The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


November 5, 2011

Brookfield opens playoffs vs. Norwayne

---- — Reflecting, Randy Clark can recall the years 1978 and 1994.

Only a 9th-grader, he nonetheless was part of the program as Brookfield High’s football team captured the ’78 Ohio High School Athletic Association AA state championship. That year’s Warriors went 11-0 under legendary coach John Delserone.

Fast-forward 16 seasons, and Brookfield built a 10-2 ledger before bowing to Benedictine in the Division IV Region 13 finals. That marked the last time the Warriors went to the postseason ... until tonight.

Brookfield (9-1) will travel to Lodi, Ohio to meet Norwayne (9-1) at Cloverleaf High in a D-IV opening-round game at 7 p.m.

“Believe me, we’re excited!” Clark confided recently. Ringing telephones notwithstanding, he wasn’t complaining.

“It’s very exciting, emotional; it feels great, having everybody behind us, the community, the whole school ...

“Me, especially,” he admitted. “I’ve been back here since ’99. My main goal was to put Brookfield back on the map, and I think we’ve done our part. But it’s really exciting, going from a couple 3-7 seasons, 1-9 seasons, 5-5 (last year); it’s exciting for me because I’ve been part of this since the mid-70’s.

“It reminds me of the mid-70’s, early 80’s with the community and the excitement,” Clark continued. “All of my staff are Brookfield alumni, and they’re all excited. All these guys played at Brookfield, coached at Brookfield, and none of us have ever been in the playoffs.”

While Brookfield has been buoyed by an indepent schedule, Norwayne will be a notch up in terms of caliber of competition. The Bobcats rebounded for a 33-22 win over previously-undefeated Hillsdale last week. According to The (Wooster) Daily Record that earned them a share of the Wayne County Athletic League championship with Hillsdale and Smithville. The latter laid the lone loss on Norwayne (19-14) in Week 9.

“They were in the playoffs last year, they lost in the second round to (eventual state champion) Ursuline,” Clark recalled. “They run a spread offense and have a very good running and throwing quarterback (Adam Wallace), who’s very similar to (Brookfield’s Jeremy) Quinlan. They run the same style of offense as us, but might throw the ball a little more than we do. Up front they’re not big, but athletic. They run a lot of zone-read and misdirection,” Clark continued, adding, “They run a lot of that stuff through their quarterback.”

Illustrating Clark’s contention, Wallace went 12 for 21 for 117 yards and a trio of TDs in last week’s win, orchestrating a 5-play, 68-yard, game-winning drive in the final 1:40, according to The Daily Record. He also posted a 30-carry, 145-yard, 1-TD rushing performance, and made a key defensive play with 2:45 left. After Norwayne notched the lead on Wallace’s 10-yard TD toss to Mitch Knieriem with 50.5 ticks, Jon Maibach, 33 seconds later, secured the win with a 38-yard interception return.

“Defensively, again, they’re not big,” Clark claimed. “They run a 4-2, and they’re led by that inside linebacker (Wallace).”

Under the direction of coach Joe Harbour, Norwayne notched wins over Wellington (35-0), Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (40-7), Western Reserve (56-7), Northwestern (55-8), Rittman (61-7), Waynedale (46-0), Chippewa (61-8), Dalton (69-15) and Hillsdale, avenging last year’s loss and snapping the latter’s school-record 17-game and WCAL 10-game winning skeins. Hillsdale advanced to the 2010 D-V regional finals.

Norwayne, not unlike Brookfield, has had some success, interspersed with droughts. According to The Daily Record, Norwayne won only the 1965 and 2008 WCAL championships before last week.

The game originally was scheduled for Friday night in Norwayne, but a saturated field necessitated the move. A synthetic-surface field may play to Brookfield’s bountiful Ryan Mosora (232 attempts, 1,895 yards rushing, 8.1 yards/carry, 17 TDs, 114 points).

“He’s not a ‘mudder’; he likes to hit the perimeter quick and go,” Clark confided.

Additionally, Clark pronounced the Warriors “one-hundred percent healthy ... healthier now than we’ve been all year,” including Quinlan, who accounted for almost 300 total yards in last week’s regular season-ending win over Beaver Local.

While Quinlan recuperated from a broken collarbone, Brandon Mosora “stepped in and did a phenomenal job in those four games!” Clark gushed. “Now he’ll be in the slot, his original position.”

Clark’s ideal game plan would be to “take control early with our size. With (the Bobcats’) lack of size if we’re able to run the ball at them, go to a different part of our game ... see what adjustments they make.”

Owing to Quinlan’s accurate arm, Brookfield has been “throwing the ball a little more than in the past,” Clark noted, regarding the Warriors’ 30.2 points and 374.3 yards per game (almost doubling opponents’ 15.1 and 189.5, respectively).

Will Brookfield be bug-eyed by the bright lights of the OHSAA playoffs for the first time since ’94?

“I think the kids, right now, are responding like it’s a normal week,” Clark confided. “I know there’s a lot of excitement at school, but practices have been normal as possible. The kids are excited, but practicing hard, real cooperative, eager — they’re ready to go.

“It’s been 17 years since Brookfield’s been in this situation, since ’94, so they’re excited,” Clark confirmed.

Delserone died from Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). His last year coaching the Warriors was 1981, Clark’s senior season.

“I believe he’d be really proud,” Clark concluded. “I still use a lot of his philosophies. Everything I got from ‘Coach Dell’ I try to use as much as I can in today’s football. He was a great coach, ahead of his time, just phenomenal! He taught me a lot of football, and, hopefully, I’m using it in the right way.” — Herald sports writer Rob Malsom contributed research for this preview.

Text Only
  • SPORTVIEW: Johnny Football claims he has learned from his 'rookie mistakes'

    HERE ARE some thoughts from a guy who might have made a few “rookie mistakes” in his life, ala Johnny Manziel.
    Johnny Football admitted this past week that he made some rookie mistakes. Really?
    Usually rookie mistakes for most NFL newbies are throwing into coverage or fumbling the football because you don’t tuck it tightly to your side.

    July 27, 2014

  • NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense

    THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fighting cancer Racing to fight cancer

    Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
    Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break

    SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
    Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”

    July 20, 2014

  • Sky high Rutters earn spot in national motocross event

    The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
    Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Football scramble Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble

    Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
    The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!

    HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
    The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
    What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).

    July 13, 2014

  • LeBron James Full text of LeBron's essay in SI

    LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team

    Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
    Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew

    Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.

    July 8, 2014

  • County champs Little League Tournaments

    Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.

    Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.

    Following are game reports:

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cook The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary

    Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
    During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11

    THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
    Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
    It is open to the public at no charge.

    June 29, 2014

  • Tri-Athletes Hickory honors Tri-Athletes

    Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
    Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the  academic year.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall

    HUGHEY TATE was the greatest baseball player that ever lived — hitting 10,000 home runs and never making an out in 50 years on the diamond.
    OK, that’s not true of course. But that’s the way Hughey would have told it before bursting into laughter.
    Tate, a Greenville man who was as good at spinning a yarn as well as he was in hitting home runs, will be inducted posthumously into the Bedford County (Pa.) Hall of Fame Saturday. Some of his relatives from this area will attend the ceremonies.

    June 22, 2014

Top 25 (AP Poll)
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter