Brookwood's McCostlin has 229 yards, three touchdowns
Fri. August 31, 2012 at 11:49 p.m. | By A.A. Moore
Brookwood’s Ladarius Smith (80) brings down Hale County’s Grant Stevens during Friday night’s game at Brookwood. (Photo by Erin Nelson)
BROOKWOOD | During Ricky Bush’s tenure as head coach at Brookwood, his team consistently has had to claw and scratch for every yard, with each point coming at a premium.
If this year’s team continues to do what it did in its season-opening 28-13 win over Hale County, the Panthers may surprise quite a few people along the way. The offense — anchored by running back Anthony McCostlin’s 229-yard, three-touchdown performance — made several big plays in key situations to fight off the Wildcats (0-1).
“We had to have someone step up. McCostlin put the load on his shoulder and carried us home,” Bush said. “(Seth) Franks also made some outstanding decisions with the ball in some key moments.”
McCostlin went right to work from the opening bell, scoring on a 4-yard run on Brookwood’s opening possession. Those were the only points in the first half as the Wildcats led 6-0 at halftime.
But his work was just getting started.
In the third quarter, he added a 6-yard scoring run and had almost 150 yards rushing when Justin Carter broke loose for a 38-yard touchdown jaunt late in the third to give Brookwood a 20-7 advantage.
“The offensive line did an excellent job protecting the quarterback and setting up different holes,” said McCostlin, who had 40 carries on the night. “They know I like to cut back and they were setting me up for some big runs.”
Hale County, playing its first game for head coach Joey Milligan, struggled offensively for much of the night. Still, touchdown passes from quarterback Grant Stevens to Aaron Sheffield (30 yards) and Evan Junkin (15 yards) had the Wildcats trailing just 20-13 with 9:43 left.
“It was our first game and we wanted to move the ball and get on the board early. We just didn’t play a good first half of football and our defense spent a lot of time on the field,” Milligan said. “In the second half, they kept running the ball and started controlling the clock and it started to wear us down.”
But on the ensuing drive, facing a third-and-11, Seth Franks (8 of 13, 102 yards) made a key 12 -yard completion to Caleb Franks to get a fresh set of downs. The Panthers didn’t need them as on the next play, McCostlin broke free for a 50-yard touchdown run that put the game out of reach.