Football: Bruins Get By Dragons
WELLSBURG – To paraphrase the Myron Cope, Aaron Walker delivered a “triple yoi” against the late Pittsburgh Steelers commentators alma mater Friday night.
The Brooke quarterback scored three times and the defense came away with a late stand in the Bruins’ 21-19 victory against Allderdice at Brooke Memorial Stadium.
For as great a finish as the game provided, it might have been the early moments that provided the difference.
Both coaches seemed to think so.
A bad snap on a punt attempt on Allderdice’s first possession set Brooke up at the Dragons’ 29-yard line.
Two plays later, from that distance, Walker delivered with a touchdown run from that spot.
“We needed to come out and punch them in the mouth, the same way we got punched in the mouth last week at Morgantown,” Brooke coach Sean Blumette said.
“We can’t give up points like that early in the game,” Allderdice coach Jerry Haslett said. “We give up 14 off the bat to Martins Ferry last week and tonight we give them seven off a bad snap by our longsnapper.”
Still, there was plenty of football left to be played at that point.
Walker made the most of it. The junior quarterback rushed for 162 yards and added a 29-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 9-yard score on Brooke’s first possession of the second half.
Still, by the fourth quarter, Allderdice had fought back from a 21-6 deficit to make it 21-19 and had the ball near midfield with just under four minutes remaining.
The Brooke defense stiffened, and on second-and-8, forced a fumbled that Cody Rine recovered.
The Bruins were then able to get a couple of first downs and kill the clock.
It was that defense that came up big with a couple of interceptions and that key fumble recovery to kill potential Dragon scoring opportunities.
“Our defensive coordinator Terry Ray told me before the game if we won the toss, defer,” Blumette said. “He said they were ready and I’ll tell you what, they came out and played well. Three or four turnovers ; of we get that I like our chances at winning games. It was a great performance.”
If it gets performances like Walker had – the quarterback also completed 7 of 15 passes for 88 yards – it also has a chance at winning ball games.
Walker came back vastly improved from last year, when he stepped in for an injured Alec Buchmelter.
“Getting the chance last year helped, and Ale taught me a lot, about how to be a leader and step up when the team needs it,” Walker said. “That’s what I tried to do. I have to credit my line. I know those guys don’t get a lot of credit, but they really should. Whatever we get, it’s all behind what they do.”
Haslett admitted Walker was a tough stop most if the night.
“He’s their best player, and we told our guys that,” Haslett said. “He did a great job against Morgantown last week. He’s quick, he is a good athlete. We didn’t do a very good job accounting for him.”
He had the three scores, but he was aided by running back Nick Ossman. The Madonna transfer added 136 yards on 25 carries, including eight straight times as Brooke was running out the clock.
“I thought our line played great,” Blumette said. “We thought we had an advantage there and we tried to take advantage of that.”
So much so, the Bruins eschewed two early fourth down punt situations and instead went for it. Those two times failed, giving the Dragons the ball in prime field position, once at midfield and another time at the Bruins 26. Twice, the defense came through and didn’t allow Allderdice any points.
“It’s one of those things where if it works, you look like a genius, and if it doesn’t, you look like the biggest dummy in the stadium,” Blumette said. “We thought we had good situations there, it just didn’t work out. We had faith in our defense.”
In the end, the defense made the plays it needed to allow the Bruins to even their record at 1-1.
Allderdice (0-2) got 106 yards of its 134 total from Marquis Martin, who scored twice in the second half, and quarterback James Jackson was 7 of 14 for 126 yards.
Brooke will be at home next week hosting University.