Brookwood coach Philip Jones is a former all-state offensive lineman, so he knows a thing or two about reading the emotions of those big blockers who have an essential job, but typically remain nameless to the crowd. And when Jones looked at his guys with 3:23 left in the game, he got a good feeling.
“I looked at our offensive guys and I knew they were excited about the opportunity to win the game,” Jones said.
His intuition was dead-on.
Brookwood drove the ball from its own 35 to the Parkview 12 in 10 plays and called on sophomore kicker Jonah Randle to win the game. He delivered a 29-yard field with 24.4 seconds left to give the Class AAAAAAA No. 7 Broncos a 30-27 win over their biggest rival.
“I thought we had plenty of time,” Brookwood quarterback Angelo DiSpigna said. “I knew it would start with our offensive line. We had been pushing the ball all night. We just needed to drive it in and leave it up to our kicker and Jonah came through.”
The win all but ensures Brookwood (6-2, 4-0 Region 7) the region title. It marked the second straight season the Broncos have beaten Parkview.
“It means a whole lot,” Brookwood tailback Dante Black said. “Coming out of here with a ‘W’ means the world to me.”
Parkview (5-3, 3-1 Region 7) had driven for the tying touchdown midway in the fourth quarter. The Panthers scored on a 34-yard pass from Fred Payton to Miles Marshall, then tied the game at 27-27 when Payton scored on a quarterback draw for the two-point conversion.
Black rushed 40 times for 229 yards and two touchdowns. DiSpigna completed 13 of 18 passes for 133 yards and one touchdown. Matthew Hill ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass.
Parkview got 104 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Tommy Rogers. Payton completed 11 for 17 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted three times.
Brookwood scored first on a 3-yard run by Black, but Parkview answered on a 5-yard run by Rogers to tie the game 7-7.
The Broncos responded with a touchdown, a 17-yard pass from DiSpigna to Hill and tacked on another score with 45 seconds left in the half on Black’s 3-yard run.
Parkview scored on its first possession of the second half. Rogers powered through from the 3 to complete a 74-yard drive, but Brookwood’s Caleb Riley blocked the extra point to keep Brookwood’s lead at 21-13.
Parkview got the ball back after Hill fumbled – he was struck in midair while trying to leap a tackler – and drove for a touchdown. The Panthers got to with 21-19 when Payton found Will Marshall for a 14-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion pass failed.
Brookwood appeared to have the game put away when it drove for a touchdown with 6:46 left. Hill scored on a 2-yard run, but the Broncos were assessed a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and had to attempt a 35-yard extra point, which failed. That left Parkview with enough time and enough life to drive for the tying score.