Brunswick School Football Stunned by Taft School 29-26

Brunswick School's John Fox makes the tackle on defense during a game last year. (photo courtesy of the Brunswick School athletic department)

Brunswick School’s John Fox makes the tackle on defense during a game last year. (photo courtesy of the Brunswick School athletic department)

Brunswick fell to Taft on Cosby Field on Saturday, 29-26. The defeat was the first setback of the season for the Bruins (4-1), halting a 12-game winning streak on Cosby Field, dating back to 2013.

Taft jumped out to a 7-0 lead on its opening drive. The Rhinos marched 85 yards in 11 plays, scoring on a two-yard plunge by the Rhinos’ quarterback.

Taft (1-3) followed with a successful onside kick, taking possession of the ball on its 45-yard line. The Bruin defense stopped the Taft drive on a key fourth down pass, as Cam Kelly broke up a pass on the Brunswick 46-yard line.

The Brunswick offense drove down to the Taft three-yard line, but fumbled away the ball.

Following the turnover, the Bruin defense stepped up again, as Matt Beninati hauled in an interception on the Taft 43.

Six plays later, Brunswick quarterback Nick Henkel scrambled in for a touchdown from the three-yard line, as Michael Gottlieb kicked the game-tying extra point.

Taft regained the lead in the second quarter, finishing an eight-play 75-yard drive with a touchdown. With the made extra-point, the Rhinos led 14-7.

After exchanging punts, the Bruins forced a Taft turnover on a strip-sack by Antonio Rogliano that was recovered by quad captain Peter Wise. After scooping the fumble, Wise deftly lateralled the ball to fellow captain John Fox, who raced 51 yards to pay dirt. Gottlieb’s extra-point tied the game at 14 apiece, capping the first half scoring.

Brunswick opened the second half with a two-play, 57-yard drive, as Henkel found Cornelius Johnson downfield for a 40-yard touchdown pass. Despite missing the extra-point try, the Bruins took a 20-14 lead early in the third quarter.

The Brunswick defense stopped another Taft offensive drive, forcing Taft turnover on an interception by Cameron Kelly in the Brunswick end zone.

Later in the third quarter, the Bruins scored another touchdown, as Henkel connected with Jack Montinaro from 20 yards out for a score. While Brunswick missed on a two-point conversion, the hosts held a 26-14 lead late in the third quarter.

Taft answered the score with a 14-play touchdown drive that finished in the fourth quarter. A 10-yard quarterback scramble capped the drive. Following the successful extra-point kick, Taft trailed 26-21.

Brunswick committed another turnover on the ensuing drive. Taft regained the lead with another touchdown on a six-play, 29-yard drive. After the successful two-point try, the Rhinos held a 29-26 advantage with 5:47 left to play.

After a Taft touchback on the kickoff, Brunswick took possession on its 25-yard line.

The Bruins quickly marched 39 yards on four plays. On first down from the Taft 36, a Henkel scramble for 16 yards was waived off by an offensive holding call.

Following the 13-yard penalty, the Bruins restarted their march, first down and and 23, form the Taft 49. After a pair of incomplete passes, Henkel connected on a 15-yard pass to Montinaro on third down. However, the Bruins were stopped on fourth down, and the Taft offense ran out the clock for the 29-26 road win.

Henkel finished the day completing 21-for-36 passes for 287 yards, including two touchdown passes and a rushing score. Henkel’s top target was Sean Amill, as the receiver hauled in 11 catches for 107 yards. Johnson and Montinaro each had four catches and a touchdown reception, for 80 and 73 yards, respectively.

Fox led the defense with 15 tackles, two sacks and four TFL’s, along with a 51-yard touchdown run on Wise’s fumble recovery.

The Bruins return to action on Saturday, hosting Salisbury on Homecoming at 4 p.m.

About Author: Evan Triantafilidis

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