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Brookfield holds off LaBrae; returns to playoffs

November 2, 2013
By DAVID BAUGH - Tribune Chronicle correspondent ( , Underthelights

BROOKFIELD - Friday night's contest between Brookfield and LaBrae was a "chess vs. checkers" battle.

While LaBrae quarterback Justin Jenkins "jumped" Brookfield's defense with a pair of long touchdown passes of 69 and 80 yards to fellow Viking Marcell Richardson, it was ultimately Brookfield's ability to sustain drives and move the chains that allowed them to control the game.

With 8:58 remaining in the game, Brookfield put the Vikings in check with a 12-play, 69-yard drive that resulted in a 6-yard touchdown run by Joe Clark. The checkmate came in the closing moments of the game as Brookfield's Nate Morrison jumped over the Vikings defense with a 50-yard touchdown run as the Warriors closed their 8-2 regular season with a 37-21 victory on senior night.

Not only was Brookfield coach Randy Clark very satisfied with his team's toughness, but he commended them for the consistency that they showed all season long.

"I'm proud of our kids for stepping up," Randy Clark said. "We've banged up throughout the year, but a lot of kids have stepped up. LaBrae did a nice job of sitting on our run game, but our kids sucked it up and made plays here tonight."

With the exception of an interception grabbed by LaBrae's Jacob Jackson to close the half, Brookfield quarterback Augustus Necastro was consistent all night as he totaled 220 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. R.J. Leon had 6 catches for 75 yards, but Brookfield's big play guy was Kasey Tingler. Not only did he have 4 catches for 76 yards and 1 touchdown, but he opened the game's scoring with a 37 yard field goal at the 6:55 mark of the first quarter.

Brookfield's ability to spread the ball resulted in 17 first downs while LaBrae had 9 for the night.

"We did a great job of throwing the ball and our receivers did a great job of getting open," Coach Clark added. "This win was great for our confidence because we need all of it that we can get headed into the postseason."

LaBrae's effort was reminiscent of how their season (5-5) went. Despite the tough season-ending loss, Coach John Armeni is pleased with the improvement that he has seen within his program.

"Last year, Brookfield beat us 41-7 and we finished the season 1-9," Armeni said. "This year, we were within two points in the third quarter and we finished 5-5. If we continue to work hard and do things the right way, we'll continue to close that gap.

"Next year, I want to bust through that door. I don't want to be close anymore."

Jenkins finished the game with a game-high 280 passing yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions for LaBrae. Richardson's 167 receiving yards came on three catches.