Brooke Posts Third Shutout

WEIRTON – Top-rated Brooke utilized a smothering defense while scoring four touchdowns through the air Friday night to steamroll outmanned Weir 42-0 at soggy Jimmy Carey Stadium.

It was the last home game of 2009 for the Red Riders and nine seniors were honored before the game.

Despite the wet field conditions, first-year Brooke coach Tom Bruney stuck with his game plan of throwing the football and senior quarterback Cotey Wallace delivered, hitting 13 of 20 for 193 yards and four touchdowns.

It was the 27th time that the Bruins (8-0) have knocked off the Red Riders in the 40-year rivalry.

The Bruins defense was so stifling, even with reserves playing most of the second half, it allowed Weir 72 net yards – 21 through the air and 51 on the ground. Meanwhile the Brooke offense racked up 378 yards with a balanced attack that included 194 rushing yards and 193 through the air.

The Bruins led 35-0 at the half.

It wasn’t very pretty, and Weir first-year coach Tom Taylor admitted that.

“We had to make some key plays to stay in the game and we couldn’t because Brooke is very good,” he said. “We had the opportunity early to make the plays and we just missed some tackles, missed an interception and just made some other mistakes.”

The Bruins got the ball to open the game and scored with that first possession, driving 69 yards on six plays. Junior running back Ryan Lazear capped the drive with a nifty 25-yard scoring scamper when he took a pitch from Wallace on the left side, shook a Red Riders tackler, and raced to the end zone. Rusty Kocher, who was perfect on all six of his extra point kicks, gave the Bruins a 7-0 lead 2:35 into the game.

Despite the scoring avalanche, Bruney wasn’t pleased with his passing attack early in the game.

“Our timing was off and we weren’t sharp in that first quarter, but we got it going in the second,” he said. “We didn’t get to throw much in our last couple of games so we decided this was a good opportunity to do it. As I expected, we were rusty early, but it got better. The plus side, though, was our line protection was good.

“And defensively it was lights out. They didn’t get across the 50 too many times.”

The Red Riders (1-7) had a golden opportunity to score early in the second period when Lazear, who led all ball carriers in the game with 118 yards on 14 carries, fumbled at his own 15.

Big Dan Heupp, Weir’s 280-pound junior tackle, pounced on the loose ball.

Senior quarterback Justin Horstman lost 2 yards on the first play and then sophomore fullback Andy Marshall fumbled the ball back to the Bruins. Brooke’s big senior tackle, Jake Lilly, recovered it at his own 17.

“That was our only turnover of the game,” Bruney said, “and we were able to recover from it.”

That’s tough to overcome.

“When we did get things rolling a little bit, we shot ourselves in the foot with mistakes and penalties at the wrong time,” Taylor said. “Of course Brooke had something to do with that.”

The Red Riders were guilty of eight penalties for 82 yards.

The only other intrusion by Weir High into Bruins territory by the Red Riders was a drive early in the fourth quarter against the Brooke reserves. The Riders relinquished the ball on downs at the Bruins 17 to end the threat.

Wallace hit junior receiver Joey DiNardo with a 14-yard pass for Brooke’s second touchdown midway through the first period, and then Tim Morris, a 165-pounder, zig-zagged through the Red Rider defense and flipped into the end zone when hit by a Weir High defensive back.

After that Marshall fumble in the second period, the Red Riders defense held and forced Wallace to punt from his own 20. The ball rolled dead at the Weir High 45.

On the first play from scrimmage, Horstman gained a couple of yards, but was hit and fumbled the ball. Brooke’s Tripper Narigon pounced on it.

On Brooke’s first play from the Weir 43, Wallace found DiNardo open again on a pretty pass down the left hash marks.

The Bruins got on the board once more before the half when Wallace found tight end Shane Paesano open from 4 yards out.

The only touchdown in the second half was a Wallace shovel pass for 27 yards to Morris right through the middle of the Weir High defense.

“With the score the way it was, we couldn’t pass the ball down the field any more,” Bruney said of the deceptive maneuver.

The Bruins continue on the road next week traveling to John Marshall.

“That will be a good test for us,” Bruney said. “They are big and physical with a big running back. We had some problems early in the season with teams that had big backs and a downhill run offense.”

Meanwhile, the Red Riders hit the road next Friday also traveling down the river to Yorkville to play Buckeye Local.