Prep Football PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: West Point loses heartbreaker to Brooks, 41-30, in round 1 | CullmanSense

Prep Football

PREP FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: West Point loses heartbreaker to Brooks, 41-30, in round 1

KILLEN - The 2017 football season has ended for the West Point Warriors after falling to Brooks in an offensive shootout 41-30 in the first round of the 2017 AHSAA 5A playoffs. Both teams combined for nearly 800 yards of offense on the night; the game came down to just a handful of key, momentum-shifting plays.

The Warriors forced a three-and-out on Brooks’ first possession and took advantage of good field position with a 29-yard field goal from junior Steven Rodriguez to take an early lead. Brooks quickly answered with a 41-yard touchdown pass, but the Warriors took back the lead on their next possession with a 58-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Rylan Jones to senior wide receiver Raylon Moore. Moore led the game in receiving with two catches for 94 yards.

Brooks closed the first half strong with three touchdowns in the last four minutes of the second quarter, including a fumble from Jones that Brooks returned 66 yards for a score and a 3-yard touchdown run with just 30 seconds in the half to carry a 34-16 lead into the locker room.  Despite the big plays for Brooks in the second quarter, both teams were nearly identical in terms of yardage at halftime with West Point putting up 242 yards and Brooks posting 244.

The third quarter was quiet with neither team able to score and draining nearly all the time from the quarter on just one possession each. On its first possession of the fourth quarter, West Point cut into the lead thanks to a 36-yard flea flicker from Jones to Moore that set up a 3-yard touchdown run from Jones just a couple of plays later.

Brooks responded with a long drive that killed more than six minutes of game time that ended with a 10-yard touchdown to go up 41-23 with a little more than four minutes remaining. Thanks to some big runs from junior running back Hunter Persall, the Warriors quickly got down the field and scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Persall to cut the lead back to 11 with three minutes to play. Persall finished the night with a game-high 195 yards on 27 carries as well as three catches for 25 yards and a touchdown.

The Warriors’ defense came up with a big stop on fourth down on the next possession but the offense couldn’t gain a first down and the ball went back over to Brooks with a little more than a minute left in the game. After taking a couple of knees, Brooks ended the game with a 41-30 victory over the Warriors.

Despite an impressive night on offense, the Warriors were not able to overcome turnovers and couldn’t get enough stops to keep up with the Brooks offense. The Warriors close out this season 6-5 and will start looking ahead to next season with a lot of impact players returning for 2018.

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