Bruney Wants To Shrink The Field

WELLSBURG – The game of football may be played on a 100-yard field, but Brooke coach Tom Bruney says his team needs to shrink that number for Saturday’s West Virginia Class AAA championship game at Wheeling Island Stadium. At noon, the top-ranked Bruins and defending state champion South Charleston will decide things.

What does he mean by ‘shrink’ the field? Well, he wants to make the Black Eagles drive the length of the turf if they are to score, while at the same time trying to get his own squad favorable position.

”Ninety percent of the time, if you take all the high school football teams in the country, it’s more difficult for them to drive 80 yards in 7 minutes and 10-15 plays without making a mistake,” he said. ”The more plays you add to the drive, the more opportunity there is for mistakes.

”And we all know it’s not always the best team that wins. It’s the teams that make the least mistakes.”

Not Concerned With Others

When asked what worried him most about high-powered South Charleston, Bruney broke the Black Eagles down on both sides of the ball – what he did and didn’t see on film. But he then quickly noted that what the players and coaching staff saw on film really doesn’t matter all that much outside of schematics.

”Like we said early on, what we do during the week is we concern ourselves with our preparations and improvements,” he said. ”We are concerned with ourselves.

”We look hard at what the opponent is going to do and we put together our game plan, but our main focus is ourselves.”

Scoring First a Priority?

The last two weeks notwithstanding, the Bruins have sometimes made a habit of getting behind early before rallying to victory. That could be a dangerous proposition against a Black Eagles team that has not only been here before, but has been pretty dominant in getting back.

”We can’t afford to (fall behind),” Bruney said. ”A kid said to me after we did score first (last) Saturday that, ‘hey, coach, these last 2 weeks have been fun because we’ve taken control of the tempo early.’ That’s what we want to do.

”But make no mistake about it, if it doesn’t happen that way our kids won’t panic. We’re used to it.”

Work to be Done

There are many documented cases of a team reaching unfamiliar heights and falling into the trap of just being happy to be there. That doesn’t figure to be a problem with this bunch, which had coaches in its collective ear from the start of the week, beginning in the weight room.

”We know what we’ve done, and we know what we’ve had to do to get here,” Bruney said. “By no means do we feel like we’re finished – we still have unfinished business.

”The great thing about our kids is they come to work. Saturday’s payday.”