By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
After a difficult season full of highs and lows, the Brookings-Harbor High School football team ended the season with an exclamation point as they rolled over the South Umpqua Lancers 50-28 Friday night.
"It was a perfect way to end the season," senior Andrew Tuttle said. "This was a great group of seniors and it was a good way to go out."
The Bruins just missed the playoffs with a last-second loss to Sutherlin last week, but showed continued improvement in that game.
"In the last two games, our team really came together," senior quarterback AJ Weber said. "I wish we could have played like that earlier, but it was a fun way to go out."
The Lancers started off quick as they scored on their opening drive as quarterback Ryan Smedley found Ky Schoonhoven for a 63-yard touchdown pass.
Tuttle got by the Lancer blockers on the extra point attempt to block the kick and keep the lead at 6-0.
On the ensuing kick-off, Nick Morris put together a huge return for the Bruins before being tripped up at the 25-yard line.
Six plays later, Morris ran it in from 13 yards out on a draw play that fooled the defense and tied the score.
Tyler Parke's extra point was successful to give the Bruins a 7-6 lead.
The Lancers scored again on their next possession as Bo Younker ran in a 1-yard touchdown.
On the two-point conversion, Morris beat Smedley to the outside and forced him out of bounds before he could get into the end zone.
Tuttle gave the Bruins good field position once again with another nice return on the kickoff.
The Bruins were able to work their way to the 19-yard line, but the Lancers were able to tip a pass and come up with the interception to regain possession.
But the Bruin defense stepped up as Mike Althof laid a hit on the quarterback and Evan Peterson recovered for the Bruins at the 5-yard line.
Three plays later, Morris ran it in from the 3-yard line for his second touchdown of the game.
Parke's extra point attempt was good and put the Bruins up 14-12.
"I was surprised to see them (South Umpqua) score on those first two drives," Coach Jim Keys said. "But the kids came back and scored each time and then our defense took control of the game."
After being down 12-7, the Bruins would go on to score 35 unanswered points to take over the game.
On the next kickoff, Parke's kick went off a South Umpqua player and bounced back to the Bruins to regain possession.
Weber found Andrew North for a 20-yard gain and then hit Tyler Drafahl for another nine yards to help the Bruins move the ball down the field.
Parke rushed for 25 yards during the drive including a 7-yard dash for a touchdown. His extra point was good to put the Bruins up 21-12.
The defense and special teams gave the Bruins good field position again as Tuttle returned the Lancer punt up to the 25-yard line.
After Morris put the moves on the Lancer defenders and ran 22 yards down to the 3-yard line, fullback David Marrington pounded it in for the touchdown. Parke's kick was good to give the Bruins a 28-12 advantage.
On the Bruins first drive of the second half, Morris put the Bruins in good position with another solid return, and significant runs by Morris and Marrington put the Bruins down to the 4-yard line.
Marrington then broke through the defense for his second touchdown of the game. Parke's kick was successful and the Bruins went up 35-12.
The Lancers fumbled on their first play of their next drive and Althof pounced on the ball to give the Bruins the ball back.
After a false start penalty on the Lancers, Weber laid out a picture perfect pass to Martin Robic who made the easy catch over his shoulder for the 28-yard touchdown. Parke made good on his sixth extra point of the night for a 42-12 lead.
The Lancers were able to make a slight comeback in the fourth quarter as they scored two straight touchdowns to pull the game to 42-28.
But the Bruins were able to weather the storm as Peterson found the end zone from 5 yards out.
Dustin Paradis pounded in the two-point conversion to give the Bruins a final score of 50-28.
The Bruin defense played aggressive and intense all night, with Althof and Seth McDonald constantly hounding the Lancer quarterback and laying on big hits whenever they could.
Marrington and Peterson each had a big night at linebacker while Parke and Weber made some nice open field tackles in the secondary.
Morris led all Bruins with 152 yards on the ground, followed by Marrington with 74, Peterson with 41 and Parke with 25.
Weber also had 69 yards passing with one touchdown.
Friday was also senior night as the Bruins bid farewell to 15 seniors: Weber, Ryan Mountain, Tuttle, Drafahl, Tommie Marrington, Morris, Chad Patton, D. Marrington, Parke, Matt Mockry, Sean Townsend, Markie Parmerlee, McDonald, North and Robic.
The Bruins ended the year in fourth place in the Far West League at 2-3 and 3-6 overall.