* Brooke Point 35, Stafford 7
Brooke Point football Coach Tom Berry lamented his team's slow start in each of the three games that preceded last night's Commonwealth District contest against visiting Stafford. Black-Hawks senior strong safety Mike Chorzempa made sure that it did not happen again.
On the game's third play from scrimmage, Chorzempa made a spectacular hit on Stafford sophomore quarterback Brad Hayes and forced a turnover to set up Brooke Point's first score in a 35-7 victory in front of about 3,000.
Brooke Point (5-2, 3-1 Commonwealth) continued to improve offensively as senior quarterback Jeff Tate completed three passes for 107 yards to complement junior Larry Smith's 138-yard, three-touchdown performance.
Chorzempa's hit "really boosted our defense up," junior defensive end Robert Gunning said.
Hayes looked like he might convert a third-and-six play by scrambling to his right, but Chorzempa lifted him off the ground at the first-down marker with a hit that jarred the ball loose. Senior defensive end Vinnie Stewart recovered for Brooke Point, and five plays later Tate scored on a six-yard run.
Hayes "was going for the first down, and he tried to jump over me," Chorzempa said. "I just kept my head up and ran through him. I didn't know the ball was loose until I saw Vinnie with it."
Stafford (3-4, 2-2) committed four turnovers and scored only on Hayes's 84-yard pass completion to junior Jason Dauch late in the first quarter.
Brooke Point's defense has allowed an average of 7.4 points a game.
"We didn't protect the ball tonight," Stafford Coach Roger Pierce said. "They made the big plays, and big plays are what win football games."
Tate, who sprained his left knee last week against Sherando, had one of his best performances of the season, Berry said. Under heavy pressure in the first quarter, Tate hit senior Byron Dunham between the numbers as he cut across the Stafford secondary. Dunham outran the Indians' defensive backs to turn the 15-yard pass into a 47-yard touchdown. That score put the Black-Hawks ahead, 14-0.
Stafford scored on its next play from scrimmage, but Brooke Point held the momentum by giving to Smith, who scored on a seven-yard run with 5 minutes 25 seconds remaining in the half. He added scores of six and eight yards, respectively, in the second half.
Late in the third quarter, Tate found Dunham again, this time for a 48-yard reception that was stopped six yards short of the end zone by Indians senior Hugh Parker. Smith scored on the next play.
"I felt like I knew where my receivers would be tonight," Tate said. "Maybe now people will think of our offense as something other than a joke. It took our offense a little while to gel, but this is the best time of year to do it."
BP--Tate 6 run (T. Smith kick)
BP--Dunham 47 pass from Tate (T. Smith kick)
S--Dauch 84 pass from Hayes (Chamberlin kick)
BP--L. Smith 7 run (T. Smith kick)
BP--L. Smith 6 run (T. Smith kick)
BP--L. Smith 8 run (T. Smith kick)
RUSHING--Stafford: Dawson 14-68, Hilleary 6-18; Brooke Point: L. Smith 17-138, Morgan 6-31, Anthony 4-20.
PASSING--Stafford: Hayes 5-7-1 133; Brooke Point: Tate 3-7-0 107.
RECEIVING--Stafford: Dauch 1-84, Love 2-43, Parker 1-3, Dawson 1-3; Brooke Point: Dunham 2-95, Beltran 1-12 .