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Greenville blanks Brookwood

By A.A. MOORE
The Tuscaloosa News

BROOKWOOD — There are few times where a team comes out on the losing end of a football game and feels like it won a championship.

But Brookwood, after losing a rugged game to Greenville 14-0 on Friday night, celebrated as if everything was right with the world. Thanks to a 7-6 loss by Central to Chilton County, the Panthers will make their first appearance in the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs since 1998. Brookwood was in fourth place in Class 5A, Region 3, needing a win over Greenville or a loss by Central to make the playoffs.

Brookwood coach Ricky Bush was already happy with his team’s effort against region champion Greenville (8-1, 7-0) before he shared the results of the Central game with his players.

“I felt like we had a chance to come in and do something special tonight,” Bush said. “Our kids played hard and gave us a chance, and that’s all you can ask them to do. We played against the best in our region, and we had a chance to win the game. We just came up a little bit short.”

Brookwood (3-6, 3-4) trailed 7-0 at halftime after Cornelius Ball picked up a Jacob Bush fumble and returned it 27 yards for a score in the second quarter. The Panthers dodged several other Greenville scoring chances in the first half. The Tigers missed a 33-yard field-goal attempt on their first possession, then had a 60-yard punt return and a 56-yard touchdown pass nullified on back-to-back plays because of penalties.

The Panthers’ offense struggled all night. A good first drive stalled at the Greenville 27, but it would be the last play Brookwood ran from the Tigers’ side of the field.

The defense, though, was solid. The Tigers, who averaged 30 points per game during their seven-game win streak entering the contest, were only able to muster one more score on a 2-yard run by backup quarterback Jerome Watkins in the fourth quarter.