Brooks coach Jerry Hill knew his team would be somewhat of a work-in-progress early this season as the Lions replaced several starters from the 2011 season.
Hill hoped his team would improve each week and be able to make a run late in the season, and that’s exactly what has happened.
Brooks (11-1) brings a seven-game winning streak into tonight’s Class 4A quarterfinal game as the Lions host Madison County (11-1).
“There are a lot of teams that played really well early in the season that have already gone home,” Hill said. “Our goal was to get better every week and be playing our best at the end of the season. It’s all about peaking at the right time.”
The Lions’ offense certainly has been at its best in the playoffs.
Brooks has been scoring at will, averaging 48.5 points in its two playoff
Senior quarterback Skyler Beck has thrown for 597 yards and five touchdowns in the postseason. Devin Henson had eight catches for 199 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 45-35 victory over Munford.
Brooks also has a solid running game with running backs Darius Bonton and Raekeal Beasley leading the way.
“We’ve had good offenses for the past six or seven years and we’ve always been blessed with good skill people,” Hill said. “But as far as being balanced, this is the best we’ve had.”
While Beck and the other skill players have all put together outstanding seasons, Hill said the key is up front.
“Our offensive line has improved so much from the beginning of the season,” he said. “We had three new senior starters this year and they have come a long way.
“It takes a while for an offensive line to jell. The communication up front has been so much better later in the season and it has made a big difference with our offense.”
The Lions will see another good offense tonight. Madison County has also been on a roll and is coming off a 55-42 victory over Lincoln.
Madison County’s offense is led by senior running back Jordan Chunn. A Troy commitment, Chunn ran for 194 yards and two touchdowns, and returned a kickoff 94 yards for a score in the win against Lincoln. In the Tigers’ first-round victory over Rogers, Chunn ran for 153 yards and three touchdowns.
“He is an outstanding back,” Hill said. “He is capable of breaking a long run at any time. But Madison County is strong all over. We’re going to have to play a great game but that’s what you expect at this time of the year.”
Brooks will be trying to advance to the semifinals for the second time in school history and the first since 2007. Hill said that while the players understand how significant it would be to advance they are not about to think that far ahead.
“Our kids have done have really good job of staying focused each week,” Hill said. “We haven’t made a big deal about reaching the semifinals. We’re just going to keep playing them one at a time and see where it leads us.”
Jeff McIntyre can be reached at 256-740-5737 or jeff.mcintyre@TimesDaily.com.