On Thursday night, the Brookwood Panthers closed the 2021 season at 3-7 after taking down rival Oak Grove (2-8) on an emotional senior night at home.
The Panthers, led by a six-touchdown performance from senior quarterback Jake Smithson, brought the score to 34-0 in the second quarter before hearing a response from Oak Grove.
While the Tigers were able to tack on a score and a two-point conversion with less than three minutes before the half, Oak Grove’s fate was already sealed as Smithson came back out to score again, bringing the score to 41-8 through two quarters.
Smithson had five total touchdowns in the first half alone, including three of those through the air, and would finish his final game in a Brookwood uniform 7-for-7 with 164 yards passing and 291 total yards from scrimmage.
With 11 rushes and 127 yards on the ground, it was announced to the Brookwood crowd in the second half that Smithson’s final 19-yard score had put him over 1,000 rushing yards on the season.
Brookwood senior wide receiver and linebacker Jon Michael Klinner completed all four of his targets from Smithson and ended his night with 78 receiving yards and two touchdowns. His teammate and fellow senior wide receiver Wyatt Smith completed both of his targets as well – one being a 50-yard receiving score – and ended his night with 66 yards through the air.
Senior Panther running back Carson Capps didn’t make an appearance on offense until the running clock started for the second half, but he made sure to capitalize on the touches he was given. Capps had the last two Brookwood scores to himself in the second half and had 90 rushing yards from four carries before the game’s conclusion.
Brookwood’s dominance didn’t stop on the offensive side of the ball. The Panthers’ defense forced five turnovers out of the struggling Oak Grove offense and scored two touchdowns, the same number the Tigers would produce from its offense the entire game.
On Oak Grove’s opening drive of the game, senior quarterback Caden Riley fumbled the second play from scrimmage at the Tigers’ own 26 yard line, leading to a scoop-and-score defensive touchdown from Brookwood freshman Kolby Stone.
Senior Tyler Pringle would continue to disrupt the Tiger game plan on the following two drives by adding two sacks – one of those resulting in a fumble and the second turnover of a bleak first half for Oak Grove.
In the third quarter, Brookwood added its second non-offensive touchdown of the night off of a 41-yard interception returned for a touchdown by sophomore defensive back Max Williams.
Following the dominant win, Panthers third-year head coach Mike Bramblett said, “Our kids have grown so much this year.”
“We got a tremendous group of seniors that have led, worked and shown our younger guys how to get it done. This is a great way to go into the offseason and our guys know that their offseason starts tomorrow.”
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