Brookville wins Region III, Division 3 title
by Chris Humphreys
Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stuarts Draft couldn't have played a better first half, however Logan Thomas ignited Brookville to dominate the second half to defeat the visiting Cougars 28-20 in the Group AA Region III, Division 3 championship game Friday.

"I told them to stay focused, keep their composure and good things were going to happen," Bees coach Jeff Woody said. "The scheme was there on defense we just needed maybe stop over pursuing and tackle better."

Brookville will travel to the Region IV champ, Richlands in the state semifinals.

"We were getting on each other in the first half and we just had to stop that and play as a team," senior Bees lineman J.T. Crews said. "We really came together in the second half and got it done on defense."

Stuarts Draft (8-4) ran 32 times for 151 yards in the first half. They had 11 first downs and had possession of the ball for 18:56 of the first 24 minutes of the game.

"(Keeping their offense off the field) was the key to the first half," Stuarts Draft coach Rod Bowers said.

"You have to do that with a team as athletic as them."

Brookville (9-3) ran just seven plays in the first half and the first down the Bees had came on Thomas' 62-yard touchdown run.

Thomas slipped outside broke a tackle at the 50 and sprinted up the sideline to tie it at 7-7.

But, Isaiah Miller would give the Cougars a 14-7 lead going into the break with an 18-yard touchdown run. He put Stuarts Draft up 7-0 with a 1-yard run.

"We couldn't get anything started," Thomas said. "We had the ball maybe three times and ran about seven plays. They did a good job of holding onto the ball and keeping it from us."

Brookville's defense made a stand to get things started in the second half.

The Bees turned the ball over on downs at their own 43 to start the second half, but the Brookville's defense held on 4th-and-5 at its own 38.

Thomas scored on a 9-yard run seven plays later. The key play in the drive was a 32-yard reverse by Lorenzo Smith.

Stuarts Draft drove to the Bees' 40 when Thomas stopped the Cougars' Miller for a loss on 4th-and-1.

"I knew somebody was going to have to make a big play and I said 'Why not me,'" Thomas said. "I just wanted to grab that momentum for us and I knew we would roll."

Four plays later, Brookville took the lead when Thomas connected with tight end Zack McCray for a 62-yard touchdown pass with 2:29 left in the third quarter.

Miller scored his third touchdown on a 20-yard run, but Corey Patterson blocked the extra point and the Bees led 21-20 with 11:18 to play.

Miller finished 21 carries for 113 yard.

Brookville drove 59 yards on the ensuing possession but Jarret Bateman was stripped at the Stuarts Draft four and the Cougars recovered in the end zone.

The Bees defense forced a 3-and-out and Stuarts Draft managed just a 9-yard punt.

Brookville took over at the Cougars' 27 and Thomas scored on a naked-bootleg from the 14 with 6:14 left to play.

Stuarts Draft had two more chances, but the Bees forced a punt with 4:46 left and Alec Thompson intercepted a Hail-Mary pass at the Bees' six with 26.8 seconds left.

The Cougars had just 65 yards rushing in the second half.

"Hats off the them," Bowers said. "But, I think it was more us (in the second half). We missed some assignments and didn't have the same gusto we had in the first half."

Thomas rushed seven times for 84 yards and two touchdowns. He completed six of his 10 passes for 128 yards and score.

"Everybody on this team has the same goal and we are all working really hard to get (to the state championship game at Liberty University on December 8," Thomas said.