Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local Sports

November 21, 2013

Warriors return offense intact in 2014

THOMASVILLE — An offense that produced a pair of 1,000-yard rushers may be even better a year from now.

After rushing for 2,849 yards and totaling 3,615 yards prior to last week’s season-ending loss to Memorial Day in a GISA Class AA quarterfinal, Brookwood’s attack may be even more potent in 2014. The Warriors will return their entire offensive lineup off its 6-6 team.

“I guess there were a few games where we started a senior at a slot receiver position,” Brookwood coach Shane Boggs said. “But probably nine out of our 12 games, we started 11 underclassmen.

“So we’ve got some things to look forward to there. That should be something to build on for sure.”

That lineup includes rising senior running back Taylor Patterson, who rushed for more than 1,300 yards for the second straight season as he headed into the Memorial Day game with 1,329 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Alongside him in the Warriors’ spread offense will be rising junior quarterback Cale Deese. Despite not moving to quarterback full time until the fifth game of the season, Deese had racked up a team-leading 1,392 yards rushing after the playoff-opening win against Piedmont Academy. He also had 13 touchdowns rushing to go along with 504 yards and three touchdowns passing on 36 of 82 passing.

“The thing that he will benefit from so much that he didn’t this year is we gave him somewhere around 20 percent of the snaps this summer, maybe less than that,” Boggs added. “When you look at the entire summer and all the throwing we were doing, he was at a big disadvantage there from that standpoint. Next year, he’ll probably get around 80 percent of the snaps, and that will be big for him.

“I think there’s always a correlation between a returning quarterback and touchdown to interception ratio. There always has been on my teams, so I would expect that to improve. And we’re talking about a guy that had a pretty darn good sophomore year. I’m excited to see how much improvement we can get from him, too.”

Also key to those big rushing totals have been an offensive line of Heeth Varnedoe, John Brewer, Hayes Eiford, Thomas Bragg and Tracer Parrish, as well as blocking back Chris Harrell.

Top receiving threat Peyton Latmore (25 catches for 358 yards and three touchdowns prior to the Memorial Day game) will also be back as Brookwood returns all but four catches and 29 receiving yards, while bringing back all of its rushing and passing production.

“I’m really excited to see what (the offensive line) can do with another 12 months of weightlifting, or in this case another eight or nine months, to prepare them for what they do,” Boggs said. “Those guys are already hammering away, getting stronger.

“Taylor Patterson, we’re talking about a guy that’s approaching 3,000 yards in his career. I’m really excited to see what a bigger, stronger version of him can do next year.”

Defensively, Brookwood also will be experienced as top tackler Scott Saunders will return at an inside linebacker position. His brother, Andrew, will also return at linebacker.

“When you look at Scott and Andrew both, just having that year of experience is going to be a big deal,” Boggs added. “Like everybody else, putting another 10 to 15 pounds on them and maybe get them another step or two faster, but no doubt, Scott was our leading tackler and I expect big things out of him.”

Their presence will be needed with the Warriors must replace four of their top five tacklers with the departures of defensive end Bradley Clark, defensive lineman Braxton Jones and defensive backs Garrett and Walker Harvard. The Harvards combined for nine interceptions with Garrett picking off seven. Clark and Jones each had nine tackles for a loss.

“Those guys were all great contributors in different ways,” Boggs said. “Bradley Clark was our second-leading tackler which is really hard to do when you play d-end or outside backer, because half of the plays are away from you. But Bradley just had a great motor.

“With Braxton, I think it’s more about leadership than anything. He’s one of the better leaders I’ve ever coached. He was a selfless kind of player and would do anything that you ever asked him to do.”

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