CLARKSTON, Ga – Brookwood came in with a vicious rushing game led by Nick Tompkins and Jamaal Cole. ML King came in with a fierce passing game triggered by veteran signal caller Jonquel Dawson. That left both defenses on the hook to stop what was thrown at them, no pun intended.
In the end it was the ML King passing game and defense that would power them to a 27-21 overtime victory to advance in the Georgia 5A state playoffs. The first three quarters were good football but didn’t feature much scoring and then BOOM the fourth came and the defenses, along with the offense were on full display.
Jamaal Cole scored on a 7-yard touchdown run on the games opening drive for the Broncos and Jonquel Dawson found Josh Stanford for a 36-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter for the Lions. Each team turned the ball over, Brookwood with a fumble and ML King with 2 INT and a fumble plus missing two field goals (one blocked) through 3 quarters. So we enter the fourth frame tied at 7.
“Our kids just fought, they never gave up. There was never a situation in the game where they felt like they couldn’t win the game” ML King head Coach Michael Carson said.
Brookwood would put themselves in fine postion when Zach Moon hit BJ Sammons for a 49-yard pass play to the ML King three. Four plays later on fourth down Jamaal Cole scored his second touchdown of the game, this one from 1-yard out to give the Broncos a short lived 14-7 advantage. Short lived because Jonquel Dawson would hit Josh Stanford on a 61-yard screen play to the Brookwood seven and Jeremy Tyler ran it in from there and it was tied at 14 forty-four seconds after Brookwood went on top.
So the fourth quarter “shootout” was on. Brookwood faced a fourth down and Josh Brown pickup 27 yards on a fake punt that would lead to a Nick Tompkins 2-yard touchdown run putting Brookwood back on top 21-14 with 2:53 left in the fourth and the Broncos and their faithful were feeling pretty good.
However Dawson and the Lions would fight back with it’s offense and defense. After hitting Tibbs for 27 yards and Stanford for 21 yards , Brookwood’s Josh Brown stepped up again intercepting Dawson and all but sealing the Broncos win with 1:59 remaining, you thought. Brookwood was out of timeouts and ML King had all three of theirs. Brookwood went three-and-out but more importantly ran out of bounds on second down preserving ML King of a timeout.
Facing a fourth down backed up, Brookwood utilized the “rugby” style punt that has been sweeping the nation (and could have easily ran for the first down) booting it 55 yards to the ML King 28 with 1:27 remaining, putting up the Lions in the ultimate “win or go home” situation.
King ran a double pass (in the stat book it goes for a run as they were laterals) with Jeremy Tyler picking up 20 yards and getting out of bounds. Then on fourth down Dawson hit Tibbs for nine yards. Then Dawson, on second down and one with only nine seconds left, found a wide open Cornell Boyd for a 32 yard touchdown pass down the left side with no time remaining, a good extra point made it 21 even and overtime would be a reality.
On the first play of overtime (after a false start penalty) Dawson went to the right corner for Blake Tibbs on, what coach Michael Carson said was a “sluggo” route for a 20-yard touchdown pass and a 27-21 ML King lead after a failed extra point.
“Jonquel made some heck of some throws tonight, the times we needed them, when were down”, Carson said about his senior quarterbacks overall effort tonight.
And Dawson…who tied the state lead for 92 touchdown passes in a career on a night where he went for 343 yards 3TD 3INT on 17 of 33 via the air force..
“A great win, we overcame so much adversity it was just a great, a great win. Just believing in myself and the team that we can win, I just kept faith and always believe in my teammates that they can make plays and we made plays and we won it.” quarterback Jonquel Dawson said.
And what about Blake Tibbs?
“All night they bottled me up but when it came down to it my coach called on me to make a play, I had to make a play for my teammates at the end” Tibbs said.
ML King defense was on the clock again, right there with Brookwood’s potent offensive run game in the overtime period.
“Well our defense has played well all year long, a lotta folks don’t give them the credit that their jest due. They’ve played extremely well and we knew going into this game we had to stop [Brookwood’s] run game. Once they settled down (after ML King allowed an opening touchdown drive to Brookwood) there was no doubt in my mind that they would not be able to control their side of the ball” Carson said about his defense.
In the end Brookwood quarterback Zach Mood missed on a fourth and ten pass on the Broncos overtime possession and the Lions advanced to the state quarterfinals.
The ML King defense was stellar all night. Most notably in the third quarter when they held Brookwood to minus 14 yards of offense, zero first downs and had 3 sacks.
“We were not going to give up, we put up in our minds that we were going to go out and fight to the death of us. We just played assignment football and played with discipline.” defensive end and linebacker Kenderius Whitehead on the defensive mindset the Lions came with tonight.
Whitehead finished with a fumble recovery, 2 sacks and numerous tackles while junior Carlos Garrett was a beast as well with 2 sacks and several key defensive stops. Linebacker Toronto Thomas’ effective play must be noted as well.
Jamaal Cole and Nick Tompkins each went for 70 plus yards rushing on 37 carries and three touchdowns against the King defense.
Josh Stanford recorded 7 catches for 200 yards with 1TD and had vital receptions of 52 and 61 yards. Blake Tibbs had 4 catches for 60 yards and 1TD.
ML King will face the Lassiter Trojans who were 20-17 winners over the McEachern Indians. ML King and Lassiter faced off over the summer at the University of Alabama in 7 on 7, now it’s time to add the linemen and the pressure of winning.
Other Georgia scores and notes of interest:
Camden County 48 Marietta 7; JJ Green had a 65-yard TD run and 60-yard TD reception
West Forsyth 40 Hillgrove 28
Dacula 32 Newnan 21
Grayson 25 Lowndes 17; Robert Nkemdiche scored 3 rushing TDs and recorded his 13th sack of the season.
Colquitt 17 North Gwinnett 7; Colquitt’s Willie Woodyard tallied 139 all-purpose yards and had a 75-yard TD reception on a little screen and added an 11-yard touchdown run. Many will point to North Gwinnett head coach Bob Sphire gambling gone a fourth and one on their own 29 yard line and being unsuccessful. That lead to Woodyard’s 11-yard touchdown and a Colquitt 14-7 lead in the second half.
Walton 42 South Cobb 7
Northside-Warner Robins 48 Clarke Central 14
Tucker 46 Griffin 0
Lovejoy 15 Kell 10
Flowery Branch 31 Thomas County Central 21
Buford 31 Jefferson County 0; Nathan Staub had a 90-yard TD run and Buford racked up 300+plus yards of rushing offense. Dontravious Wilson added 2TDs on the ground and Andre Johnson added a rushing TD.
Elbert County 28 Cook 7
Warner Robins 20 Chattahooche(defending 4A champ) 6
Ware County 24 Heritage, Conyers 3
Dublin 45 Westminster 21
Calhoun 43 Brooks County 30
Seminole County 28 Wilkinson County 7
Sandy Creek 42 Troup 14; Sandy Creek extends winning streak to 41 games (the streak includes two state titles in two different classifications)
Lincoln County 27 Clinch County 0
Aquinas 32 Wilcox 14
Prince Avenue Christian 21 Charlton County 3
Regional scores of interest:
Gaffney,SC 33 Dorman (SC) 3; Gaffney quarterback Joey Copeland had 252 yards passing 2TDs 2INT and rushed for 2 TDS. Quinshad Davis had 106 yard receiving and 2TD for the Indians.
Byrnes (SC) 56 Summerville,SC 20; Akia Booker caught 2TDs and Shakeem Wharton scored a rushing TD.
Crest (NC) 28 Ashville,NC 25
North Marion (FL) 28 Fivay (FL) 0; Jamie Gilmore ran for touchdowns from 22, 1, 26 and 80 yards while becoming North Marion’s all time touchdown leader with 58. Gilmore had 15 totes for 163 yards on the night. The North Marion defense posted it’s third shutout in five weeks behind the play of Ben Poole and Jabari Bothwell, Latroy Pittman also recorded an interception.
Pasco (FL) 21 Sante Fe (FL) 14; Pasco will travel to North Marion next week and won the last time the two teams met, 13-12 in the 2008 regional playoff final.
First Coast (FL) 42 Forest (FL) 20; Mark Herndon had a 75-yard touchdown run and went over 100 yards rushing.
Sunlake (FL) 22 Vanguard (FL) 21