Donald Brooks carries Trinity football past Cocoa 35-32

Donald Brooks carries Trinity football past Cocoa 35-32


Donald Brooks carries Trinity football past Cocoa 35-32

Trinity overcame a 26-14 halftime deficit behind the running of Donald Brooks


Trinity overcame a 26-14 halftime deficit behind the running of Donald Brooks

Told that Trinity High School senior running back Donald Brooks has just one scholarship offer — from NAIA-level Kentucky Christian — Cocoa (Fla.) coach John Wilkinson simply shook his head.

After all, Wilkinson had just witnessed Brooks run roughshod over his defense.

“He’s one of the best running backs we’ve faced in 10 years I’ve been at Cocoa,” Wilkinson said. “He’s always going forward. He can run. He’s fast. He’s physical.

“I’m going to go back and call every school in Florida and tell them they’re missing the boat on him because that’s ridiculous. He’s an unbelievable player.”

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Brooks backed up those words Friday, rushing for 199 yards on 34 carries and accounting for four touchdowns as the Shamrocks posted a 35-32 victory at Marshall Stadium.

Cocoa (2-1) is ranked No. 53 in the nation by Trinity (3-2) won its third straight game and showed it might also deserve a spot in the website’s top 100.

“This just means we’re one of the best teams in the state,” Brooks said. “We have enough talent and athleticism and leadership to win state.”

Trinity overcame a 26-14 halftime deficit behind the running of Brooks and a defense that held the visitors to 102 yards and four first downs in the second half. That came after a first half in which the speedy Tigers scored touchdowns on plays of 74, 11, 62 and 28 yards.

Trinity’s Donald Brooks looks down Cocoa’s Jamel Dean during a gain late in the first half. 9/19/14

“For some reason our kids were hesitant,” Trinity coach Bob Beatty said of his defense’s play in the first half. “And with that kind of speed, when you hesitate, you’re going to lose.”

The Shamrocks had a chance to cut into Cocoa’s lead just before halftime, but on second-and-goal from the 6, sophomore quarterback Larry Harper III was intercepted by Chauncey Gardner in the end zone with 36.7 seconds left.

Beatty said that interception led him to go to senior quarterback Ryan Young in the second half. On his third throw of the game, Young found Brooks for a 47-yard touchdown pass that pulled the Shamrocks within 26-21 at the 7:46 mark of the third quarter.

“He brings some leadership because he’s a senior,” Beatty said of Young. “We have to go with somebody who can’t turn it over in there, and I think we were ready for a change.”

Brooks, who threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Jones in the third quarter, used his legs to give Trinity the lead for good. His 43-yard TD run made it 28-26 at the 2:13 mark of the third. His 1-yard plunge out of the wildcat formation gave the Shamrocks a 35-26 cushion with 10:16 left in the fourth.

“We don’t panic,” Brooks said. “We’ve been here before. We just pushed.”

Justin Weaver’s 20-yard touchdown run pulled the Tigers within 35-32 with 7:50 left, and they got a final possession when Trinity’s drive stalled at the 3 with 2:02 left.

Cocoa moved to its 41 with less than 30 seconds left, but the Shamrocks’ defense made a final stand, sacking Bruce Judson on second down, forcing an incomplete pass on third down and holding Judson to a 2-yard run on fourth down.

Linebacker Damon Lowe led the Trinity defense with 5½ tackles, including two for losses.

“I feel like fatigue kicked in a little bit,” Lowe said of a Cocoa team that dressed just 32 players. “We had to step up and play. They came to play, and we came to play. In the second half we had to see who’s a man or not.”

Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and followed on Twitter @kyhighs.













C – Jamel Dean 74 pass from Bruce Judson (Alex Petruzzello kick); T – Dalton Jones 15 pass from Larry Harper III (Andrew Deye kick); T – Jones 28 pass from Donald Brooks (Deye kick); C – Zack Armour 11 pass from Judson (Juwan Armstrong kick); C – Asante Griffin 63 pass from Judson (kick failed); C – Justin Weaver 28 run (pass failed); T – Brooks 47 pass from Ryan Young (Deye kick); T – Brooks 43 run (Deye kick); T – Brooks 1 run (Deye kick); C – Weaver 20 run (kick blocked).



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