Brooke wants to send seniors out properly

WELLSBURG — It is safe to say it has not been the season that the Brooke Bruins and coach Mac McLean hoped for, but his squad has an opportunity to end it on a high note Friday night when the Princeton Tigers come to Brooke Memorial Stadium for senior night.

Sending the seniors off with a win is something very important to McLean.

“This has been a trying year for everyone involved in this program, and no one more than the seniors I’m sure,” McLean said. “You look forward to your senior year your whole life, and if they could get a W in front of the home crowd in their last performance playing football at Brooke High School, that’d be great for them and great for us going into the offseason as we go back to the drawing board and try to figure out what went wrong.

“I’m sure it will be emotional all the way around. Except for a couple exceptions, this will be the last time some of these guys play this game in their life. It does fly by. This is my first senior class that were freshman when I came in, so I’ve been the only head coach that they’ve known and they’ve come all the way through the program with me. I’m going to be saying goodbye to some faces that I’ve known my whole career as a head coach.”

The Bruins (2-7) are coming off a disappointing 40-7 loss to rival Weir High at Jimmy Carey Stadium last Friday. They were forced to play without junior starting quarterback Gage Yost (knee) and junior backup Logan Williams (pinched nerve) for most of the game. Yost was unavailable and Williams was limited to little playing time. Senior wide receiver Josh Richie had to step up and play QB, completing 2-of-12 passes for 24 yards and a pick.

“We ran into a pretty good Weir football team and a pretty difficult circumstance where, less than an hour before the game, we found out we weren’t going to have our quarterback,” McLean said. “Fifteen minutes before a game with your big rival in a game you want to win you find out you don’t have a quarterback on your roster. Josh Richie really stepped up for us and stepped into a tough situation. I’m not taking anything away from Weir. They are a good football team, but we were in disarray Friday night.”

This week, McLean hopes the team will have Williams who has 368 yards and four touchdowns with just one interception, while completing 22-of-44 passes.

“He practiced (Tuesday),” he said. “He’s been getting treatment, and he came down (Tuesday) and threw about 50 balls. We’re taking it easy with him. We’ve got a couple more days to get him healthy. I know he’s going to go out Friday and give it his best shot.”

Princeton comes in 1-8 and has lost its last three games, but McLean isn’t taking it lightly.

“Our record is only a game better, so we can’t take anybody lightly,” he said. “They’ve played some pretty stiff competition on their schedule, and sometimes the difference between a good football team and a bad football team really isn’t that much. It’s just how the ball bounces sometimes.

“When you watch them on film, they have some of the same characteristics that we have. They’ll play some good football for a while, and then they seem to self destruct. They run the kind of offense that you’ve got to play assignment football, and we’ve got to be disciplined to beat them. They give us a couple different looks on defense we’ve got to prepare for. It’s going to be a good football game.”

The key for his Bruins will be not to beat themselves.

“We’ll compete for so long and then penalize or turnover our way out of it,” McLean said. “That’s something that we’ve got to remedy.”

Yost’s injury is doubly hurtful as he is not just the leading passer, completing 47-of-90 passes for 648 yards with four touchdowns and eight picks, but is also the leading rusher with 372 yards and three touchdowns on 53 carries.

Junior Dalton Valero has 141 yards on 54 carries, sophomore Max Camilletti 129 yards and a touchdown on 55 touches, junior Kenton Conley 76 and a score on 24 carries, and freshman Aaron Scipio 79 and a score on 19 carries.

Whoever is throwing the ball for the Bruins on Friday night will have one of the top receivers in the valley in senior Ethan Secrist. He is the fourth-ranked receiver in the Herald-Star/Daily Times coverage area with 34 catches for 638 yards and six touchdowns. Fellow senior Tripp Moore has hauled in 14 passes for 151 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The Brooke offense averages 210.7 yards and 13 points per game, putting up 94.3 rushing and 116.3 passing. On defense, the Bruins allow 319.4 yards (233.9 rushing, 85.6 passing) and 28.4 points.

The Tigers come in averaging 14.2 points for and 35.1 points against.