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High school football: Brooke Point views victory over North Stafford as a sign of things to come next season

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It’s been a long journey for the Brooke Point football team this season.

The Black–Hawks gave up 70 points in their first game against Freedom, endured a COVID-19 layoff and then struggled through a tough Commonwealth District schedule. Entering Friday’s final game against North Stafford, they had just three victories.

But after outlasting the visiting Wolverines 28–24 with one of their best performances of the year on senior night, coach Dwight Hazelwood’s young squad made a statement for the future.

“This team has a lot of resolve,” said Hazelwood. “They love playing football and they’ve wanted to do this for a long time. We have nearly everybody back next year. I’m excited for them and for the future of Brooke Point football.”

The win halted a three-game skid for Brooke Point (4–5), while North Stafford closed its campaign at 3–6.

Quarterback Noah Sanders and running back Daniel Coles were standouts for the Black–Hawks all night. Sanders opened the scoring with a 40-yard sprint up the middle and Coles added a pair of touchdown runs, including the game winner with a minute left.

Their efforts helped produce a 22–6 lead for Brooke Point early in the third quarter. But it took a big-time stand by the Black–Hawks’ defense in the final seconds to preserve their victory.

“We wanted this one,” said Sanders. “It means a lot to us. We’ve come a long way this year.”

Coles’ 5-yard run put Brooke Point in front by 16 points with two minutes gone in the third quarter and things looked bright for the Black–Hawks.

But North Stafford has been a battle-tested team this year as well, and the Wolverines showed their mettle. Using the running of power back Tevin White and freshman quarterback Zion Gray, they took a 24–22 lead with 6 minutes left.

“We faced a lot of adversity this year,” said Wolverines coach Neil Sullivan. “You name it, we’ve faced it. But I’m really proud of these guys and the way we fought back.”

The Wolverines lost starting quarterback Jack Pearson to an injury in the first quarter, but may have found a budding star in Gray. The 5-foot-7 speedster rushed for 147 yards and scored twice to spark the late-game rally.

White’s 3-yard plunge capped a long drive and then Gray darted into the end zone from 3 yards out after a Black–Hawks fumble to give North Stafford the lead, 22–18.

It didn’t take long for the Black–Hawks to respond to the challenge. Sanders engineered a final scoring drive that sealed their win. Coles set up his own 1-yard touchdown with a bruising 15-yard burst on third down.

With a minute left, Brook Point’s defense then rose to the occasion. Led by defensive back Manny Thomas and an aggressive secondary, the Black–Hawks stopped Gray and the North Stafford aerial attack on four straight plays to secure the victory.

“We gave up 70 points in the beginning of the year and then to see how we played defense at the end of the game tonight shows the growth and maturity of this team,” said Hazelwood. “We came a long way.”

North Stafford      0   6   6   12   —   24
Brooke Point7786   —28
First Quarter
BP—Noah Sanders 40-yard run (Aaron Alexander kick)
Second Quarter
NS—Dino Jones 6-yard pass from Zion Gray (kick failed)
BP—Emmanuel Thomas 1-yard run (Aaron Alexander kick)
Third Quarter
BP—Daniel Coles 5-yard run (Dante Terrell run)
NS—Zion Gray 20-yard run (pass failed)
Fourth Quarter
NS—Tevin White 3-yard run (kick failed)
NS—Zion Gray 3-yard run (kick blocked)
BP—Daniel Coles 1-yard run (kick blocked
First downs1413
Rushes-yards      33-202     34-120
Passing yards4671
Comp-Att-Int  6-16-05-13-1
Punts-avg. 3-21.64-33.0
RUSHING: North Stafford—Tevin White 15-61, TD; Jack Pearson 1-(-6); Zion Gray 17-147, 2TD. Brooke Point—Noah Sanders 16-64, TD; Emmanuel Thomas 3-5; Danile Coles 13-52, 2TD; Christian Taylor 1-0; Dante Terrell 1-(-1).
PASSING: North Stafford—Jack Person 1-3-0, 6 yards; Zion Gray 4-13-0, 30 yards, TD. Brooke Point—Noah Sanders 4-10-0, 64 yards; Emmanuel Thomas 1-3-1, 6 yards.
RECEIVING: North Stafford—Dino Jones 3-22, TD; Cliff Davis 3-24. Brooke Point—Wesley Forde 1-35; Noah Sanders 1-6; Christian Taylor 1-9; Daniel Coles 2-21.

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