Heartbreak for JM at Championship
Yellow Jackets lose on late game field goal, 34-33, to Brookville High School.
Lynchburg— Up by two points with 1:23 left on the clock, the state title was on the line for the James Monroe Yellow Jackets after coming back from 17 points down in the first half.
On fourth and nine, Brookville Bees wide receiver Guy Morris hooked to the left and made what turned out to be a key catch that helped lift the Bees to the comeback win. Four plays later the Bees kicked the game-winning field goal to beat the Yellow Jackets 34-33 in an exciting back-and-forth game.
Both teams entered the game undefeated. James Monroe, despite dominating the time of possession, had a hard time getting into their offensive flow. The Yellow Jackets had a hard time holding onto the ball, losing possession on each of their three fumbles.
"We should have won it, we just shot ourselves in the foot with so many turnovers," said James Monroe junior quarterback Demontaz Brown. "It hurts, we all wanted it for each other."
"We made mistakes," said James Monroe Head Coach Rich Serbay. "Too many mistakes, and they cost us."
The Bees dominated the first half with an even rushing and passing attack. But late in the second quarter after scoring their first touchdown, defensive end Roy Robinson intercepted a screen pass on the Bees 24 yard line that eventually turned into another touchdown for the Yellow Jackets.
At halftime, the score was 24-20 and the Yellow Jackets had momentum after a sloppy first half.
The Yellow Jackets opened the second half with three consecutive onside kicks, two of which they recovered.
In the third quarter with 10:30 left, Yellow Jackets quarterback Demontaz Brown threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to to Kasine Conway to take James Monroe's first lead of the game at 26-24.
About seven minutes later, running back Eric Nelson scored from one-yard out and the Yellow Jackets looked as if they were going to cruise to their sixth state title up 33-24.
But a minute later Mark Boyd caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from Bees quarterback Kendall Becraft to make it a two-point game.
James Monroe took over with 5:09 left leading 33-31, but two penalties, including a personal foul, hurt the offense and the running game was unable to gain any ground. On fourth and 27, James Monroe punted deep in their own territory to give the ball back to Brookville, which turned into the game-winning drive.
Penalties were a big problem for the Jackets, who were assessed 14 penalties for 125 negative yardage.
Brookville took over on the 50-yard line with under three minutes to go. On first and 10, linebacker Tony Scott stuffed a screen attempt. On second and 11, a run up the middle gained nine yards, and then on third and one, Eric Nelson stuffed a run up the middle.
On fourth and two, Brookville head coach Jeff Woody made one of the smartest calls of the game when his quarterback Michael Carwile took a quick snap up the middle for the first down to the 35-yard line. Carwile then ran the ball up the middle for little gain, and threw two incomplete passes to set up fourth and nine with 1:28 left in the game.
With the game on the line, Morris made the key catch on the hook to the left sideline that eventually led to the game-winning field goal.
The Yellow Jackets got the ball back with about a half-minute left, but two consective penalties pushed them back into their own territory. The game was over when Brown threw the game-ending interception deep near the endzone. The Bees ran out the clock, sending a crowd of Bee fans onto the field to celebrate the comeback victory and their second state championship.