The Brooks County Trojans (7-2) secured a 2-seed in the Class A Public state playoffs with a 70-41 win over the Turner County Titans (4-5).

With the win, Brooks County will return to the state playoffs for their 14th straight year, a streak stretching back to 2008 and through their transition from Class 2A to Class A. The Trojans have made the state title game the last two seasons.

Senior running back Omari Arnold got the scoring started with a 70-yard dash to the end zone. Arnold struck again from 31 yards out on the Trojans’ next possession to give them an early 14-0 lead.

Turner County’s next drive would stall out with a fourth down stop by the Trojan defense, setting up another Brooks County score, this time on a 19-yard pass from junior quarterback Jamal Sanders to senior wide receiver Willie Brown. The Titans would answer with a 61-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Azaria Smith to senior wide receiver Monquarik Taylor.

From there, the game turned into a back-and-forth affair. Arnold’s third touchdown of the night was answered with a Titan touchdown from senior running back Elijah Stephens.

The Trojans were able to put more distance between them and the Titans with Brown’s second touchdown catch and Arnold’s fourth rushing touchdown to take a 41-14 lead into halftime.

In all, the Trojans scored on each of their first six first half possessions and got down to the red zone on their seventh possession before being stopped short.

“We worked on fundamentals, and we thought we were the better team,” head coach Maurice Freeman said. “We figured that they did some things that we thought were unsound. We thought we could take advantage of those things and we did.”

The second half started off with a bang. Both Stephens and Arnold had kickoff returns for touchdowns in the opening moments of the third quarter.

After another stop by the Trojan defense, the Trojans found pay dirt for the eighth time with a 13-yard run by Sanders to make the score 55-21.

Still the Titans would not go away quietly. A huge kickoff return by Stephens set up another Titan touchdown.

“Our special teams were horrible in this game,” Freeman said. “We made some boneheaded mistakes in coverage that they were able to take advantage of.”

The Trojans did answer the bell once again with another touchdown. Despite Sanders going down with a cramp during the ensuing drive, Arnold was able to find the end zone yet again for his fifth rushing touchdown.

Arnold would finish his night with 245 yards on 20 carries as he moves closer to passing Chris Cole’s school record for career rushing yards.

The scoring didn’t stop there as Stephens got his second rushing touchdown and third total touchdown. Senior running back Janavien Leggett would score from 36 yards out to give the Trojans yet another touchdown.

The scoring finally came to an end when Stephens had his second kickoff return touchdown of the night.

Despite the outcome, Freeman was not pleased with his team’s defensive performance as the Titans were able to find success with both screen passes and hook and ladder passes.

“We were not smart in spots,” Freeman said. “Any trick play they could run, they ran. We should’ve been better prepared for it.”

UP NEXT

The Trojans will have next week off before starting their playoff run at home on Nov. 13.

“We think we can make a big run,” Freeman said. “We got a week off to correct some mistakes, and then we’ll see what we can do.”

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