The Valdosta Daily Times
On Friday night, everything went right for the Brooks County Trojans.
Brooks County opened the 2012 football season with a dominant 43-3 win over Clinch County at Veterans Stadium.
“I’m pleased with what we did,” Brooks County head coach Maurice Freeman said. “I thought that’s what we could do if we just stayed focused.”
The Trojans excelled on offense, compiling 354 yards. They excelled on defense, holding Clinch to 34 yards of total offense and zero passing yards. They even got a touchdown on special teams.
“I thought the offense and the defense did what they set out to do. I thought they brought the hammer,” Freeman said. “(We have) Malcolm Parrish and some receivers that are catching the football and a defense that acts like they are hungry, and special teams that work hard. We’ve been pushing them pretty hard in practice, and I’ve promised those guys that if they’ll work hard in practice, the games will be a little easier. Maybe they’re convinced of that after tonight.”
Parrish, Brooks’ standout quarterback, had a big night. He completed 13 of 20 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.
“(Malcolm was) outstanding. He did a great job. He read coverages. He ran the ball when he needed to,” Freeman said. “And then he went over to the defensive side of the ball, and helped us over there, too.”
On the first play of Clinch’s first possession Friday night, the Panthers tried to run a toss sweep. But the running back mishandled the toss, and Brooks’ Brandon Golden fell on the football, giving the Trojans the ball at the Clinch 30-yard line.
Brooks took advantage of the good field position, and drove for a touchdown. On the sixth play of the drive, with the Trojans facing third-and-6 at the Panthers’ 8, Parrish took the snap and threw a quick pass to Sam Bradley. Bradley caught the ball on the run, and ran into the end zone for the score. On the extra point attempt, Brooks lined up in the swinging gate, and Parrish took the snap and ran into the end zone for the two-point conversion, giving Brooks an 8-0 lead.
On its second possession, Brooks drove to the Clinch 19, but turned the ball over on downs. But on the first play of Clinch’s ensuing possession, Golden recovered another fumble, this time at the Panthers’ 21.
On the first play after the fumble recovery, Parrish found Deric Herring in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Clinch blocked the extra point try, but Brooks had a 14-0 lead.
Brooks began its next drive at its own 49, and drove 51 yards in five plays for its third touchdown. A 13-yard catch by Atta Jenkins on third-and-9 helped prolong the drive. Then on first-and-10 from the Clinch 25, Parrish took the snap and took off running. He followed his blockers and went left towards the Clinch sideline. Then he turned the corner and sprinted down the sideline and into the end zone for a touchdown, extending his team’s lead to 20-0.
Brooks added one more touchdown in the first half, going 72 yards in five plays. A pair of 11-yard runs, one by Parrish and the other by Golden, moved the Trojans into Clinch territory. On first down from the Panther 41, Parrish went deep. Herring was in single coverage, and he caught the pass on the run and sprinted into the end zone for the touchdown. Daniel Hodum’s extra point gave the Trojans a 27-0 lead.
Brooks drove to the Clinch 5 late in the half, but the Panthers stopped the Trojans on fourth-and-2, and the score remained 27-0 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Brooks added two points to its lead when Clinch fell on a fumble in its own end zone. Then the Trojans got the ball and drove for their fifth touchdown. Two 18-yard runs by Parrish moved the ball to the 3-yard line. Two plays later, Parrish lined up under center, took the snap, went left and crossed the goal line for the touchdown, extending Brooks’ lead to 36-0.
Clinch went three-and-out on its next possession, then punted. Herring caught the punt at his own 45 and followed his blockers left. He got past a couple of tacklers, then around the Clinch 40, a defender tried to shove him out of bounds. But Herring stayed in bounds, and raced down the Brooks County sideline and into the end zone to give the Trojans a 43-0 lead.
Brooks pulled its starters late in the third quarter, and let the reserves play the fourth quarter.
“I wanted to let the young guys play,” Freeman said. “You’ve got to let them play, because they’re your future.”
Clinch scored its only points after a long drive in the fourth quarter. The Panthers ran the ball 13 straight times, and moved the ball from their own 19 to the Trojans’ 22. On the final play of the game, Clinch’s Joost Smits kicked a 40-yard field goal to make the final score 43-3.
Kenyun Morehead led Clinch with 36 yards rushing on 12 carries. Golden had 36 yards rushing for Brooks.
Brooks County will host Monroe next Friday. Clinch will host Mitchell County.