Brooke Point tailback Larry Smith took the stern halftime words of his coaches personally. The junior more than doubled his first-half yardage and scored two touchdowns in the second half to lead the Black-Hawks to a 21-7 victory last night over winless Sherando.
Brooke Point maintained an outside shot at the Commonwealth District title by recovering from a sluggish first half to improve to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the district.
Sherando (0-7, 0-3) took a 7-0 lead into halftime on senior running back William Demus's eight-yard run early in the second quarter. The Warriors, who had allowed an average of 38 points in their first six games, limited Smith to 67 yards on 16 first-half carries.
In the second half, however, Smith racked up 148 yards on 15 carries to finish with a personal-high 205 yards.
"I was mad," Smith said. "The coaches were pretty upset at halftime, and it just got to me. I wanted to go out and show them something in the second half."
Smith's first touchdown was a 28-yard draw play with 9 minutes 34 seconds left in the third quarter. A Sherando penalty before the point-after attempt set up senior Arnelle Thomas's two-point conversion run, and Brooke Point took the lead.
With about three minutes left in the third quarter, Smith took a left-side pitch, cut inside safety Tavis Laws near the line of scrimmage, spun out of the arms of a Sherando linebacker and zigzagged the rest of the way to cap a 54-yard run.
"I've no clue what I did," said Smith, who runs a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash. "I closed my eyes and ran, and then when I opened them, I saw the end zone and went for it."
Brooke Point's defense also picked up its play in the second half. Sherando totaled 157 yards in the first half and just 62 yards after the break. Junior defensive end Robert Gunning had two tackles for losses and chased Sherando sophomore quarterback Michael Campbell on each of his nine passing attempts.
"Our concentration was as low as it has been all season during that first half," Brooke Point Coach Tom Berry said. "Sherando came ready to play and took it to us, so you have to give them credit."
Brooke Point quarterback Jeff Tate suffered a mild knee injury while playing cornerback during the second quarter and left the game briefly. His backup, sophomore Juan Parker, threw an interception on his first passing attempt. Tate later threw two interceptions.
With Brooke Point's defense holding firm, Thomas added an insurance touchdown with 2:05 remaining on a 24-yard run on a fourth-and-three play.
"We came out big-headed tonight, and we can't do that," Smith said. "We thought we were going to roll over this team, but they are a good football team. We are a second-half team, but we need to become a first- and second-half team if we expect to make the playoffs."
Sherando (0-7) 0 7 0 0--7
Brooke Point (4-2) 0 0 14 7--21
S--Demus 8 run (Whitacre kick)
BP--L. Smith 28 run (Thomas run)
BP--L. Smith 54 run (kick failed)
BP--Thomas 24 run (C. Smith kick)
RUSHING--Sherando: Miller 15-73, Rohrbaugh 11-38, Demus 8-33; Brooke Point: Smith 31-205, Thomas 4-31.
PASSING--Sherando: Campbell 3-9-0 55; Brooke Point: Tate 2-7-2 14, Parker 0-1-1 0.
RECEIVING--Sherando: Laws 1-35; Brooke Point: Beltran 1-8, Carosi 1-6.
CAPTION: After 67 yards in the first half, tailback Larry Smith (with football) helps Black-Hawks rally from 7-0 deficit by scoring two touchdowns. Smith finished with a career-high 205 yards.
CAPTION: Brooke Point junior Larry Smith has no place to go as Sherando's William Demus (1) and Denver Claywell get hold of the running back.
CAPTION: Warriors' Denver Claywell (77), Carter Fox make sure Larry Smith is down, but Black-Hawks tailback wasn't out, as he rushed for 148 yards in second half en route to career-best 205 yards on 31 carries.