By John Bassetti
To say that Brookfield manhandled Manchester is not a stretch.
With Brookfield piling up 512 yards to Manchester’s 297, it’s easy to call the Warriors’ 55-14 Division IV, Region 13 semifinal at Twinsburg High School a blowout.
Receiver and linebacker Jimmy Quinlan said it succinctly: “We dominated on the line and on defense. We shut them down.”
With one 8-yard catch on offense and eight tackles on defense, Jimmy Quinlan wasn’t the big name of the night, but he’s a slightly older twin of quarterback Jeremy Quinlan, who had 250 yards. Running back Ryan Mosora had five touchdowns and 145 yards to top 2,000 yards rushing this season.
Brookfield was the master on the ground with 64 rushing plays for 463 yards, while Manchester had 12 for 20 yards. However, Manchester’s Nick Peyakov, a 6-3, 215 senior, was 10 of 27 for 277 yards passing.
Not only did Brookfield roll up 286 of its 304 first-half yards on the ground, but the Warriors stopped the Panthers on fourth-down running plays twice — first at Brookfield’s 22 in the first quarter and again at Brookfield’s 16 in the second quarter.
Besides a 41-yard interception that set up Brookfield’s last touchdown of the first half, Mosora also had a 69-yard run from scrimmage that set up the Warriors’ second TD.
In the opening half, Jeremy Quinlan gained 156 on 17 carries, while Mosora had 113 yards on 14 attempts.
Again, this time in the third quarter, Brookfield forced Manchester to give up the ball on downs at the Panthers’ own 42 after Peyakov threw an incomplete pass on 4th-and-19.
“I guess we didn’t play very well tonight,” said Manchester coach Jim France. “We didn’t tackle, then when we got so far behind they knew we had to throw the ball, but we didn’t do that very well, except for a couple plays.”
He was asked what’s most impressive about Brookfield.
“They’ve got the good quarterback,” France said. “Tonight, I thought he was the key to their team. Our game plan was to keep them off the field as much as we could because we knew they had the potential to score a lot of points. But when you don’t tackle, it’s hard to keep them off the field. They didn’t punt the first half. So if keeping them off the field was our game plan, it obviously didn’t work.”
Brookfield left guard David Jamieson was part of the offensive effort for the Warriors (12-0), who will meet defending state champion Creston Norwayne next.
“We came out on fire tonight and executed well up front and pushed them around,” he said.
Jamieson didn’t stop short of saying that the Warriors are scoring on every play, he flat-out said it.
“Offensively, we’re a powerhouse right now. We’re scoring every play,” he said, noting that all offensive plays were successful, especially the inside and outside zone plays.
Also along the line with Jamieson are center Eric Martin, left tackle Gary Hiner, right guard Adam Gann and right tackle Eric Kusky.