Despite late push, Branford stomps Bronson

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By Steve Waters, Sports Editor

Bronson’s offense came alive in the second half, scoring 24 unanswered points last Friday night against Branford.

It’s a shame the Eagles were already down 57-0 when the scoring started.

Branford pummeled visiting Bronson 63-24, totaling 367 rushing yards as team and hammering the Eagles’ defense early.

The Buccaneers also capitalized early on Bronson’s mistakes, opening the scoring with a 65-yard punt return for a score by John Perry after the Eagles’ first drive stalled. A two-point conversion gave Branford a quick 8-0 lead.

Then things got ugly. On the second play of their next possession, junior Trent Thompson took the ball 60 yards to give Branford another score. The Bucs fumbled on their next possession, and Bronson recovered to keep a glimmer of hope alive. 

But the Bucs intercepted a pass from quarterback Kelby Barber, then Perry took their first offensive play of the drive 85 yards for another touchdown.

The Buccaneers added touchdown runs of six and 16 yards, by Thompson and Shaquille Williams, respectively, in a 51-minute first racked with miscues, penalties and dropped passes.

And Branford didn’t stop in the second, with Thompson scoring a quick touchdown off an 81 yard interception return, followed by Perry’s 71-yard scoring run less than three minutes later. The Bucs closed the half with a strong march down the field, capped by a two-yard score by quarterback Kyle Certain.

And just like that, it was 57-0 at halftime, with a running clock for the second half all but certain.

Rather than just give up, though, Bronson coach Al Cooksey talked to his team about confidence.

“We can’t be scared, and we have to get aggressive,” Cooksey said. “And we got that onside kick, and that’s what got us going.”

That onside kick came after a 70-yard touchdown pass from Barber to receiver Raymie Powers. With a shutout avoided, the Eagles could finally gain some momentum.

After recovering the kick, Bronson marched down the field and capitalized on some Branford penalties for another score, this time a 14-yard pass to the back of the end zone from Barber to Thomas Howard.

The Eagles recovered yet another onside kick, and the Barber to Powers combo worked again with a 10-yard pass for another touchdown to bring the score to 57-24.

“We got rid of the goose egg and got a little confidence going there,” Cooksey said. “We can throw the ball, Kelby can throw the ball, but it just takes practice with our receivers.”

The Buccaneers, however, added the final score of the night, a 23-yard pass for the night’s final total.

Bronson gets a much-needed week off, and Cooksey said they will use the time to heal and prepare for their final two games of the season. He said he hopes to put those two more wins under his belt as a long season nears its end.

“It’s been a tough year, I’m not used to this,” he said. “I don’t want to be used to this, either