Unbeaten Trojans stunned by Brookwood
by Greg Oshust
November 17, 2012 02:14 AM | 7682 views | 14 14 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brookwood at Lassiter

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MARIETTA — Last year, Lassiter saw its quest for a state title end with a loss to Walton, one round short of the championship game.

This year, the Trojans seemed well on their way to resuming their title quest, winning a Region 5AAAAAA title, capping an undefeated regular season and ascending to No. 1 in the state rankings.

But that quest came to a stunningly early end Friday as Lassiter lost to Brookwood, 24-21 in overtime, in a first-round Class AAAAAA playoff game at Frank Fillmann Stadium.

Lassiter (10-1) appeared to have the game under control with a 21-0 lead in the second quarter, but Brookwood (7-4), the fourth seed from Region 8AAAAAA, followed up field goals in the second and third quarters with an 15-point fourth to force the game into overtime.

Brandon Morrow’s 32-yard field goal in the extra period provided the winning points for the Broncos, who will now play at Mill Creek in the second round next week.

“I’m really proud of our kids,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “We needed a couple more scores on offense, and we needed to get our defense off the field.”

It was an unexpected turn of events for a Lassiter team that just finished its second undefeated regular season in four years and had just achieved the top ranking in the state poll for the first time.

Lassiter got the ball first in overtime, starting on the Brookwood 15-yard line, and Lane Jackman ran 2 yards to move the ball to the 13.

On the next play, however, quarterback Eddie Printz threw an pass that was picked off by Brookwood defensive back Colin Cotter in the end zone, giving the Broncos possession of the ball.

Brookwood immediately went for the win, with Morrow’s 32-yard field-goal attempt clearing the uprights and completing the upset.

Morrow began Brookwood’s comeback with a 35-yard field goal with 2:06 remaining in the first half, and one for 41 yards with 3:32 left in the third quarter, to cut Lassiter’s lead to 21-6.

Lassiter fell short in its next chance to extend its lead when Luke Hardin missed a 34-yard field goal attempt with 7:55 remaining in the third quarter.

Brookwood jumped right back on its next possession as Moon threw a 56-yard pass to Cole to move the ball to the Lassiter 3 and set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Josh Brown with 6:44 left in the quarter.

The Broncos were successful on their 2-point conversion attempt as Moon ran the ball in on a quarterback keeper to cut their deficit to 21-14.

“We really struggled in the second half,” Irwin said. “They made adjustments on defense and we couldn’t get a score that could have put the game away. Our defense hung in there as long as they could, but, on offense, (Brookwood) made some good plays at the end of the game to get the win.”

Things looked much different in the first half as Lassiter scored a touchdown in the first quarter and two more in the second to jump out to a 21-0 lead.

The Trojans built their advantage on the ground instead of relying on usually potent passing game, which struggled throughout the contest.

Jackman scored on a 14-yard run with 6:35 remaining in the first quarter, while Hakim Shahid ran the ball in for a touchdown with 1:14 left in the quarter. Josh Danforth scampered 2 yards into the end zone with 7:22 left in the first half to give the Trojans a 21-0 lead.

“I’m so proud of our kids to keep fighting and not giving up and coming back against a really good football team,” Brookwood coach Mark Crews said. “Probably, everybody in the stadium counted us out in the middle of the second quarter. Our kids didn’t quit and it was a great victory for us and for our program.”
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Brookwood Fan
November 22, 2012
Welcome to our world! It seemed like Brookwood played against the officials all year in all our Gwinnett games. However, one can hardly blame the refs for Lassiter's loss. Whether there were bad calls were not, how did Lassiter get in that position at the end of the game in the first place? From everything I could see, about 18 minutes into the game, when it was 21 to 0, Lassiter's coaches and players just quit on the game. From that point on, for the next thirty minutes, Lassiter simply got out-coached, out-played, out-hustled -- and in the end, beaten.
November 23, 2012
Players didn't quit. Dumb substitions, terrible play calling and poor attitude from coaches secured our meltdown. Attitude reflects leadership.

We have experienced this all year. Some wins even felt like loses. A great team like Brookwood wasn't going to let us get away with it this time.
Former Trojan
November 20, 2012
I am a Lassiter graduate and for all of you that dont know better...the Lassiter High School Boaster association controls the outcome of the season more so than the coaching staff. At Lassiter its all about the dollar$. If anyone gets on here and says anything other than that they are crazy because I lived it first hand. In East Cobb the parents have nothing better to do than politic and lobby for their sons playing time which puts the Coaches in a weird situation.

Greg Hunt
November 25, 2012
First of all...HOW DARE YOU! You make accusations and hide behind a fake name. Notice my name is out front for you to see. You want to talk about this further...come see me. Secondly, I was on the board for two years and know first hand that your accusations are FALSE! Even though I was on the board and my son played, he did so when he performed well in practice and the games. When he did not, he sat on the bench. In addition, no one ever attempted to pay for their son to get playing time. Furthermore, the coaches had no clue who had paid the TDC dues or not. So, their coaching decisions were strictly based on who they best felt could help the team. Maybe your son did not have the skills or talent needed to compete at the high school level. There is no shame in that. I am sure that he has talents in other areas.

I suggest that you look at how best to support your son in whatever he does and stop blaming everyone else.
25 Year Trojan
November 19, 2012
I believe this was the most talented Lassiter team to ever take the field at the Frank. That said I believe it was too much talent for the coaches to handle. They jumped on opponents early and for whatever reason we take the pressure off way too early. The coaches actually gave other teams the momentum by doing so. In several games we won it felt like a loss.

We were more successful last year because we played from behind many games and were fighting to stay alive in the playoffs. Playing "to not lose" is the quickest way for failure. It put too much pressure on the defense. Brookwood 24 LHS 21. Lassiter will not have that problem next year because they will not jump out on people without the 2012 scoring firepower.

I am proud of all the accolades this 2012 team has accomplished. #1 in the state, winning region and going undefeated in the regular season. There are too many players to name but I wish them all success in the future.

November 19, 2012
Most would agree this was easily the most talented team top to bottom in school history. Unfortunately they fell short of expectations.

It will be hard to replace what could amount to 7 or 8 seniors going on to play in college (maybe more?).

Biggest questions next year will be replacing the front 7 on D and the QB. The offense will still likely put up points but could have some bumps in the road. The good is the RB and o0line will be experienced to take some of the pressure off the passing game while the new QB (whoever that ends up being) gets used to Friday nights.
Dang man
November 18, 2012
Best team money can buy and you are out in the first round....nice job Coach Irwin
football fan
November 17, 2012
The trojans felt the mighty wrath of the broncos and bowed under leaving only the bitter taste of defeat in the mouths of their fans. It was a fitting end to the cobb county region's football season. Every cobb county school lost tonight. The cobb schools will be back again next year only to be humiliated again.
Mark B
November 17, 2012
Officiating was horrible! Police was horse collared to save a kick off return {75 yards before dragged down). Time had already expired to end the game, game can't end on a defensive penalty, Lassiter could have kicked a field goal to win. Officials missed at least 3 other horse collars or face masks.
November 18, 2012
Mark B, you must've had the same crew that we had at Walton. DJ Smith was facemasked AND horse collared on a huge gain and they called holding on Walton. There were 6 holding calls for Walton and zero for Parkview. Every time we had a big gain, it was called back. Parkview players were tearing at the jerseys on Walton players and no whistles. It's really too bad when they determine the game. I feel bad for you because I really wanted both teams to advance.

We also had another situation where one of their players was literally straddling a Walton player on his back. The Panther was swinging his fists at him and our stands erupted. Half our coaching staff ran towards our kid with an official standing right there. No whistle. They sure love their Gwinnett teams.
Hey Ref
November 19, 2012
I am not one to blame refs but it was blatant bias. Dave Hunter must must have sent a memo at halftime. No Corky Kell invite and bias officiating in the playoffs. I guess he is still bitter after getting beat in the Dome last year.
K train
November 17, 2012
Capt Jerry
November 17, 2012
Lassiter was outcoached in the second half. Brookwood made adjustments and Lassiter coaches thought they could rest on an early lead.

Lassiter fans knew it was coming because it happened all year. Started against Hillgrove with a second have meltdown to give up 29 points. You would think coaches would learn from their mistakes during the season. Guess not, now they are home for the holidays.
November 18, 2012
As much as I hated it, it will hopefully being a tougher, never-let-up attitude next year. You are right, people have pointed out the coaches have let up in a lot of games once they were up by 14 and that got into the players' heads I think.

They rarely let Printz try and go more than 10 yards on passes for 3 quarters when everyone knows that was a huge weakness of Brookwood.

Losing a lot of talent from this team next year. Gonna have to have people step up and fill holes to continue their playoff streak. But, IMO, the play-calling killed them more than anything.

I will agree the officiating was not very good in the 2nd half especially. It seemed like the refs let them play in the 1st half but in the 2nd half made some calls/no calls that decided the outcome.

That said though, brookwood outplayed and coached them in the 2nd half. Not sure I can say the better team won, but sports in HS can be a funny thing when you have teenagers out there with a lot of other stuff going on in their lives.
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