Brookwood Bronco Football 2005

AJC RANKINGS
CLASS AAAAA

1. Camden Co 6-0
2. Brookwood 5-0
3. Lowndes 4-1
4. Harrison 5-0
5. Douglass 5-0
6. Parkview 4-1
7. Roswell 6-0
8. Riverdale 5-0
9. Tift Co. 5-0
10. Marietta 5-0
 
2005
Varsity Schedule
8/20 Stephenson 
W 42-21
8/26 at Dacula W 34-13
9/2 E. Coweta W 44-23
9/16 Meadowcreek W 60-0
9/23 S. Gwinnett W 31-7
9/30 at Parkview W 35-14
10/7 C. Gwinnett  
10/14 at Grayson  
10/21 Shiloh  
10/28 at Berkmar  

Curran, Broncos’ D 
send early message

LILBURN — There is no set etiquette for rivalry games. So Rennie Curran decided to introduce himself to Parkview’s Caleb King the way he knows best.
With power, authority and shoulder pads.
Brookwood’s standout linebacker came up big in Friday’s showdown at the Big Orange Jungle, helping turn Parkview’s offense into a big orange mess. He made two of the game’s first three tackles and unofficially finished with 12 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and one fumble recovery in the Broncos’ 35-14 win.
But more than stats he gave the Broncos’ defense a presence, something he established from the very start. On the game’s third play from scrimmage, Curran blew up Parkview’s call, tackling King for a nine-yard loss.
Just like that the tone was set.
“I was like, ‘You’re not getting by me at all. It’s over,’” Curran said of the conversation he had with King. “It just got me so excited. I was just ready to go, man. I’ve been watching the film on it so much I’ve just been waiting to get at them, especially Caleb.”
Curran and the defense got after them pretty good, holding King to 107 yards, more than 100 below his average. That’s quite an accomplishment against a kid considered one of the best junior backs in the state. But Curran is a junior too and as this season progresses more and more people will be talking about him, using the same glowing terms usually reserved for describing runners like King and Curran’s teammate, Cameron Smith.
Running back may be the glamour position, but Curran showed that linebacker, when played like he plays it, can be the winning position. And he showed that from the start against a Parkview offensive line that didn’t have an answer for Curran or his defensive teammates.
“I felt like our defense from the very beginning was in great shape,” Brookwood head coach Mark Crews said. “You come into a place like this with the tradition they have running the football and to be able to, I don’t want to use a word like dominant, but we sure did kind of stuff them running the ball.”
It was the stuff dreams, and routs, are made of. And even the Brookwood players and coaches could hardly believe they had scored so many points and won so decisively against their rivals.
“You never really expect to do that, but you’re certainly proud of them when they do,” Crew said. “Our defense just sort of took over (in the second quarter) and kept giving us the ball back and stuffing them and giving us the ball back.”
At the heart of that was a guy who shined as brightly as any player on the field Friday night. A player who has many more games to play and many more running backs to meet before the season ends.
Todd Cline can be reached via e-mail at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His regular column appears on Tuesdays.






Brookwood 35



7:30 Sept 30th
at



Parkview 14

 

 

 

Stingy 'D' won't let Panthers prowl


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 10/01/05

Facing fourth-and-inches near midfield just after halftime, Brookwood coach Mark Crews decided to punt and trust his defense with a 14-0 lead.

And why not?

The defense, as it did most of the night, rewarded Crews' faith. Blitzing linebackers Joe Moore and Rennie Curran sandwiched Parkview quarterback Patrick Witt three plays later, forcing a fumble that Curran picked up and ran to the Panthers 13.

Soon it was 21-0 Brookwood.

The Broncos, who frustrated Panthers running back Caleb King all night, were on their way to a surprisingly easy 35-14 win.

"I think we played as well on defense as we've played maybe in a year or two," Crews said. "[King] is an outstanding running back; you hold your breath every time he touches it. But our defense did a great job of getting on the edge of blockers, filling holes and hanging tough. When you don't give him places to run, it's hard to gain a lot of yards."

King, who declined comment afterward, finished with 103 yards on 25 carries, but most came in the fourth quarter after the outcome was long decided.

Brookwood's defense set the tone on the opening series.

On 3rd-and-2 from the Parkview 36, King took a handoff and looked up to see Curran and a few other Broncos already in the backfield. The play turned into a 10-yard loss – an omen for the night.

"That got me so excited, I was ready to explode," said Curran, whose name was called so often it was a shock when he wasn't mentioned on a tackle.

"I had been watching film on [King] so much, I couldn't wait to get after him. He's real talented, I give him all the credit, but we just came hard after him."

Occasionally, the two exchanged words after plays.

"You're not getting by me at all," Curran remembers telling King. "It's over."

King's best run, a 25-yarder, moved the Panthers to midfield late in the first half. But defensive tackle Justin Neisler thwarted the drive, bursting up the middle to sack Witt for a 10-yard loss.

Brookwood held Parkview to 50 yards and just two first downs before the break.

Witt, who was sacked four times, completed 4-of-9 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown.

Curran got plenty of help from his teammates. Defensive end Kevin Reddy had a sack, and fellow linemen Brian Yost and Jeff Button and linebacker David Kelley clogged running lanes. Patrick Moran, Matt Covington and Jordan Honegan all broke up pass plays.

Just a junior, Curran said he had a gut feeling Brookwood would come out and dominate.

"Our team is really together this year," he said. "We're a bunch of brothers, not just players.

"It all came together."

 

Broncos have all it takes for title

Curtis Bunn

For two-plus years now, the South has ruled in the state’s highest high school football classification. Camden County first in 2003, then Lowndes last year, with Camden again looking championship-strong this season as Georgia’s highest-ranked team.

Which begs a question: What’s up with metro Atlanta football in Class AAAAA?

The answer is two words: Brookwood and Parkview. That’s actually three words, but you get the point. The most-hyped and overhyped programs in the state are the best in this area, too, so the burden of Atlanta claiming statewide supremacy rests with them.

They got busy Friday night at Parkview in another of those spectacles that make you forget, at least for a moment, that it is high school football. On this beautiful fall night, it was more than about beating your rival. It was ultimately about sending a message to the rest of Georgia about who will reign supreme in the end.

And Brookwood sent a most resounding missive. It dominated its neighbor in a way that was almost fascinating. And in the Big Orange Jungle, too.

Pick a facet of the game and the Broncos ruled it. They are as complete a team as there is.

Camden County has a unit that amounts to a wrecking crew. It hasn’t been challenged this year. Mark Crews, Brookwood’s coach, caught a glimpse of Camden as it demolished Walton in the season opener at the Georgia Dome.

“It was only a quarter that I got to see, but it was enough to see that they looked just as they did a couple years ago,” Crews said.

Translation: fast, tough, good.

Lowndes and Valdosta also are programs south of the city that have championship vitality. But Brookwood is better than both, perhaps better than all.

It showed Friday. They were the more confident team. The Broncos faked a reverse punt return, executed the ol’ hook-and-ladder and threw a lateral — all in the first quarter. Quarterback David Pittman, the real deal, made three third-down conversions on Brookwood’s first drive, the last a 6-yard run for the game’s first score.

Meanwhile, Parkview struggled. The Panthers had the ball all of two possessions in the opening period and did not muster a first down. In the second quarter, they had consecutive illegal-substitution penalties — the second after a timeout — and a delay-of-game infraction on a punt.

Not good. And the second half was only a bit better.

Crews might not want to hear it, but this is Brookwood’s year to reach the summit. He and his stellar coaching staff have 39 seniors, a running back — Cameron Smith — who is as tough as he is fast, a poised leader in Pittman who is a double threat as a runner and passer, and a defense that deserves far more credit than it receives.

It all adds up to a championship team. The shellacking of Parkview was significant for this reason, too: confidence. There is no better barometer for Brookwood than the Panthers, and Parkview looked overmatched.

This is not meant to dismiss the Panthers. Clearly flaws exist, but it is a school of championship tradition and will not go passively into the playoffs.

Neither will Brookwood, Atlanta’s best chance to bring supremacy back to the north. The bet here is that the Broncos will do just that.

 

No. 2 Broncos pound rival Panthers 35-14

By Will Hammock
Assistant Sports Editor

LILBURN — The battle of the running backs never really materialized on Friday.
Then again the Battle of Five Forks-Trickum wasn’t much of a battle at all.
Second-ranked Brookwood scored 21 third-quarter points to turn its game with rival and No. 5 Parkview into a comfortable victory, handing the host Panthers a 35-14 defeat. The Broncos, a year after being shut out in a 10-0 loss to Parkview, built a 35-7 lead that held until a late fourth-quarter touchdown.
The scoring outburst is a rarity against Parkview as only three teams — Brookwood in a 35-21 win in Lilburn in 2003 and Clarke Central in a 30-13 win in 1996 — have scored more 30 on the Panthers in the past 10 seasons. The loss also gives Parkview its first two-loss regular season since 1998.
The Broncos were motivated from the start, with the goal of giving senior lineman Greg Mercier, whose older brother died in a Thursday night car accident, a victory. They also wanted to start a new run of success against the Panthers, who had won six of the past seven meetings in the series.
“I just told (our players) I was so tired of (Parkview) talking about their four state championships to our one, and all about the past and stuff,” said Brookwood linebacker Rennie Curran, who had three tackles for losses, a sack and a fumble recovery. “I was like, ‘We’re in this now. We’ve got to win this now. We’ve got to do it big.’”
Did they ever.
Neither star running back broke out for a big game — Brookwood’s Cameron Smith had 27 carries for 104 yards and Parkview’s Caleb King carried 25 times for 107 yards — but the Broncos (6-0 overall and 3-0 in Region 8-AAAAA) moved the ball better than the Panthers (4-2, 2-1). The visitors built a 14-0 halftime lead and opened up a wide margin on two big TDs, a 72-yard pass from David Pittman to P.J. Katz and a 59-yard punt return by Patrick Moran.
“I’m just proud of the way we played, offensively, defensively and in the kicking game,” Brookwood head coach Mark Crews said. “You work hard to try to play well in all phases and I think we did. Our offensive linemen kind of took control there in the second quarter and drove it down their throats a little bit. And we played great defense, great defense.”
The defense held King without a big play, limiting most of his success to late in the game. Already down 35-7, the Parkview junior had 49 rushing yards on 14 carries on his team’s last scoring drive late in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers had only 50 yards at halftime and finished with 162 yards, including just 73 rushing yards. Quarterback Patrick Witt was sacked four times behind a patchwork offensive line that was without guard J.C. Brignone (broken hand) for the first half. He dressed out and played in the second half, but his effectiveness was limited.
“We just came out prepared,” Brookwood defensive end Kevin Reddy said. “We came out calling out their formations. We knew what play was coming. We just took it to them tonight. It felt great. We were hitting hard finally.”
Pittman, who completed 5 of 6 passes for 105 yards, set the tone on Brookwood’s opening drive when he carried four times for 37 yards. He completed a big third-down pass to Matt Covington, who made a nice spinning catch, and then made two big runs on third downs, the latter an 8-yard TD run on third-and-goal.
The 7-0 lead held until a 12-play, 71-yard drive in the second quarter was capped by Pittman’s second TD, a 1-yard plunge with 2:44 left before halftime. King, who had just 12 yards on his first eight carries, broke off his longest run of the night, a 25-yarder, on the next drive but a sack by the Broncos’ Justin Neisler ended any hopes of points by the Panthers.
Brookwood’s defense created a TD early in the third quarter when blitzing linebacker Joe Moore led a group of tacklers that sacked Witt, forcing a fumble. Curran scooped the loose ball up at the Parkview 13-yard line. Five plays later, Smith’s 1-yard TD run gave the visitors a 21-0 edge.
Smith didn’t have his best statistical game, but the Meadowcreek transfer did get his first win over Parkview.
“It was exciting, it was exciting,” Smith said. “It’s nice to finally be on the other side and not losing to Parkview.”
Brookwood’s lone defensive miscue was on the ensuing possession when Witt found a wide-open Steve Esmonde for a 61-yard pass play. That set up Witt’s 2-yard run to get within 21-7 with 2:54 left in the third quarter.
On the second play of the Broncos’ next possession, Pittman found Katz for the 74-yarder that broke the hosts’ brief momentum. A sack by Reddy forced a three-and-out and Moran made a huge play, taking a punt back 59 yards for a 35-7 lead.
“(Brookwood) just outplayed us,” Parkview head coach Cecil Flowe said. “No question about it, they outplayed us. They’ve got a great team. They’ve got the best team they’ve ever had. They’ve got more speed. They’ve had good teams but now they’ve got speed.”
A 16-play, 64-yard drive in the fourth quarter, capped by Witt’s 4-yard TD pass to Michael Palmer, got the Panthers within 35-14. But Brookwood’s third-quarter explosion made sure the outcome was never in doubt in the closing minutes.
It gave the Bronco fans plenty of time to celebrate in the stands before charging the field.
“This is very sweet, very sweet,” Pittman said. “To come over here on their turf too was sweet. It’s the second straight time we beat them on their grounds. I’m happy right now.”


Please keep the Mercier family in your prayers.

Son of Brookwood TD Club president dies in wreck

Amidst all the hoopla of Friday night’s win over rival Parkview, there was plenty of sadness for Brookwood’s football program. The son of Touchdown Club president Michael Mercier, a former Bronco offensive lineman, died in a car accident on Thursday.
Mikey Mercier, who played on Brookwood’s 1996 state title team, died when a vehicle he was driving hydroplaned and crashed into a tree near Macon as he was driving toward Atlanta.
Despite the tragedy, Mikey’s younger brother Greg, who wears No. 67 just like his brother did, opted to play in the game and his parents — Michael and Betsy — were also in attendance on the sideline. When Brookwood walked out for pre-game drills, Greg left his line to hug his mother and father.
There was a moment of silence to honor Mikey before the game.
“He was a very team oriented kid,” said Brookwood athletic director Dave Hunter, who coached Mikey. “You can’t find better people in the community (than his parents). They just wanted to be here.”
Said quarterback David Pittman: “It’s a great victory for our community. We went out there and won the game for (Mikey) basically.”
— Todd Cline and Will Hammock

 

Broncos’ QB skins Panthers with arm, legs and threats

J.C. Clemons

Like I said, it’s the quarterback, stupid.

Long before this edition of the Brookwood-Parkview rivalry morphed — somewhat unfairly — into Cameron vs. Caleb, an insightful soul told you the Broncos’ advantage at quarterback would determine the outcome.

Ahem! David Pittman rules.

With, of course, plenty of help from his friends.

Cameron Smith, playing on the biggest stage of his life, did not shy away from the bright lights. The transfer from Meadowcreek officially established himself as a Bronco for life, busting up the Panthers.

On defense, Brookwood linebacker extraordinaire Rennie Curran confirmed what many had begun to whisper: The junior may be the best player in Georgia. Special teams also thrilled, with Patrick Moran returning a punt for a score.

Yes, but … David Pittman rules.

The senior playmaker rushed for a pair of TDs Friday and dropped a long bomb to P.J. Katz for a third, and Brookwood stunned Parkview 35-14.

Swift afoot and strong-armed, Pittman has made the most of his wait to take hold of the Broncos’ reins. His numbers may not overwhelm — except the primary ones: victories (now 6-0) and TDs (13 total — six passing, seven rushing).

However, Pittman’s threats are as disruptive as his acts.

Respecting Pittman’s speed, Parkview (4-2) couldn’t over-commit on Smith. Respecting Pittman’s arm, the Panthers couldn’t jam the box, either. Blitz? Much too elusive. The result was an old-fashioned “go get me a switch” whipping, making Brookwood fans’ two-year itch to see Pittman at QB worth the delay.

Even Brookwood coach Mark Crews had to scratch the urge.

“In hindsight, there [were] a couple times during the course of [last] season we might should have tried David at quarterback,” Crews says. “But that is a difficult trigger to pull sometimes.”

Times where starter Bradley Saylors wins 18 of 22 games. But consecutive first-round playoff KOs washed away a lot of the good.

“We were winning, although the offense struggled a little bit,” Crews said. “But if you yank a tackle out and put another one in because this one isn’t blocking well, nobody notices.

“When you yank your quarterback out, you sort of shoot him in the foot in terms of his confidence, and the team’s confidence in him and all those kind of things… . And then, I think David knew his time was coming.”

Which tells you much about Pittman’s stock. In an age where kids — and their parents — school-shop in search of playing time, the Pittmans stayed put.

Now, short of contending for a state title — and more chances to show off David’s arm — nothing will squash this coming-out party.

Nothing, it seems, at all.

Certainly not Parkview, which calls for one more pat on the back.

After an upset loss to Norcross, a certain someone in Big Orange Jungle Land — someone of quite high standing — took strong offense to the notion, asserted by an insightful soul, that the Panthers have slipped.

Well, I stand pat on that.

 

   

 

 

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