KILLEN — Brooks finished on the wrong end of an offensive shootout on Friday night, falling 56-42 to St. John Paul II in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
A game that featured an unofficial total of 1,158 combined yards of offense ended with St. John Paul II's first playoff win in program history. The Falcons made the playoffs for the first time last year.
“We never got the momentum swinging in our direction,” Brooks head coach Brad Black said. “They deserved it. They played harder than we did and they made the plays when we didn’t. That’s how you win games like that.”
St. John Paul II advanced to play Jacksonville in the next round.
The Falcons' offense was stopped only once in the game - a turnover on downs in the red zone - and they did not record a negative play until 3:30 remaining in the game.
St. John Paul II (9-2) never trailed, scoring narrowly over two minutes into the game when Seth Brown found Sean Zerkle for a 45-yard score.
The Lions (6-5) took the ensuing drive nearly the length of the field but Carson Daniel was intercepted in the end zone by Quetin Weston. Weston scored from 16 yards out on the next possession to extend the lead to 14-0.
The rest of the first half was a back-and-forth affair. Cam Beckwith’s first score came from four yards out and was answered nearly immediately by the Falcons when Brown connected with Paul Andrzejewski from seven yards out to hold a 21-8 lead after one quarter.
Brooks rolled down the field quickly to open the second quarter as Beckwith’s 10-yard score cut the deficit to 21-16.
Zerkle made another big play for his second score for 24 yards.
Beckwith answered again as the Lions kept the ball on the ground and Brooks trailed 28-24 after another successful two-point conversion.
Neither team was done scoring despite limited time remaining in the opening half. Bryan Moss scored on a 69-yard catch with 38.1 seconds left, which proved to be enough time for Daniel to lead the home offense down the field and hit Cam Doerflinger for an 18-yard score as time expired.
The two-point try failed and the Lions trailed 35-30 at the break.
Brooks was set to open the second half with the ball but the kickoff was a line drive right down the center that hit off a Lion and was recovered by the Falcons.
It took only a minute and three seconds for St. John Paul II to capitalize as Angelo Hunter ripped off a 30-yard run that led to a one-yard plunge for the sophomore running back.
Both teams scored two more times but the game never came within one possession again. Brown added touchdown runs of 28 and 29 yards while Daniel had a four-yard score and a 24-yard strike to Kobe Warden.
Warden finished the game with 10 catches for 200 yards and one touchdown.
“I wouldn’t want this feeling on anybody,” Warden said. “It’s my last time I ever get to put on a football helmet. I couldn’t go out not trying. I can speak for Carson, too, that’s not the way we play. We are fighting until the very last second.”
Daniel threw for 270 yards, two passing touchdowns and added 156 on the ground with the rushing touchdown.
Beckwith tallied 139 rushing yards on 20 carries with three touchdowns.
Brown racked up 257 passing yards, five passing touchdowns, 154 rushing yards, and two rushing scores.
Hunter led the ball game with 173 rushing yards on 25 carries. The Falcons’ top receiver was Zerkle, who finished with four catches for 107 yards.