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NW Region, Div. 5 Football: Brooke Point continues roll with playoff win
BY STEVE DeSHAZO
DANVILLE—When you’ve come as far as Brooke Point’s football team has in the past month, no distance seems too great.
Not a rally from a 0–4 start to squeeze into the playoffs. Not a four-hour bus ride for a first-round game at Western Valley District champion George Washington. Not a 75-yard, 7-minute, clock-killing drive to help clinch Friday night’s 28–20 Northwest Region, Division 5 quarterfinal win.
Even next week’s visit to Commonwealth District champion North Stafford—a team that squashed the Black–Hawks 30–7 last month, before they got hot—doesn’t feel daunting.
“I don’t think, honestly [the first meeting] was a major rout,” senior tailback Jonathan Horsley said. “It was us making penalties and dumb mistakes. Since we’ve gotten better as a team, I think we’ve got a fighting chance.”
The Black–Hawks (6–5) aren’t misfiring anymore. On Friday night they looked downright dominant.
Quarterback Alex Cox completed 21 of 27 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns, and Horsley shook off a third-quarter knee injury to rush for 161 yards and two more scores. Brooke Point’s defense also held the Eagles (8–3) to 141 yards and eight first downs, holding 1,200-yard rusher Travis Jones to 68.
“They’re good,” first-year G.W. coach Bobby Martin said of the Black–Hawks. “We’d seen what they do before, we’d prepared for it. But they just executed.”
Cox picked apart a G.W. defense that had allowed more than 21 points just once all season. He connected with senior Tyus White 11 times for 124 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown pass that staked Brooke Point to a 14–0 first-quarter lead. He also hit Kai Russ for a 7-yard score in the third quarter.
“My offensive line gave me plenty of time to play with their defensive backs,” said Cox, who was sacked only once. “My wide receivers made it easy for me. They found the holes.”
Cox’s only mistake turned into a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown by the Eagles’ Kaheel Tucker that made it 21–6 at the half. But the Black–Hawks’ passing game loosened up the Eagles’ defense for Horsley to dominate the second half.
Horsley picked up 92 yards on 14 carries after halftime. He gained 72 of them on 15 carries on a time-consuming drive after G.W. had pulled to within 28–20 with 8:24 remaining. Mauricio Moreno’s field-goal attempt sailed wide left, but by the time the Eagles took over, there was only 1:02 remaining—not enough time to mount a comeback. Antonio Rice’s sack of Eagles quarterback Demontae Ballard made sure of that.
Said G.W.’s Martin: “That drive was a killer.”
Horsley’s efforts were even more impressive, given that he limped off after fumbling on a third-quarter carry when he took a shot to the knee. But after missing a series, he returned to carry the load.
“There was only one quarter left,” Horsley said. “I had to do what I had to do for my team.”
That means there’s another game left for the Black–Hawks, who have been doing what they’ve had to do—with little margin for error—for more than a month now.
“You never know what you’re going to get out of a year,” Brooke Point coach Jeff Berry said. “I don’t know what we’re doing to turn it around, and I don’t care. I’m having a heck of a time.”
Brooke Point 14 7 7 0 — 28
GW-Danville 0 6 7 7 — 20
BP-J. Horsley 2-yard run (M. Moreno kick)
BP-T. White 25-yard pass from A. Cox (M. Moreno kick)
GW-K. Tucker 44-yard interception (pass failed)
BP-J. Horsley 4-yard run (M. Moreno kick)
GW-T. Jones 20-yard run (J. McGeough kick)
BP-K. Russ 7-yard pass from A. Cox (M. Moreno kick)
GW-D. Ballard 3-yard run (J. McGeough kick)
First downs26 8
Rushing yardage42-159 23-54
Passing yardage282 87
Rushing: GW-Danville—Travis Jones 13-68, TD; Kowante Cobbs 1-3; Omar Grimes 1-1; Khalil Hairston 2-(-5); Demontae Ballard 6-(-13), TD. Brooke Point—Johnathan Horsley 36-161, 2TD; Alex Cox 3-(-1); Zakees Baker 3-(-1).
Passing: GW-Danville—Demontae Ballard 5-13-1 87; Khalil Hairston 0-1-0 0. Brooke Point—Alex Cox 21-27-1 282, 2TD.
Receiving: GW-Danville—Myles Bennett 1-61; Malik Clements 2-53; Travis Jones 1-15; Chris Burton 11-13. Brooke Point—Tyus White 11-124, TD; Aaron Sanders 4-68; Terance Parker Jr. 1-41; Brandon Griffin 2-37; Kai Russ 2-24, TD.
Steve DeShazo: 540/374-5443