THOMASVILLE — In a high scoring affair that pretty much wrapped Brookwood’s football season up in a nutshell, the Warriors lost a heartbreaker in round one to the Pinewood Patriots. It was a back and forth game that saw 129 points scored in the contest.
The Warriors got off to a fiery hot start as quarterback Rodge Waldrop hit TJ Thomas in the numbers for a 52 yard touchdown on the first play of the game. Just 12 seconds in, the Warriors had a 7-0 lead.
Pinewood would then make it clear, however, that they would not go down quietly and found their own senior receiver Walker Todd for a 59 yard touchdown. The Patriots would go for two but Chapman Wolsfelt stopped the runner short and just 31 seconds into the game it was 7-6 Warriors.
Waldrop would lead the Warriors down the field on a huge pass to freshman Seth Boggs and found Thomas in the end zone once again on a 12 yard bullet. Pinewood responded after a Brookwood pass interference call put them in the red zone. Quarterback Banks Booth took it in on a QB keeper, a play the Patriots went to often, and were successful on a two point conversion to make it 15-14 Warriors.
The two teams went back and forth with Brookwood driving inside the ten and Pinewood forcing and recovering a fumble. After forcing the Patriots to punt, Brookwood tapped into the run game for a pair of first downs before Waldrop found Nic Clark for his first and only touchdown of the game to extend the lead to 21-14. However, the Brookwood defense, who would struggle all night long, couldn’t contain the rushing attack and Pinewood scored in just three plays. and that was just the first quarter.
With an action packed three quarters to go and a one point lead, Waldrop got to work. He found Rex Schofill on a pass that put the ball inside the ten and punched it in on a QB keeper. Pinewood retorted by keeping the ball on the ground and scoring with a keeper of their own and once again it was a one point game.
After a couple of stops, Waldrop marched the Warriors down the field and found Schofill in the back of the end zone with a great pass and an even better catch for the score. Thomas punched it in for two to end the half and the Warriors took a 35-26 lead into halftime.
Pinewood started off the second half with a bang, keeping the ball on the ground and scoring to cut the lead to three.
Before this game, it was said that the offenses will do what they do, but it’s the defense that will determine the victor. Whoever can make a few key stops and a big play will win. That is exactly what Pinewood did.
On the ensuing possession, Waldrop scrambled with plenty of time to find his receiver. Unfortunately, he found Patriot Jake Rogers, who intercepted the pass and took it 30 yards to the house to give Pinewood their first lead of the game, 40-35.
Brookwood then got aggressive. They converted on a fourth and one to keep the drive alive and Waldrop then found Thomas to put the ball on the goal line. He punched it in on a QB keeper and, after a failed two point conversion, the Warriors retook a one point lead. Pinewood responded with their own QB keeper to take back a five point lead. Headed into the final frame, the Patriots were holding on to a slim 46-41 lead.
Waldrop started the fourth quarter with a scramble run for the end zone and powered through a big hit to cross the goal line. The Warriors couldn’t get the two point conversion and so, once again, took a one point lead, 47-46, with 11:29 left in the game.
But, Pinewood turned it on as Walker Todd ran in a touchdown and the Patriots then forced a fumble on the next Brookwood possession. Pinewood took advantage of another turnover and Booth punched in another touchdown as the Patriots took a commanding 60-47 lead. The junior quarterback would finish the game with six rushing TDs and one passing score. But, the Warriors weren’t done yet.
Junior Isiah Hill took the ensuing kickoff to the 24 yard-line, giving his offense excellent field position and they took advantage of it. Waldrop found his receiver on the first play of the drive and punched in the two point conversion to make it 60-55.
Brookwood had a chance to force a turnover as Pinewood went for it on fourth and one, but the Patriots broke free for a big run inside the ten and would score on yet another QB keeper to give them a 68-55 lead with under two minutes to go.
Brookwood made it interesting until the end, scoring with 47 seconds left to make it a seven point game. However, they failed to recover the onside kick and the Patriots ran out the clock to claim victory in a stellar contest.
Seniors Waldrop and Thomas may have played their last game in Warrior blue, but they did it in style. Waldrop finished the game with 417 passing yards on 32 completions for six touchdowns. He also ran for three scores for a total of nine touchdowns in the game. Thomas had 73 yards on the ground and led the Warriors with ten receptions for 131 yards and two TDs. Senior Nic Clark also had a great game, finishing with four catches for 61 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The loss caps off what was a solid season for the Warriors. They finished with an overall record of 6-5 and went 4-1 in region play. They played for a region title and were an offensive juggernaut, scoring 50 or more points in four games this season. They had multiple players set state records and, though their two best players are graduating, Rex Schofill and Seth Boggs emerged as top pass catchers this season.