it was physical mistakes or getting outplayed by a team that was physically better than us. We just made mistake after mistake after mistake. I’ll take credit for that because it’s my job to get them ready to play, and I obviously didn’t do a very good job of that.
“Every it seemed like we could smell the roses, we’d get (a play) called back for an alignment penalty, those sort of things. We just weren’t efficient enough to be able to anything to stay in the game on offense.”
The Broncos had trouble getting anything going, managing just 26 yards of total offense during the opening 24 minutes.
Their best play, a 19-yard completion from William McCullough to Ricky Sharma wound up as a turnover after Bo Rodemaker came up with a loose ball at the Brookwood 30-yard line midway through the first quarter.
Valdosta (1-0) turned that miscue into points three plays later when Tim Griffin powered into the end zone from 3 yards out to put the Wildcats in front 7-0 with 3:54 left in the opening frame.
Despite giving up 187 yards in the first half, the Brookwood defense stiffened several other times when it needed to.
The Broncos forced the Wildcats into two missed field goal attempts, and kept them out of the end zone on a yet another trip into the red zone before Brennan Goodson finally found the mark from 32 yards out with 2:34 left in the half to send Valdosta into intermission with only a 10-0 lead.
“Our defense gave us chance after chance, but all we did was cough up the ball and give (Valdosta) a short field,” Crews said. “Eventually, we let them get away with it. Obviously, as the game went on, the more and more bad situations we put them in. … Our defense did a great job to keep us in the game. We were down 10 points at halftime, and could’ve been down 30. I proud of the way our defense played. Our offense has some work to do.”
Matters didn’t get much better for the Broncos (0-1) in second half, even after a 10-yard run by Jesse Brown gave them their initial first down of the game with 4:50 left in the third quarter.
Three plays later, Josh Norwood picked off the first of his two interceptions on the day to set Valdosta up at the Brookwood 34.
But even after the Broncos put the Wildcats into an apparent fourth-down situation, fate dealt them a blow.
In order to gain field position, Brookwood accepted a illegal block penalty on the third-down play which left Valdosta facing a third-and-21 situation from the Broncos’ 44.
But Seth Shulman found Griffin dashing out of the backfield on a screen pass, and the junior sprinted the required yardage into the end zone that pushed the Wildcats’ lead to 17-0 with 5:12 left in the period.
Matters only got worse for Brookwood in the fourth quarter as Valdosta turned two more Bronco turnovers into scores that ballooned the final score even further.
Valdosta 31, Brookwood 0
Valdosta 7 3 7 14 —31
Brookwood 0 0 0 0 —0
Valdosta: Tim Griffin 3 run (Brennan Goodson kick), 3:54
Valdosta: Goodson 32 FG, 2:34
Valdosta: Griffin 44 pass from Seth Shuman (Goodson kick), 5:12
Valdosta: Griffin 12 run (Goodson kick), 4:44
Valdosta: Detravion Durden 13 fumble recovery (Goodson kick), 4:02
Vald -- Brook
First downs 18 6
Rushes-yards 41-157 24-46
Passing yards 192 105
Att.-Comp.-INT 15-23-0 10-24-2
Fumbles-lost 2-1 5-4
Penalties-yards 4-50 10-74
Rushing — Valdosta: Deangelo Williams 7-67, Donte Davis 8-42, Griffin 7-27, Khalil McClain 5-17. Brookwood: Jesse Brown 14-40, Dorian Miles 1-5, Mason LeBlanc 2-4, Leonard Warner 3-4.
Passing — Valdosta: Shuman 7-12-0, 145; Cole Massingill 7-10-0, 32. Brookwood: William McCullough 10-24-2, 105.
Receiving — Valdosta: Ricco Ramsey 5-53, Jamarcus Tyson 2-54, Brian Smith 2-10, Griffin 1-44, Craig Barry 1-6, Kaleb Whitfield 1-6, McClain 1-2, Williams 1-0. Brookwood: Myles Scott 2-32, Warner 2-25, Brown 2-21, Miles 2-0, Ricky Sharma 1-19, Ian Barnett 1-9.