FLORENCE — Deion Bonton scored twice in the first quarter as Brooks jumped out to an early lead and held on to defeat Wilson 42-12 on Friday night, ending the Warriors’ playoff hopes.
Wilson (4-5, 3-4) needed a win coupled with an East Lawrence loss to qualify for the playoffs in coach Scott Brown’s first season. East Lawrence lost, but Wilson couldn’t beat its cross-county rival.
Brooks (8-1, 7-0) clinched the region championship last week with its win over Central.
“They’re a good football team,” Brown said. “You can’t give them opportunities the way we did, and when you have an opportunity you have to capitalize on it. I’m proud of our effort though. Our kids played hard and they didn’t quit tonight, and that’s something to build on. We’re going to go out and work hard this week and look forward to finishing our season strong against Elkmont.”
Brooks took the opening drive 60 yards in seven plays. Bonton’s 4-yard touchdown run gave the Lions an early 7-0 lead.
Caylen McAfee intercepted a pass that helped set up a 2-yard touchdown run from Bonton as the Lions took a 13-0 first quarter lead.
Bonton rushed for 104 yards on 16 carries.
Skyler Beck found Javonta Johnson in the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Beck ran the 2-point conversion for a 21-0 lead.
Beck was 15 of 23 passing for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
The second half got off to a wild start when Ricardo Maston recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff and took it 36 yards for a touchdown and a 28-0 Brooks lead.
Wilson quickly answered when Jason Futrell returned the kickoff 78 yards for a touchdown.
Ryan Crouch recovered a fumble for the Warriors on Brooks’s first play from scrimmage of the second half, and James Whited ran up the middle for a 40-yard touchdown on Wilson’s first play from scrimmage for the third touchdown in the first minute of the second half, trimming Brooks’ lead to 28-14.
Whited rushed 17 times for 129 yards. Futrell had 106 yards rushing on 23 carries.
Wilson successfully executed an onside kick which was recovered by Sam Hopson, but the Warriors’ drive stalled when Austin Broadfoot recovered a fumble for Brooks.
Brooks then went 57 yards in nine plays. Beck’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Mason Castile gave the Lions a 35-14 lead.
Ray Beasley scored on a 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we played well except for that crazy flurry early in the second half,” Brooks head coach Jerry Hill said. “Give Wilson some credit though. They made some big plays. Our defense played much better than they have the past couple of weeks. Offensively, we’ve been playing pretty well, but I thought the way our defense played tonight was the key to the game. One of our goals was to go undefeated in the region, and we accomplished that tonight.