Fourth-ranked Grayson broke open a tight game early in the second half and beat Region 8-AAAAAA rival Brookwood 42-13 during Senior Night Friday at Grayson Community Stadium.
The Rams intercepted two of Brookwood quarterback Zach Moon’s first three passes after halftime, and Kasey Gaines returned the second pick 43 yards for a score to put Grayson up 35-13 with 10:09 left in the third quarter.
Cory Schaeffer also intercepted Moon, who had gone 7-for-9 passing for 161 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, including a 68-yard connection with running back Jamaal Cole.
“I felt like we weathered the storm in the first half,” Grayson coach Mickey Conn said. “The turnovers gave us the momentum.”
Grayson defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s top recruit who de-committed from Clemson earlier in the week, led the Rams with 74 yards rushing on 10 rushes to go along with three tackles, three quarterback hurries and two sacks on defense in his last regular-season home game.
“He’s a great player and was feeling it tonight,” said Conn, who refused comment about Nkemdiche’s decision.
Grayson drove 73 yards on eight plays to go ahead late in the first quarter. A 30-yard run by David Fennell set the Rams up inside the 20 before Jordan Germany went into the right corner of the end zone with 1:37 to go.
After forcing a turnover on downs, Brookwood broke even with a 46-yard drive early in the second quarter. Facing 3rd-and-26 from the 46, Moon hit Ky Priester for a touchdown pass.
The Rams responded with an 11-play, 88-drive behind the arm and legs of quarterback David McTier, who sneaked in from the 1. He also converted a third-down inside the 20 and threw for 44 yards on the drive to put his team ahead 14-7 with 4:24 to play in the second quarter.
After Moon’s connection with Cole, Nkemdiche scored on an 8-yard run to put Grayson up 21-13 just before halftime.
“You can’t make mistakes against good football teams and stay in the game,” Brookwood head coach Mark Crews said. “The turnovers put our backs against the wall.”
Grayson (9-1, 7-1 in Region 8-AAAAAA) needed a Parkview loss to win the region title. Brookwood (6-4, 5-3) will enter the playoffs as the region’s fourth seed and play at No. 2 Lassiter next week.
Brookwood 0 – 13 – 0 – 0 – 13
Grayson 7 – 14 – 14 – 7 – 42
Grayson – Jordan Germany 7 run (Alex Louthan kick)
Brookwood – Zach Moon 41 pass to Ky Priester (Brandon Morrow kick)
Grayson – David McTier 1 run (Louthan kick)
Brookwood – Moon 68 pass to Jamaal Cole (kick blocked)
Grayson – Robert Nkemdiche 8 run (Louthan kick)
Grayson – McTier 1 run (Louthan kick)
Grayson – Kasey Gaines 43 int ret (Louthan kick)
Grayson – Wayne Gallman 4 run (Louthan kick)