By john bassetti
Friday had an unusual start for Brookfield, but it ended with a usual victory.
Uncertain of its opponent until early afternoon because of a legal decision, Brookfield made the most of the murkiness by cleaning up on Ashtabula Edgewood, 38-14, in a Division IV, Region 13 quarterfinal at Girard High’s Arrowhead Stadium.
With the help of a strong line, Ryan Mosora had four rushing touchdowns to bring his season total to 25 for Brookfield, which is enjoying its first 11-0 season since the school’s 1978 Class AA state championship team.
Mosora, who was enjoying his first playoff victory, had TD runs of 17, 24, 11 and 3 yards.
Until a court ruling clarified a case that was out of Brookfield’s control, school officials and Mosora didn’t find out until 2 p.m. that his team’s opponent would be Edgewood.
“We weren’t sure who it would be,” said the 5-foot-11, 185 senior running back, who finished with 190 yards on 30 carries.
Brookfield (11-0) also beat Edgewood, 49-13, during Week 7 of the regular season.
Brookfield took a 14-0 lead until Edgewood (6-4) got on the board on Riis Smith’s 4-yard touchdown run.
“Just give him the ball and see what he can do and he got in the end zone four times which is good for us,” said quarterback Jeremy Quinlan, who was 4 of 10 for 67 yards with two interceptions and picked up 65 yards on 12 carries.
“Our line was opening up holes and we were hitting them and he [Mosora] got long runs and scored,” said the 6-3, 180 Quinlan.
Mosora gained his yards behind center Eric Martin, left guard David Jamieson, right guard Adam Gann, left tackle Gary Hiner and right tackle Eric Kusky.
Ahead 14-6 at halftime, Brookfield needed to separate itself from Edgewood. Taking the second-half kickoff was the perfect opportunity.
Hitting his twin brother, Jimmy, on a “fake 16” pass play was a solution as the Quinlan-to-Quinlan combination put Brookfield 35 yards closer to the end zone at Edgewood’s 23.
The pass play involved a fake to Mosora and a throw to Jimmy. A minute later, Mosora scored from 11 yards out and Brookfield was ahead, 21-6.
Edgewood produced just 43 yards on 31 rushing plays — a testament to Brookfield’s defense.
“It’s a great feeling,” Jeremy Quinlan said of the win, which helped erase last year’s loss to Creston Norwayne in the first round of the playoffs.
Coach Randy Clark said field position was a key factor.
“Edgewood came out and had a good game plan in the first half and executed well,” he said. “Their kids got after it and took away the stuff we like to do, so we had to adjust at halftime.”
Clark alluded to the first drive of the third quarter.
“We knew we had to go out and take care of business when we got the second-half kickoff,” he said. “We made some adjustments at halftime and thought it would work and our kids got into the trenches and came through.”
Joe Clark’s 19-yard run capped the scoring and return yardage was important, too, with Collin Harkulich having two runbacks for 47 yards and Derek Sulick two for 40. Mosora also had one for 33.