beat headphones in ear Brookville avoids upset against Rustburg on Bernard’s heads
But Bernard took his time. Then he spied an open receiver, Zach Mann, open in the middle of the field. He fired, Mann reeled in a 67 yard catch, and Brookville scored three plays later to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Bees went on for the 27 13 victory. The game, though, was much closer than that score indicated.
Rustburg came out on fire. It trailed 12 6 at halftime, but a touchdown by Sh’mar Johnson to open the third quarter gave the Red Devils (2 5) a 13 12 lead.
RHS held that lead until the fourth quarter, when Bernard led that 95 yard attack with 4:33 remaining.
“It all started with having faith in my linemen,” Bernard said. “I couldn’t have done anything without them. I was just sitting there doing what I could do and finally, Zach Mann popped open.”
Survival on the road was the name of the game for the Bees (5 2), who were hit with 10 penalties for 90 yards and who struggled against the swarming Rustburg defense.
Brendon Brown led Brookville’s receivers with 117 yards. The junior wideout caught a 61 yard TD pass off a reverse from running back Dre Carter in the first quarter to give the Bees a 9 0 lead after kicker Chris Cline delivered a 30 yard field goal, his first of two on the night.
But Brookville rarely looked comfortable.
“This is something we can build on and look forward to next week,
” Rustburg running back Sh’mar Johnson said. “We can play the game hard again, give another team a fight and hopefully come out with a W.”
Johnson bothered Brookville all night. He ran for 180 yards and scored on a 1 yard punch to give the Red Devils the 13 12 lead in the opening minute of the third quarter.
“This one feels great to see all of us revved up and ready to play ball,” Johnson said. “It was fun to see us active and fighting until the end.”
Rustburg’s other score occurred in the first quarter, off a 40 yard interception return by Grayson Harvey.
At one point, Brookville had seven starters sidelined with nagging injuries. Rustburg’s was without two main starters, quarterback Landon Tucker and running back Tre Tucker.
In addition to his TD pass to Brown, Carter ran for 95 yards for Brookville, while Ryan North added 65.
“I was thinking I’m gonna run my hardest, I’m not gonna get brought down and I’m gonna keep fightin’,” Carter said.
Bernard punched in the go ahead touchdown after that fateful pass to Brown and then completed the two point conversion pass to Brown for a 20 13 lead. Brookville then stopped Rustburg’s next drive before scoring again with 55 seconds remaining.
“They came out to play and win a game,” Brookville coach Jon Meeks said. “You can’t sleep on anybody in the Seminole District. You better bring your ‘A’ game or they’re gonna hurt your feelings.”
Bernard passed for 165 yards and completed 11 of his 18 passes. None was bigger than the floater to Mann, who cradled the ball and then took off down the field, getting to the 28 yard line and putting Brookville in position for the go ahead score.