WELLSBURG -With John Marshall stationed at the Brooke 1 looking for a go-ahead score midway through the fourth quarter on a fourth-and-goal, Brooke coach Sean Blumette called a timeout.
The Bruins, clinging to a 17-13 lead, needed one more stop. They had just gotten one on third down from the same spot when Monarchs quarterback Jacob Fromhart was stopped on a sneak attempt.
On the next play, the call went to R.J. Kibert, who was looking for a push off the right side. He didn't get it, with the Bruins' defensive line roaring through and stopping him for a 1-yard loss, and the Bruins held on to win by that same score.
Brooke’s Raleigh Mason (20) runs with the ball as John Marshall’s Cameron Fisher (72) gives chase Friday in Wellsburg.
Photo by Scott McCloskey
Did they know something?
''We drew it up in the dirt,'' Blumette said metaphorically. (There is no dirt anywhere near Brooke Memorial Stadium these days). ''We said, 'hey, this is what they like to do, and this is what we're going to stop. If they beat us on something else, then so be it. But we're not going to let them do what they want to do.''
With guys like Todd Clark, a second-generation Bruin who didn't decide he wanted to play football until after Week 1 leading the way, John Marshall found yards tough to come by all night.
Clark was in on five sacks and the Monarchs managed 72 yards on 33 carries, an average of 2.25 yard per attempt.
''Not being able to punch it in there was huge,'' JM coach Rick Goodrich said. ''Give Brooke credit, they made the play. Right there, that was a difference-maker. We had a sneak. They were cutting us off, so we thought we could get off tackle behind our best linemen. They made a play and we couldn't get in.''
Truthfully, neither offense did a whole bunch in this one.
John Marshall (2-7) had 171 yards on 51 snaps. What Brooke (3-6) did have was the kind of balance many strive for but few get - 118 yards on the ground and 118 through the air.
Each team's offense scored a touchdown in the first half. John Marshall got on the board first when Evan Magers caught a 25-yard touchdown pass on a well-thrown ball from Fromhart, and Brooke scored on a Raleigh Mason 1-yard plunge two plays after JM muffed a punt inside the Bruins 5, four and a half minutes ahead of a 42-yard field goal by Bobby Moore.
It was all defense in the second half, beginning with the Monarchs' Jeremy Betras, who earlier had an interception called back by penalty, pouncing on a Brooke fumble in the end zone midway through the third quarter. That came ahead of a 42-yard touchdown INT return for a score by the Bruins' Aaron Walker a little more than 4 minutes into the fourth quarter.
''Any game between two decent teams, it's the team that makes the least amount of mistakes that's going to win,'' Blumette said.
Then, it was the goal-line stand.
''We knew we were in for a physical fight and we got everything we counted on, there's no doubt,'' Blumette said.
Added Goodrich: ''Our defense played well enough to win. They scored a touchdown for us. Offensively, we gave up a pick 6.''
Mason, playing in his second game since suffering an injury in the season opener, ran for 60 yards on 21 carries, despite losing a pair of fumbles.
Brooke quarterback Alec Buchmelter completed 13 of 31 passes for 118 yards and a score.
Fromhart was 11 of 20 for 99 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Fullback James Morgan led the Monarchs with 39 rushing yards.