This high school football season could have been tagged ABW for the Brookville Blue Devils: After Bailey Wallen. The prolific running back amassed more than 5,000 career rushing yards as the program’s all-time rushing leader.
That’s not replaceable.
“I think everyone kind of doubted us starting out because we lost a big piece (Wallen),” said senior quarterback Mason Stout after guiding Brookville to a 48-14 Week 6 blowout of visiting Oakwood on Thursday night.
Looking to forge a new identity, it was the fourth straight win for Brookville (5-1), which improved to 2-0 in the Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division. It also sets up a back-loaded schedule challenge with SWBL heavyweights Franklin, Bellbrook and Valley View waiting in Weeks 8-10.
“We knew we had a good nucleus coming back,” said veteran Blue Devils coach Mike Hetrick, the dean of SWBL coaches along with Bob Smith of Northridge. “You get a little run-heavy when you have a back like Bailey, but these guys have been able to mix it up and they’re doing a great job.”
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No one did it better than Stout against the Lumberjacks. He completed just four passes, but three went for touchdowns. Twice he connected with Daniel Dominique, a sophomore tight end, on first-quarter scoring passes of 55 and 17 yards. Senior Braden Moore also had an 8-yard TD pass from Stout to complete first-half scoring and push Brookville’s advantage to 35-7 at the break.
Dominique had three catches for 98 yards and two scores and Stout had 106 yards passing. Senior Jacob Vore added 108 yards rushing and a 2-yard scoring run for the Blue Devils. Hayden Sharritt, Gabe Starnes and Jack Meyers all had interceptions to highlight Brookville’s defense.
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Oakwood senior quarterback Tommy Lunne completed 9 of 15 passes for 111 yards, including a 9-yard scoring pass to senior Jack Armstrong. Lumberjacks senior Jake Sargent had four catches for 81 yards.
Oakwood (2-4) was in catch-up mode from the outset and trailed 28-0 before scoring.
“We dug ourselves a hole and then you’re fighting from behind,” said Butch Snider, in his fourth season as the Lumberjacks coach. “We went through some growing pains and I thought we were on the other side of that. (Brookville) was a setback, but setbacks happen in life. You just keep pushing forward.”
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Brookville is at winless (through Week 5) Monroe next week, then faces the maximum SWBL challenge: at Bellbrook and finishing with home games against Franklin and Valley View.
Besides pursuing a SWBL Southwestern Division title, there’s also a spot in the Division V, Region 18 playoffs at stake for the Blue Devils. Brookville missed making the D-V, Region 20 playoff cut last year, which snapped a streak of two straight playoff teams.
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Brookville was realigned to D-V, Region 18, a more northern region that also includes Miami East and Anna. Bellbrook and Franklin are D-III programs and Valley View is D-IV. That means a massive amount of potential computer points are available for Brookville.
“Year in and year out, you know you’re going to have to beat Franklin, Bellbrook and Valley View to win the league,” Hetrick said. “We wouldn’t want it any other way.”
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