The New Brockton Gamecocks’ 2017 season came to a close Friday night at the hands of the St. Luke’s Wildcats by a score of 42-21 in the first round of the Class 2A State Playoffs.
The Gamecocks and Wildcats started the game fast and furious with a barrage of scores in what looked to be an old-fashioned shoot out, until the Wildcats took over the game.
St. Luke’s jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after a pair of touchdown runs by Wildcat running back John Neutze.
As the second quarter began, however, New Brockton answered back with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Dalton Adkison to running back Hunter Gordy with 11:47 left in the opening half.
Coming in to the playoffs, Adksion had not attempted a pass all season after leaving the season opener with an injury. Following his return, he mostly played receiver as well as being the Gamecocks primary runner in the “Wildcat” formation. Adkison also played some on defense at safety and as a kick returner on special teams. He finished 5-of-7 passing for 73 yards and a touchdown against St. Luke’s.
The Gamecocks followed up by executed a picture-perfect onside kick and recovering the football near midfield. Adksion cashed in on the Gamecock gamble with a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:09 left in the half to tie the game up at 14-14.
St. Luke’s responded by scoring a 6-yard touchdown pass from Jermaine brown to Jacorey Jacobs with 4:25 left in the half to take back the lead 21-14.
After a New Brockton three-and-out, Brown threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Jacobs with just 51 seconds remaining in the half.
As the third quarter opened, the Gamecocks marched right down the field to the St. Luke’s 10-yard line before quarterback Caleb Griffin was intercepted inside the St. Luke’s 5-yard line.
The game remained scoreless until Brown escaped Gamecock pressure and raced 45 yards for a touchdown to extend St. Luke’s lead to 35-14.
As the fourth quarter opened, another New Brockton drive deep in Wildcat territory was snuffed out when New Brockton failed on a fourth down attempt inside St. Luke’s 20-yard line.
The Wildcats marched down the field and tacked onto their lead to 42-14 with a 15-yard pass from Brown to receiver Hardy Demeranville with 6:57 to go in the game.
New Brockton finally got back on the scoreboard with a 1-yard touchdown run by Cameron Davis with just 30 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 42-21.
The Gamecocks attempted another onside kick but this time the Wildcats fell on the football and proceeded to run the clock out on the game and New Brockton’s season.
Along with his passing performance against St. Luke’s, Adkison carried the ball 20 times for 86 yards and a touchdown. Griffin completed 7-of-13 passes for 87 yards and an interception.
Cam Davis totaled 11 yards and a touchdown rushing, while Eric Weeks led New Brockton’s receivers with a season-high five catches and 78 yards.
St. Luke’s was led by Brown, who was 8-of-11 passing for 123 yards and three touchdowns along with gaining 193 yards and a touchdown 20 rushing attempts. Nuetze added 77 yards and two touchdowns on six carries. He also caught four passes for 62 yards.
Chase Cardwell led the New Brockton defense with 13 tackles and a pass breakup. Jake Holloway and Wyatt Grice each recorded 10 tackles.
New Brockton’s offense managed to control time-of-possession by more than eight minutes with long drives, but three Gamecock drives were snuffed out inside the Wildcats’ red zone. Those missed opportunities proved to be critical as St. Luke’s explosive offense continued to churn out yards and touchdowns.
St. Luke’s outgained New Brockton 433 yards to 253
with 310 of those yards coming on the ground.