WELLSBURG - The Brooke Bruins came from behind twice and put up a gallant fourth quarter goal line stand to hold off John Marshall and pull out a 17-13 victory Friday night in the final home game of the 2012 season at Brooke Memorial Stadium. Eighteen senior Brooke football players were honored in pre-game ceremonies as they wore the green home jersies for the last time.
The win, Brooke's second in a row, boosted its season record to 3-6.
In addition to the goal line stand, the Bruin defense scored the winning touchdown when sophomore Aaron Walker picked off a Monarch pass early in the fourth period and raced 42 yards to the end zone.
Courtesy Action Images
FINAL HOME APPEARANCE — Brooke’s Raleigh Mason, and 17 Bruins seniors, played their final home game Friday, a 17-13 victory over John Marshall.
The John Marshall (2-7) defense also scored as both teams struggled to get the offenses untracked.
"The goal line stand - if you want to pick out one play in a game this close, that was it," said a jubilant Sean Blumette, Brooke's first-year head coach. "We called time out and we drew it up in the dirt, really. We said this is what they like to do in this situation and this is what we're going to stop. If they beat us on something else, then so be it."
After Walker's interception for a touchdown and Jake Schwertfeger's extra point kick the Bruins led 17-13. Robert Moore's kickoff was caught by senior Evan Magers at his own 16. He got away from the first wave of the Bruin kickoff team and raced to the Brooke 43 before he was knocked out of bounds.
Brooke 17, John Marshall 13
John Marshall 6 0 7 0 - 13
Brooke 0 10 0 7 - 17
JM: Magers 25 pass from Fromhart (run failed)
B: Mason 1 run (Schwertfeger kick)
JM: Betras fumble recovery in end zone (Litman kick)
B: Walker 42 interception return (Schwertfeger kick)
RUSHING: JM, 35-82 (Kibert 11-49, Miller 1-(-2), Galentine 1-1, Woods 10-28, Morgan 2-39, Fromhart 10-(-33); B, 37-54 (Mason 21-59-TD, Loughrie 1-0, Morris 1-1, Buchmelter 14-(-6).
PASSING: JM, 13-26-117-TD (all by Fromhart); B: 11-25-96 (all by Buchmelter)
RECEIVING: JM, Magers 6-55-TD, Betras 2-17, Howard 1-12, Gonchoff 1-12, Winland 1-4, Woods 1-6, Wharton 1-11; B: Mason 4-21, Cole 3-25, Wallace 2-13, Hildreth 1-25.
FIRST DOWNS: JM, 7: Brooke, 11.
FUMBLES-LOST: JM, 3-2; Brooke, 4-3.
PENALTIES: JM, 5-68; Brooke, 6-47.
The Monarchs put together a drive that eventually gave them a third and goal to go situation at the Bruin one yard line. First senior quarterback Jeremiah Fromhart attempted a sneak that was stopped cold and after the Brooke time out, running back, Jacob Woods, got the call from John Marshall coach, Rich Goodrich. He ran into a stone wall of a Brooke defense that denied him from getting into the end zone.
"We weren't able to punch it in there at the end," said Goodrich about the play that saved the game for the Bruins. "Give credit to Brooke. That just was the difference. Brooke was stopping us from going wide so we decided to go inside over our best lineman, but Brooke made a play and we just couldn't get it in."
The Monarchs got on the scoreboard first in the halfway through the opening period when Fromhart found Magers, who beat the Bruin defensive back and caught a pass at the Brooke five yard line and ran into the end zone. The placement holder was unable to handle the snap and John Marshall's extra point attempt was thwarted by the Bruin defense.
A John Marshall fumble on a second quarter Heath Hildreth punt set up a Brooke go ahead touchdown in the second period. The Bruin offense had driven the ball to the John Marshall 41, but with fourth-and-one Blumette called for the punt.
The Monarch returner caught the football at his own nine yard line, but fumbled the ball. An alert Alex Tate pounced on the loose pigskin at the Monarch four yard line to set up the score.
Senior running back, Raleigh Mason, blasted through the line to the one and then pranced through a gaping hole over his left guard to the end zone. Schwertfeger's kick was true giving the Bruins a 7-6 lead. Mason, in his second game back after an injury cost him most of seven games, led the Bruins with 59 rushing yards on 21 carries.
The Bruins, who could muster just 150 yards of total offense, had a drive stall at the John Marshall 21 yard line. Faced with fourth-and-11, they took the lead at 10-6 just before halftime when Moore booted a 40-yard field goal.
"We can go back to the Parkersburg game at the beginning of the season where it seemed that there were so many missed opportunities and it continued throughout the season," Blumette said. "We got some things go our way tonight and it paid off."
The John Marshall defense got its turn to score in the third period. It was set up by a Monarch punt.
The Bruin defense stopped a Monarch drive at the John Marshall 48, but the Monarchs' Alan Miller punted the football and it bounced out of bounds at the Brooke one yard line.
Senior Bruin quarterback, Alec Buchmelter, was topped for no gain on a blast up the middle and then threw a pass incomplete. On the third play, Buchmelter fumbled the center snap allowing John Marshall senior Jeremy Betras to pounce on the football in the end zone for a Monarch touchdown. This time Austin Litman's kick for the extra point was good arming John Marshall with a 13-10 lead with 5:51 left in the third quarter.
That lead held up till Walker's pick six less than a minute into the fourth period.