Like last season, Brunswick School’s game against Erickson League football rival Salisbury School on Saturday was decided late in the fourth quarter.
And like last season, the Bruins pulled out a crucial win.
Overcoming a 17-point halftime deficit, Brunswick stormed back to register a 20-17 victory over host Salisbury School. Brunswick upped its mark to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in Erickson League play.
Trailing 17-13, the Bruins took a 20-17 advantage when senior wide receiver Bernard Zoungrana caught a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Nick Winegardner with 6 minutes, 34 seconds remaining.
It all started with a 2ndQ goal line stand led by @howardpowell20. In the 3rdQ a 4th down TD by @BernardZoungra1 to make it 17-7. In the 4thQ a monster TD run by @jalenmadison21, 14-17. @BernardZoungra1 toe tap TD rec, 20-17. Led by QB @nicwin4 #COMEBACK pic.twitter.com/K1HtKaV2T3
— Brunswick Football (@WickFootball_19) October 20, 2019
“Bernard had a great day and made a beautiful catch on the game-winning touchdown,” Bruins coach Mike Hannigan said. “He caught the ball in the back of the end zone and dragged his toe.”
The visiting Bruins faced a 17-7 deficit heading into the fourth quarter. Winegardner connected with Zoungrana for a touchdown on a long pass play, cutting the Crimson Knights’ advantage to 17-14.
“This is a great win for our team,” Hannigan said. “It was the first time we had been down by that much. Our team has a ton of character and they take coaching well. They don’t give up on themselves and each other.”
Senior defensive lineman Howard Powell, senior linebacker Aengus Rosato, senior tight end Aiden Clarke, Clayton Ostrover (senior linebacker) and junior linebacker Colin Mulshine helped key Brunswick’s defense, which shut out Salisbury in the second half. The Bruins also received a lot of help from their secondary.
“Kevonne Wilder and Alex Burdick were great in coverage against Salisbury’s speedy receivers,” Hannigan said.
Salisbury, which dropped a 30-29 decision to Brunswick in 2018 and has lost six of its last eight meetings against the Bruins, led 7-0 after the first quarter and 17-0 at halftime on Saturday.
The host Crimson Knights scored on their second drive, which was capped by running back Fabrice Mukendi’s short touchdown run. Salisbury’s second touchdown run was the result of another short run by Mukendi, the team’s leading rusher.
“They did a good job of creating run flanks and they were getting to the edge on the short side of the field,” Hannigan said.
Right before halftime, Salisbury threatened to reach the end zone again, but was held to a field goal, making it 17-0.
“I told the team it was a win on defense to hold them to a field goal,” Hannigan said. “We did a lot of positive things on offense in the first half, we just unable to string it together.”
Salisbury’s starting quarterback Charles Stephens was injured toward the end of the first half and was sidelined in the second half. The Bruins’ offense clicked in the second half, setting the stage for their comeback.
“We played with some tempo on offense and capitalized with positive yardage,” Hannigan said. “We threw the ball well with Nicky hitting Bernard in stride on both touchdown passes.”
Senior running back Jalen Madison put the Bruins on the scoreboard in the third quarter.
“He made a great run to the left side, kept his feet after getting hit a couple of times and made it to the end zone,” Hannigan said. “Nicky (Weingardner) gained yards on some designed runs and Jalen ran the ball well.”
Rocco DiChiara, Jason Agudelo and Ashton Weingardner also had receptions in the winning effort.
The Bruins host Avon Old Farms School on Saturday on their Homecoming in another Erickson League matchup.