Week #10 - October 27, 2007 - DIVISIONAL SEMI-FINALS
BROOKLINE 20 - Avonworth 6
David Suwalski pass from Connor McGinnis (conversion failed)
Khalil Sanders run (Michael Roper pass from Connor McGinnis)
Connor McGinnis run (conversion failed)
Interception: Connor McGinnis
Fumble Recovery: Khalil Sanders
Onside Kick Recovery: Khalil Sanders
NOTE: One thing is for certain. It was cold, and it got
colder as the day went on. Another is that the final score
makes this game look much closer than it really was.
Brookline's defense took charge in the first half and held
the Eagles to six offensive plays, four kickoff returns and
a punt. An interception by Logan Salicce and two stealthy
takeaways by Khalil Sanders stifled the Eagle attack. Each
came on one of Avonworth's six plays, giving the Knights
offense time to hold a scoring clinic.
The Knights running attack pounded away at the Eagle
defense. Timely receptions by David Suwalski and Joey Kalsek
kept the ball moving in long yardage situations. Quarterback
Connor McGinnis engineered four drives into the red zone,
three of which resulted in touchdowns. The other was stopped
at the Avonworth four yard line by a pass interception with
only twenty seconds to go in the first half. The halftime
score read: Brookline 20 - Avonworth 0.
The cheerleaders, braving the chilly temperature, did their
best to keep the sidelines warm with their spirit and
enthusiasm. Their halftime show was excellent and they did
bring a little warmth to the hearts of the fans.
The third quarter began with a Knights fumble. This gave
Avonworth the ball in Brookline territory with decent field
position. An Eagle pass brought a first down, then the game
entered the penalty phase. Both teams got jumpy and four
offsides penalties were called, one after another. The
referees moved the ball back and forth in a frustrating
succession. Khalil Sanders, who seemed to be everywhere on
defense, put an end to the silliness with a fourth down sack.
Brookline took over and marched downfield. McGinnis and
Roper combined for twenty-eight yards in three runs to
overcome a first and twenty-seven challenge. Then the swift
feet of Chad Gregorius thrust the offense forward in bursts
of eleven, thirteen and ten yards. The drive progressed to
the Avonworth five yard line, where the Knights fell short
on fourth and goal.
Avonworth took over with 5:50 to go in the fourth quarter.
On third and ten, a long pass found its mark and the Eagle
receiver soared downfield for a ninety-five yard touchdown
reception. A failed conversion left the score at 20-6.
Avonworth then executed a perfect onside kick and regained
the ball. An offsides penalty against the Knights moved the
stick a little further in the wrong direction. A momentum
The Knights pushed the Eagles back seventeen yards in three
plays. A fourth down pass was broken up by Tyler Parees,
putting an end to any ideas of an Avonworth comeback. The
offense chewed up three of the four remaining minutes and
turned the ball over on downs. A final Eagle thrust was
stopped by a McGinnis interception at midfield as time
expired. Game Over! Who's next?
The Knights will move on to play the winner of the North
Hills/Southside game next week. It would be nice to get
another crack at Southside, but does it matter? Not to
Coach Donnie's Kids!
The late game score marked an end to the Knight's defensive
streak of 35 consecutive shutout quarters. Does it matter?
No. But in our time conscious society, that's 5 hours, 54
minutes and ten seconds to be exact. A marvelous achievement.
Avonworth 24 - BROOKLINE 8
Ricardo Burch run (Russell Page run)
Interception: Blake Drischler, Damel Banks
NOTE: It was still cold, and getting colder.
Avonworth took the opening kickoff and got on the board
quickly with a scoring run at 7:50 in the first quarter. A
good conversion gave the Eagles an early 8-0 lead. On the
Eagles next possession, a Damel Banks interception gave the
Knights the ball on their own forty-seven yard line, first
Ricardo Burch gained 27 yards on the Knight's first play,
then repeated with another 27 yard dash to the endzone three
plays later to close the gap to 8-6. Russell Page converted
to tie the score at 8-all with a minute left to go in the
first quarter. The sun came out and things started getting a
little warmer, if only for a moment.
Avonworth took the ensuing kickoff and marched fifty-four
yards, capped off with a three yard touchdown run and a good
conversion with 6:54 remaining in the half. Brookline's
offense sputtered and was forced to punt. A twenty-nine yard
boot by Raymont Green pinned Avonworth back at their own
thirteen yard line.
With their backs to their own goal, Avonworth ground out
three first downs and moved into Brookline territory. With
two minutes to go, Blake Drischler made a nice diving pick
of an Eagle pass and gave the offense another chance. A
twenty-nine yard pass to Chris Noel moved the ball across
midfield but again the offense sputtered to a halt. At
halftime the score read: Avonworth 16 - Brookline 8.
With the temperature falling, the frozen cheerleaders thawed
themselves out for their halftime performance, which they
pulled off with style. Guilt has overcome me. I never write
about the cheerleaders. Sorry to Nicole and Sharon and to all
the other coaches, and especially the girls. You've all done
a wonderful job and deserve a big round of applause.
The second half began with the ball see-sawing back and forth
around midfield. This continued for the entire third quarter.
Both teams vied for an edge. Avonworth struck first with an
interception that put the ball at the Brookline eighteen yard
line. A ten yard touchdown run with 7:56 remaining in the
fourth quarter sealed the Knight's fate.
The offense could not move the sticks and Avonworth took
possession of the ball for the final time. The Eagles drove
for two first downs and then let the clock expire.
A final thought on the game. Russell Page played a really good
game at quarterback. He threw several slick passes that, had
they been caught ...
To the rest of the team and the coaches, especially Coach
Mark, great season! It was definitely a change from the 0-9
nightmare Mark endured last year, and if these players
continue to develop and improve like they did this season,
their future as Knights looks bright indeed.
BROOKLINE 38 - Carlynton 6
Johnathan Kalsek run
(Dominick Maggs pass from Johnathan Kalsek)
Dominick Maggs run (Dominick Maggs pass from Johnathan Kalsek)
Johnathan Kalsek run (conversion failed)
Johnathan Kalsek punt return (Dominick Maggs run)
Dion Rooney run (Dion Rooney run)
NOTE: Brookline fumbled the ball on their first offensive
possession. That may have been the only thing they did wrong
the whole game, with the exception of the kickoff return in
the second half. But, who's perfect?
Something has happened to this team. At this critical point
in the season, they have found the two intangibles that talent
alone can not win without.
The Brookline Knights have found confidence and leadership.
The defense held Carlynton back on their first possession and
gave the ball back to the offense. A 60 yard drive commenced,
with Johnathan Kalsek dashing the final 12 yards to the
endzone on a sweep right. Kalsek tossed to Dominick Maggs for
the two point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
John Forrester, whose booming kickoffs kept the Cougars stuck
in poor field position most of the day, deposited this one on
the Cougar one yard line. Carlynton's offense went four and
out, then the Knights offense tried without success. A fourth
down stop gave the Cougars possession at their 17 yard line.
Carlynton moved the ball forward nine yards, then gambled on
4th and one. They were stopped cold. The referees initially
signalled a 1st down for Carlynton, but after strenuous
objections from Coach Brian, a measurement showed that the
defense had held. 1st and ten, Brookline ball!
The Knights offense took over and covered the distance to the
goal before time expired in the half. Maggs crossed the line
for the score with 37 seconds to go on a two-yard run.
Dominick then caught a Kalsek pass for the conversion and a
16-0 halftime lead.
The second half began with Carlynton taking the opening
kickoff and returning it for a quick touchdown. Charlie
Mandarino returned the enusing kickoff to midfield. After a
failed attempt by the Knights on fourth down, Carlynton took
over. The Knight's defense pushed them back into a 4th and 23.
The Cougars gambled again and tried a fake punt. The attempted
pass was broken up by Jacob Lowden. The Knights took over in
good field position on the Carlynton 36 yard line.
Johnathan Kalsek scored his second TD of the day with a 27
yard run, giving the Knights a 22-6 lead with 5:28 left in the
third quarter. Another booming kickoff by Forrester put
Carlynton back at their own five yard line. The defense pushed
them back to the one. Carlynton's punt went straight into the
waiting arms of the ever-present Johnathan Kalsek, who brought
it back 10 yards for his third score of the afternoon. Another
Maggs conversion put the score at: Brookline 30 - Carlynton 6.
The scoring parade was not over. The fourth quarter saw Dion
Rooney score six on a ten yard run, then ace the conversion
for another two points. The clock ticked down to zero and the
resurgent Knights will advance another round to the SSYFL NFC
Division Championship game.
2007 Knights News - Previous Week's Game Summaries
Week#9 <> Week#8 <> Week#7
Week#6 <> Week#5 <> Week#4 <> Week#3 <> Week#2 <> Week#1
<2007 Knights News><The Knights History><Brookline Connection>