LIVE BLOG: Irwin, Brooks battle it out for 1A public supremacy
ATLANTA, Ga. (WCTV) - This one’s for all the marbles: Either Brooks County or Irwin County is returning to our area with a championship, and it all goes down Monday from Atlanta.
Brooks County (16-1) have a shot to avenge their only loss of the season, an eight-point defeat at the hands of Irwin County (12-3) back on October 9. Since then, the Trojans have not allowed more than seven points in any game and have not scored less than 36 as they’ve rumbled their way through their side of the bracket with relative ease.
The reigning 1A champion Indians are in the midst of a five-game winning streak since their last loss - a 13-0 shutout defeat at the hands of Clinch County - and had to outlast Wilcox County and Commerce in the playoffs before blowing out Metter on the road to punch their ticket to the Little Apple.
This is a matchup not only with your usual emotional stakes, but with the heaviest of hearts as well: The Indians are in their first title game since the passing of head coach Buddy Nobles while the Trojans have played in the shadow of the death of Cenquez Perry all season long.
Below will be running a live blog to keep you updated during the action. We’ll have score updates, analysis, stray observations and thoughts. For up-to-the-minute updates and analysis, be sure you’re following myself and WCTV Sports on Twitter.
For those not in Atlanta, the game can be seen by clicking here or below.
FINAL: IRWIN COUNTY 27 - BROOKS COUNTY 19
Irwin County is your back-to-back 1A Public state champion. What a game and what a season for both squads. Our recap can be read here and we have much more coming your way on Eyewitness News at 11. Thanks for joining us this evening!
Your final stats for the evening are as follows:
4th Quarter, 0:34, 27-19, Irwin County
Burrus, who has returned to the field, and Brown have connected for a second time this evening for a touchdown but there might not be enough time left. A great effort from Brooks to not roll over in the closing minutes of this one, though.
4th Quarter, 3:22, 27-13, Irwin County
Backup Brooks QB Jamal Sanders, in for the injured Burrus, is picked off after overthrowing Willie Brown and the ball finds the hands of Derrick Taylor, who logs his second interception of the day and looks to be on their way to win back-to-back titles.
4th Quarter, 6:39, 27-13, Irwin County
For the first time in quite some time, a break goes Brooks County’s way as Irwin County’s punter, in an attempt to play a low snap, accidentally downs himself by having his knee hit the ground before he can get the punt away, so the Trojans have a short field to work with.
But, if Burrus proves to not be mobile, it may all be a moot point.
END OF THE THIRD QUARTER: IRWIN COUNTY 27 - BROOKS COUNTY 13
Irwin County just got an absolute gift from the officials, after a ball that was clearly incomplete thrown by Brooks County was ruled a backwards pass and recovery by the Indians.
Anyway, this feels like Irwin’s game to lose, especially with Burrus injured: He had a difficult time leaving the field after one series and missed two plays of the following one, only to come back and misfire on two of his three pass attempts, one of which was the called fumble.
3rd Quarter, 1:57, 27-13, Irwin County
It felt like Irwin County was content to run out as much clock as possible. Then, Brooks County crossed the line of scrimmage for a procedure penalty (one, I believe, was purposeful) and then on the very next play Kamari Blankumsee recovers an Irwin fumble and the Trojans are in Indian territory.
3rd Quarter, 7:17, 27-13, Irwin County
Well, this game turned and turned h a r d.
Burrus was looking to float a pass to the outside to Jamal Sanders but, instead, Irwin’s Evan Ross read it perfectly, picked it out of the air, and took it to the house from 34-yards out.
HALFTIME: IRWIN COUNTY 20 - BROOKS COUNTY 13
Brooks County’s Saveon Cason picks off Iwrin’s Soliday on the last play of the half, keeping it a seven-point ball game at the intermission.
Have been waiting all halftime for this tweet and it’s finally here: Your first-half stats!
2nd Quarter, 1:07, 20-13, Irwin County
Better late than never for Brooks County, who shows life on what may be their final drive of the first half, thanks to the 32nd touchdown on the year, the most in the state of Georgia, by Omari Arnold (this one from 15-yards out) to pull the Trojans within a touchdown after the missed extra point.
2nd Quarter, 2:57, 20-7, Irwin County
For the first time tonight, the Trojans held the Indians scoreless on a drive but BCHS needs to do something on this drive to still feel like they’re in it. Even at 13-points, it feels like Irwin is well in control.
2nd Quarter, 7:05, 20-7, Irwin County
I could tell you what Gabe Benyard did to log his third touchdown of the game, or I could show you.
So I’ma show you.
That 53-yard play has given the Indians a 13-point lead.
END OF THE FIRST QUARTER: IRWIN COUNTY 13 - BROOKS COUNTY 7
Two possession for each team in the first quarter, but only the Indians were able to turn them both into points.
1st Quarter, 0:18, 13-7, Irwin County
Our first lead change of the day comes courtesy of Irwin County and Gabe Benyard, who has his second touchdown of the opening 12 minutes, this one from two-yards out to cap a 40-yard drive. This one was far more methodical than their quick-strike first drive was and it saw two fourth-down conversions.
The Benyard brothers will end the quarter with a combined 100-yards of the Indians’ offense.
1st Quarter, 7:03, 7-6, Brooks County
Gabe Benyard answers Brooks’ 35-yard touchdown play with one of his own on a touchdown run that was a little too easy to cap a four-play drive by the Indians.
IC, though, misses the extra point, so the Trojans still lead.
1st Quarter, 8:21, 7-0, Brooks County
After one possession, the Trojans have the lead. Irwin County gave the Trojans a bit of a treat, chip-kicking the opening kickoff, allowing BC to take over from their own 42 yardline, and they were able to punch it in when Nitavion Burrus threw across his body and found Willie Brown for the game’s first touchdown.
1st Quarter, 12:00
Brooks County has won the coin toss and will open the game on offense. It’s time.
Welcome one and welcome all to our first ever high school-centric live blog and it couldn’t be a better matchup, with the Trojans and Indians set to duke it out or a state title.
Our Ryan Kelly is boots on the ground from Atlanta. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., but very well could be delayed after the previous game, the 1A Private game, went a bit late.
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