By Kevin Price
For GCS Athletics
Jonesboro, Ga. – The Brunswick High Pirates accomplished a lot as they decked the Morrow Mustangs 34-13 here Friday night at Tara Stadium in the opening round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.
Of course, the Pirates are advancing to the second round with the road win in which they took over late after holding just a 14-13 lead over the Mustangs going into the final quarter.
The playoff win was the first for the Pirates since the 2010 season when they defeated Creekside in the first round before losing the following week to Starr’s Mill.
Brunswick (6-5) now has a winning record and can finish no worse that .500 regardless of what happens the rest of the way. This is the Pirates’ third season under head coach Sean Pender who steered the team to a seven-win season and a postseason berth back in 2017 in his first campaign with program.
The Pirates won only three games last season and did not win a game in four tries during the region schedule. This season, they were 2-2 in the four Region 2 games to make the playoffs as the No. 3 seed from the league.
“This was a huge win for the program,” Pender said of the triumph over Morrow. “I’m proud of the way we played. We played really well. We were physical. We hit them in the mouth.”
Morrow (6-5) and Tucker, which Glynn defeated Friday night at Glynn County Stadium, tied for second in Region 4 with two league losses each. But because the Mustangs defeated the Tigers during the season, they were awarded the region’s No. 2 seed and the home game in the first round.
Brunswick struck first when it scored on its second offensive series, parading 57 yards and scoring on a 1-yard run by senior quarterback Anthony Mountain for an early 6-0 lead.
Morrow scored to start the second quarter on a 13-yard pass and made its extra-point try to go up 7-6.
The Pirates went back on top late in the second period on another short run by Mountain, and this time Ree Simmons ran for two points, to make it 14-6.
That was the halftime score, and BHS would never trail again, though it took the Pirates time to really take charge after being denied a late touchdown to close the first half when they came up short on a fourth-down play deep in Morrow territory.
The Mustangs missed a field goal right after halftime, but would pull within 14-13 with just over four minutes left in the third period when they marched 53 yards to score, but missed their point-after try.
It was all Pirates from there. Brunswick drove 77 yards and scored just moments into the final stanza with sophomore running back Chuckobe Hill taking the ball into the end zone from 7 yards away to give the Pirates a 21-13 lead with just more than nine minutes remaining.
Hill wasn’t done scoring, either. He would run for two more touchdowns down the stretch as the Pirates manhandled the home squad the rest of the way.
“We took the game over,” Pender said. “Their defense was pretty good at the beginning, but it didn’t last. Chuckobe really showed out. His yards after contact was up there and he caught the ball out of the backfield, too.”
Pender lauded the play of the Brunswick defense which knew it had to prevent big plays by Morrow
quarterback Jimmy Calloway who is committed to Tennessee as an athlete. Calloway made things happen with his legs several times, but the BHS defense didn’t let him run up and down the field.
“He’s legit. He extended a lot of plays and drives, but we contained him really well,” Pender said. “He sprained his ankle late in the game, and they couldn’t get a first down after that.”
The Pirates will be back on the road next week at Harrison. The Hoyas (11-0) knocked off Winder-Barrow 45-25 on Friday. Harrison, located in Kennesaw, won Region 6 this season and is ranked second in the state.