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Brooke Starts Off Season 2-0

Photo by Andrew Grimm Brooke’s Gavin Moore carries the ball during Thursday’s game against Indian Creek.

WELLSBURG — If Week 1 was a breakout for Braelyn Sperringer, Week 2 showed it was no fluke.

The Brooke sophomore signal caller had another night to remember, racking up 108 yards and four touchdowns on the ground while throwing for another 88 yards in a 28-13 win over rival Indian Creek.

“He’s just that kind of athlete,” Brooke head coach Mac McLean said. “The kid lettered in the three major boys sports as a ninth-grader last year, he was out here at 14-years-old making plays at receiver. If his maturation keeps going the way its going, here in a couple years you’re going to be looking at something special.

“But, he’d be the first to tell you it wouldn’t have happened without the guys up front and without his team.”

Not only is it the Bruins first win over their cross-river rival in a few seasons, its the first time since the 2010 team that reached the state championship game that Brooke starts a season at 2-0.

His first touchdown was a big answer to overcome a tough start.

After Indian Creek’s Sam Coleman ran the opening kick 73 yards to the Brooke 17, the Redskins (0-3) wasted little time opening the scoring with a 1-yard Jadyn Irizarry scoring run. A fake on the xtra point came up short, making it 6-0 Creek.

A very short kick set the Bruins up on the Creek side of the 50, and three plays later Sperringer scored from 26-yards out, knifing through the Creek defense after tucking the ball and keeping it himself. Bailey Serevicz’s boot made it a 7-6 Brooke lead, which they would not surrender.

“That’s something else we’re doing right now … we’ve developed the ability to let those things roll off our back,” McLean said. “We’re shrugging things like that off and we get focused and get rolling. That’s got me excited.”

Sperringer added scoring runs of 1 and 6 yards in the second quarter, the second of which was of the spectacular diving variety, also converting on a two-point run to make up for a blocked extra point to make it a 21-6 Bruins lead.

The Redskins marched down to the Brooke 8, but stalled out and turned the ball over on downs with less than a minute to go before halftime, trailing 21-6 at the break.

Creek again marched deep into Brooke territory on its first possession of the second half, but this time stalled out at the Bruins’ 24 and turned it over on downs again.

“I feel bad, I feel like at some point here I’m cheating the kids,” Indian Creek head coach Andrew Connor said. “I know they’re trying. I have got to do a better job. I feel bad for the school, I feel bad for the kids.

“The same mistakes we’ve been making we keep making and that falls on me. I told the kids I’m going to do a better job.”

On the ensuing possession, Brooke compiled a drive for the ages.

McLean’s offense got the ball with 6:33 remaining in the fourth quarter, and ended the march 22 plays later with 6:38 remaining in the fourth quarter when Sperringer again found a running lane and crossed the goal line from 6 yards away.

The drive took 11:42 off the clock and all but sealed the Bruins win as Serevicz’s kick split the uprights in front of the student section chanting her name to make it 28-6.

“That hasn’t happened for us in a long, long time,” McLean said of the drive. I’m proud of my staff and proud of my kids. I’m very happy right now.”

A late Eli Powell touchdown run gave Creek its final points of the night.

“It showed the kids are playing hard,” Connor said of the last score. “That’s all I can ask of them. They played hard for 48 minutes of football and that’s a start. We have to find things for us to move forward and that’s a way to move forward.”

NOTES:

Prior to the touchdown to cap the long drive, Creek’s Zach Byard was injured making a tackle on Brooke’s Gavin Moore and left field on the stretcher, exiting the stadium in an ambulance.

“We took a lot of injuries,” Connor said. “Hopefully the kids are alright. That’s my first priority is to make sure the kids are OK.”

Before the game, a moment of silence was held to honor fallen U.S. Navy Corpsman Max Soviak, an Ohio native and former multi-sport athlete for Milan Edison killed in last week’s suicide bombing attack at the Kabul, Afghanistan airport during the U.S.’s evacuation mission.

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