Perhaps it was only fitting on the night they celebrated the 20th anniversary of Brookwood’s first state championship team, that the Broncos would find a way to score a dramatic win over their most bitter rival.
Brookwood survived with a 24-23 overtime win over Parkview when the Panthers’ missed an extra point.
But that wasn’t the only dramatic part.
“The buildup was classic Brookwood-Parkview and the result was the same, going to overtime and having to win it,” said Brookwood coach Philip Jones, a member of that 1996 championship team that was feted earlier. “It was a good high school football game between two proud programs. Our guys found a way to make one more play than they did.”
Brookwood led 17-10 early in the fourth quarter and took over when Kendall Williamson intercepted a fourth-down pass in the end zone.
The Broncos took over at their own 20 and took a page from the old-school playbook. They ran it and ran it and ran it some more. Brookwood took it to the 6 yard line as the clock ticked away when an unusual play occurred that changed the game.
Brookwood’s Matthew Hill carried the ball to the right side and was met by the Parkview defense, who shoved him backwards. But Hill was called for a personal foul on the play and Brookwood was put in the uncomfortable position of trying a 39-yard field goal, which failed.
That was the opening that Parkview needed. With 2:21 left in the game, the Panthers struck for the tying score when quarterback Caleb Mitchell threw a strike to well-covered receiver Justin Long for a 47-yard touchdown, tying the game at 17-17.
“Caleb made a great thrown and Justin ran up under it,” Parkview coach Eric Godfree said. “Makes for a great Parkview-Brookwood game.”
Brookwood scored a touchdown on its first possession in overtime, with Stephen Black slashing in from the 5. Ben McKettrick made the extra point.
Parkview needed only two plays to score. Christian Malloy powered in on a 7-yard run. The extra point went wide, which abruptly ended the game.
“So proud of our kids to keep fight, keep fighting and keep fighting,” Godfree said. “We didn’t execute as well and that’s on us coaches.”
Parkview’s offense was led by Mitchell, who completed 18 of 33 passes for 174 yards and one touchdown. But Mitchell had two interceptions. The running game was led by Malloy, who ran 18 times for 106 yards.
Brookwood quarterback Angelo DiSpigna completed 16 of 29 for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Dante Black rushed 28 times for 136 yards and Matthew Hill carried 16 times for 73 yards and caught six passes for 110 yards and one touchdown.
“I’m so proud of my guys for their grit, their perseverance and the way they were able to fight through all the bad things that happened in the second half,” Jones said.
The win broke Parkview’s two-game winning streak in the series, which the Panthers now lead 20-15. Brookwood (6-2, 4-0 in Region 7-AAAAAA) will play at Norcross next week in a game that could determine the regular-season championship. Parkview (5-3, 2-2) remains in the playoff picture.
Parkview scored its first touchdown in the first quarter with Devin Slade punching it in from the 1.
Brookwood cut the lead to 7-3 on a 32-yard field goal from McKettrick, only to allow Parkview to get its own field goal, a 21-yarder from J.T. Amaya.
Brookwood tied the game midway in the second quarter when DiSpigna threw a play-action pass to Hill for a 46-yard score.
The Broncos went ahead late in the half after Leonard Warner intercepted a pass and returned it to the Parkview 25. Three plays later DiSpigna threw an 18-yard touchdown to tight end Chris Cotter.
“I give the credit to the offensive line,” DiSpigna said. “They kept their blocks going. Credit to the running backs, all the wide receivers … they did their job. Defense came up with a big interception. It’s a real team win.”
Dave Hunter, who coached at Brookwood from 1987 to 2001, said 39 members of the 1996 championship team were on hand for the game.