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Brooke shields Cougars from victory-8-25

August 25, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - If one did a psychological profile on the Brooke football team, it would be classified as a group of control freaks.

If the Bruins had a hoop, they would have had Jefferson jumping through it.

Brooke controlled the line of scrimmage, the Cougars offense, the tempo of the game and - oh yeah - the scoreboard to grind out a 19-12 victory over Jefferson on Friday in the season opener for both teams.

"They controlled the tempo the entire game," growled Jefferson coach Richard Mills. "They took the pass away and they controlled the line of scrimmage. Their line beat our line."

The Bruins did it with a fast-paced game in the first half and then a little ball-control action in the second half to salt the game away. And to make it basic, Brooke rode the rushing attack of Scott Victorio and Victorio claimed the spoils.

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The elusive back accounted for 179 of Brooke's 275 rushing yards and two first-half touchdowns on runs of 69 and 2 yards to pace the attack. Brooke used an offensive ploy, moving quarterback Josh Frankos into a wing position and using a direct snap to Victorio to get him the ball quicker.

"We saw something in Jefferson's defense when we scouted them in their scrimmage with Morgantown," Brooke coach Dave Reitter said. "We added that (direct snap) wrinkle for this game. The line did a great job blocking for it. They knew the ball was going to him, we just got it there faster. Our guys know good things happen when he has the ball."

The heat and Brooke's veteran front line wore down the Cougars. There were times Jefferson looked like it was trying to scale the Great Wall of China while trying to pressure the Bruins. It allowed Brooke to run 32 plays to Jefferson's 11 in the second half.

Victorio opened the scoring with a burst up the middle and cut to the left sideline for a 69-yard scoring scamper to finish a four--play 90-yard drive, Tony Pellegrino added the extra point to give the Bruins a 7-0 with 2:03 left in the first quarter.

Jefferson answered with a 57-yard drive, with Dewey McDonald scoring from the 2 on the ninth play. The Cougars missed the kick to trail 7-6.

Brooke answered 1:18 later on Victorio's 2-yard scoring run for a 13-6 lead with 2:17 left before half for the bulge at intermission.

The Bruins pushed the lead to 19-6 with their opening drive of the second half, a nine-play, 63-yard march capped by Joey Cassella's 12-yard run for the score.

Jefferson came right back with quarterback Brandon Hyler taking the first play after the kickoff 80 yards down the left sideline on a sweep for a score to bring the Cougars back to within the final seven-point spread.

"Their quarterback is unreal," Reitter said. "We got that touchdown and they came right back. We got to find out what the kids are really made of."

Jefferson finished with 244 yards of offense, with Hyler rushing for 154 but only hitting 1-of-7 passes for eight yards.

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