By Grant Pepper
The Brookville Blue Devils, coming off of two straight victories, confidently took down the slumping Oakwood Lumberjacks 52-24 on Friday, September 28, 2012. Brookville senior Luke Landis broke off three long touchdown runs in Friday night’s contest.
The Blue Devils started off hot and would not cool down until the fourth quarter. Just two minutes into the game, junior Blue Devil quarterback Lane Stevenson completed a 10-yard touchdown run to put Brookville on the scoreboard first.
Blue Devil wideout Wes Zellers (12) intercepted Oakwood quarterback Max Banke (11) on the next possession, leading to a long Landis touchdown rush to quickly put Brookville up 14-0.
A bright spot, however, for the Jacks on Friday night was freshman slot receiver Sam Banke. Banke caught seven passes for 90 yards on Friday night, as well as scoring his first two touchdowns of his high school career.
After a big Sam Banke kickoff return to midfield, the Banke brothers would connect on a quick first down pass, advancing the ball to the Brookville 35-yard line. With four minutes left in the quarter, junior tailback Cory Carter sprinted for a 23-yard touchdown run, cutting the deficit to seven points.
All was not well for the Jacks, though. On the touchdown play, Max Banke suffered a season-ending leg injury. Banke broke the fibula in his right leg, and is expected to be out 6-8 weeks upon having surgery (six screws inserted) this Wednesday. Senior Austin Erbe would take Banke’s place under center.
Brookville advanced deep into Oakwood territory at the start of the second quarter, backing the Jack defense up to the half-yard line. With three consecutive goal-line stops, however, the Jack defense halted a potential Blue Devil touchdown, and the home team would settle for a 22-yard field goal.
After a Brookville sack, the Blue Devils’ offense would strike again as Stevenson connected with Zellers for a 60-yard touchdown reception, increasing the Brookville lead to 17.
Erbe, scrambling during the next possession, fumbled the ball and the Blue Devils recovered in Oakwood territory. With less than a minute remaining in the half, Stevenson completed another touchdown pass (26-yard reception) to Zellers, putting Brookville up 31-7 at halftime.
Erbe and the Oakwood offense were productive to start the second half, though, as pass completions to Carter and Sam Banke moved the ball into the red zone. The Jacks chose to pass on fourth down, and Erbe found Banke in the endzone for his first high school touchdown catch.
Just as Oakwood cut the deficit to 17, Landis rushed for a 49-yard touchdown run on the next possession to kill the Lumberjack momentum. Landis completed another touchdown rush from midfield late in the third quarter as well, putting the Blue Devils up 45-14.
With Erbe passes to Sam Banke and junior wideout Chase Randolph, as well as punishing rushes from Carter, the Jacks would advance the ball to the Brookville 15-yard line before the end of the third quarter. Eventually, Oakwood would settle for a 27-yard field goal from senior kicker Bryan Koenig, his third this season.
Brookville answered with another long touchdown run, this time from Marcus Hummel, increasing the lead to 52-17 with eight minutes remaining.
With just under two minutes left in the game, Sam Banke sprinted for a long touchdown run from midfield, and the extra point would finalize Friday night’s score. Brookville went on to win, 52-24. The Blue Devils improved to 5-1, while the Jacks dropped to 1-5 with the loss.
Oakwood’s next game is this Friday night, at home, as they host the Waynesville Spartans (4-2). The Spartans are coming off of an 89-21 win over Preble Shawnee and a 42-6 win over Dixie. Kickoff for Friday’s game (also Oakwood’s homecoming game) will be at 7:30 p.m.