The Brookwood High School Panthers defeated the Holt Ironmen by a score of 59-2 in the opening weekend of high school football action at Billy Joe Young Field in Brookwood, Ala. The game was the first time the long time rivals have played since 2019.

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The wheels came off the wagon early for the Holt Ironmen. Brookwood received the opening kickoff and proceeded to march down the field thanks to freshman running back KaWann Johnson's strong drive. Johnson scampered in from the five-yard line for the game's opening score.

On Holt's first play from scrimmage, Ironman senior quarterback Anthony Powell had some trouble handing the ball off and fumbled it, which led to a recovery by the Panther defense just 35 yards from the end zone. Brookwood senior quarterback Kobie Humphries dropped a touchdown pass into the hands of junior tight end Timothy Barron on the ensuing play.

Holt's issues with holding on to the ball didn't end there. On its next drive, rather than getting to punt on fourth down, the snap was mishandled and Brookwood recovered the ball at the Ironman six-yard line. Johnson ran the ball in again to make the score 19-0.

Once again, Holt coughed up the ball on the ensuing kickoff. The Panthers continued grinding out ground yards with senior running back Clayton Godsey, sophomore quarterback Jacob Rowell, and Johnson. Rowell capped the 40-yard drive off with a touchdown to make the score 25-0.

Holt muffed the next kickoff but managed to recover it. The team managed to gain 14 yards before being backed up by a facemask penalty. Powell threw an interception to Brookwood senior wide out and defensive back Otis Sims. Sims would then catch a touchdown pass from Humphries to make the score 32-0.

Again, Holt muffed and recovered the kickoff and again, Powell threw an interception. This time it was a pick-six returned by senior wide out and defensive back Andrew House to make the score 38-0.

Following another muffed and recovered kickoff, Holt managed to end a possession without a turnover for the first time in the evening and punted the ball to the Brookwood 40, where the Panthers began its next drive. Godsey ended the drive by rattling off a 37-yard rushing touchdown. Heading into halftime, the score was 45-0.

Holt's first positive note of the evening came on the second possession of the second half when junior safety and wide receiver Kamari Patton picked off Rowell after the Ironmen fumbled the ball away. Hold fumbled again and the Panthers recovered, which let Humphries capitalize on the opportunity to throw his third touchdown of the evening to Sims.

Bad snaps, mishandled handoffs, and muffed kick returns plagued Holt all evening, but one on Brookwood's end would provide Holt its first and only points for the evening. Senior long snapper Logan Pace-Ransom sent the snap straight over his punter's head on its own 14-yard line and out the back of the end zone, resulting in a safety, bringing the score to 51-2.

As the game got out of hand, Brookwood head coach Mike Bramblett put more and more of his backup players in. One who took the opportunity to shine was senior running back CJ Cummins. Cummins ran all over the Ironmen defense in the second half and scored both the final touchdown of the evening and the two-point conversion that followed.

Bramblett said after the game that he was more than pleased with the effort put forward by his defensive starters.

"They flew to the football, they tackled, they wrapped up, they took the ball away. You know, all the things that we need them to do," said Bramblett. "Offensively, you know, our first group and a half really executed really, really well with what we were doing."

On the subject of his quarterbacks splitting snaps, Bramblett said there isn't necessarily a quarterback battle going on.

"We've got two quarterbacks that I think are really, really good quarterbacks in Kobie Humphries and Jacob Rowell," said Bramblett. "We feel like we can be successful with both of them. Neither one of them have extensive varsity experience, so we feel like early in the year we've gotta play both of them, give both of them opportunities to grow and develop, and there's a lot of learning from what went on tonight."

Second year head coach Dustin Hyche of Holt High School was proud of the fight his kids showed on the field.

"I'm happy with how they fought at the end of the game in the second half," said Hyche. "It would have been real easy to throw it in. We have a lot of new players that haven't played, didn't play for us last year and we really built a solid foundation of kids in our core nucleus but we just don't have a lot of experience so we've got a lot of things to iron out."

Next week, Brookwood travels to West Blocton High School and Holt has a BYE week.

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