Young Bruins have a lot of work to do in the offseason
WELLSBURG — The Brooke Bruins wrapped up the 2017 season with a 3-7 record and had most of its success toward the end of the campaign, finishing with wins in two of the final three games of the season.
Brooke began the year with three straight losses, starting with a 24-6 loss to playoff bound Wheeling Park in a Thursday night opener at Wheeling Jesuit University. All three of the Bruins opening losses came to teams that qualified for the postseason, as they fell 34-15 at home to University and on the road, 35-6, to Morgantown.
The first win for coach Mac McLean’s squad came with a 34-20 home defeat of Pittsburgh Perry, before falling 31-0 at cross-river rival Indian Creek, at home 28-7 to Parkersburg South, and on the road 37-14 to John Marshall.
The Bruins got back in the win column with a 28-7 home win over Buckhannon-Upshur, fell to rival Weir 40-7 on the road, and closed the season on a high note by defeating Princeton 14-7 in a senior night game played at Bethany College.
The Brooke offense averaged 215.1 yards and 13.1 points per game, putting up 86.4 on the ground and 128.7 through the air.
Leading the offense at different times was a pair of junior quarterbacks in Gage Yost and Logan Williams. Yost saw most of the action as the starter for the majority of the season before his campaign was cut short due to injury. He completed 47-of-90 passes (52.2 percent) for 648 yards, four touchdowns and eight interceptions. Williams started during the final two wins of the season, completing 36-of-70 (51.4 percent) for 608 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception.
In addition to the quarterbacks, all of the Bruins leading rushers will be back. Junior Dalton Valero finished with 137 yards on 55 carries. Sophomore Max Camilletti ran the ball 60 times for 143 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Aaron Scipio added 80 yards on 20 carries. Junior Kenton Conley ran for 76 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
Where Brooke will loose some key pieces is at wide receiver, as the team’s three leaders at the position were seniors. Ethan Secrist finished as the second best pass catcher in the Herald-Star/Daily Times coverage area with 39 receptions for 729 yards and seven touchdowns, the most of anyone in the area. Tripp Moore finished with 17 catches for 207 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Josh Richie, who also started a game at QB when both Yost and Williams were out, finished with eight grabs for 128 yards.
Defensively, the Bruins yielded 310.9 yards and 26.3 points, struggling to stop the run giving up 232.8 yards on the ground and just 78.1 through the air.
In total, Brooke will lose 14 seniors in Secrist, Nic Provenzano, Moore, Kenny Taylor, Richie, Zeke Farmer, Walker Morris, Adam Horvath, Dan Arango, Carson Secrist, Aaron Adams, Skyler Rice, Kyler Haynes and Jonathan Gallagher.