By Kevin Price
For GCS Athletics
Pooler – The Brunswick High football team came from behind here Friday night to knock off New Hampstead 29-19 and pick up its second win of the season.
The Pirates (2-3) trailed 13-7 at halftime and found themselves down 19-7 when New Hampstead’s Sam Brown returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown.
But the Pirates didn’t panic. They would finish the game scoring 22 unanswered points to defeat the Phoenix for the second consecutive season.
“We kept battling and wore them out in the second half,” said BHS head coach Sean Pender. “We had a couple of run plays that were really working and they never really adjusted. We ran the counter really well and also the outside and inside zone and completed some passes as well.”
Brunswick’s comeback started late in the third quarter with 6-yard scoring run by sophomore running back Chuckobe Hill to cap off a 55-yard drive and make the score 19-14 after the extra-point kick.
The Pirates took their first lead of the night when Amarion Whitfield swept for a 12-yard touchdown run. Brunswick went for two points after the score and Ree Simmons carried the ball on the conversion try to give the Pirates a 22-19 advantage.
The Phoenix started their next possession at their own 41-yard line, but the BHS defense, which played well the game long, came up with back-to-back quarterback sacks on the first two plays of the series and then forced an incompletion before stopping the home squad’s fourth-down play as well.
Brunswick regained possession at the New Hampstead 36, and on its second play from scrimmage, Simmons, another sophomore runner for the Pirates, broke loose for a 29-yard touchdown dash that sealed the victory for the Pirates.
New Hampstead opened the scoring midway through the second quarter with a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jurel Armstrong. The extra-point try was no good.
The Phoenix scored again with just over two minutes to play before halftime on a 6-yard run by Aljhanod Thomas for a 13-0 lead following the point-after kick.
Brunswick pulled within 13-7 when it scored in the closing seconds of the opening half on a screen pass from KJ Lee to Xavier Bean which went for a 26-yard touchdown.
Lee entered the game in the second quarter for starting quarterback Anthony Mountain who was ineffective early. Pender said Mountain is banged up and needs to get healthy in the coming days. Lee, who was seeing his first action of the season since coming back from an injury, played the rest of the game at quarterback for the Pirates.
The BHS defense kept the Pirates in the game the whole way by keeping the New Hampstead big-play offense in check. Thomas Tedder, who was New Hampstead’s interim head coach last season, is coordinating the Pirates defense for the first time this season and had the Pirates ready to play.
Brown, who is committed to Central Florida, was being covered early by Brunswick senior Freddie Towns before he left in the second quarter with an injury. The Pirates didn’t do anything extra special to cover Brown the rest of the game, though they did rely on senior safety Devin Lafayette to help in coverage. Lafayette picked off a pass deep in BHS territory in the second half to deny the Phoenix a potential score.
“Devin played lights out,” Pender said. “Our defense played really well.
“We got the offense rolling, and KJ came in and executed. It was a good team win.”
Brunswick will be back on the road next Friday when it travels to Albany to face Monroe (3-3). The game will be the last non-league tilt for the Pirates prior to the Region 2-AAAAAA schedule.