Photo courtesy of the AJC- Story by Seth Ellerbee
North Gwinnett 37, Brookwood 2
North Gwinnett paired consistent scoring with a defensive effort that held Brookwood scoreless beyond a third-quarter safety to keep the Broncos at bay in the fourth game of the Corky Kell Classic at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday evening.
“I think the team did a great job,” said North Gwinnett coach Bill Stewart. “We did not make a lot of mistakes and we feel really good about our football team with what we did tonight.”
The Bulldogs pushed the lead to 14-0 by the end of the first quarter with touchdowns from running backs Tyler Goodson (6 yards) and Devin Crosby (12 yards). Early in the second quarter, Cameron Clark’s 46-yard field goal pushed the lead to 17-0. The poised offensive onslaught continued with another Goodson rushing touchdown, this time from four yards out to give North Gwinnett a 24-0 lead. Clark’s field goal with :26 left in the half pushed the lead to 27-0.
“I think they know what a big stage is,” said Stewart. “You can’t get a bigger stage than a state championship so, us playing in the Benz, we really like that pressure.”
Goodson converted a short rushing touchdown with 5:19 left in the third quarter to pad the lead and Clark’s final field goal with 1:28 left in the third quarter brought the game to its final tally.
“This is amazing. Our coach described it as a privilege and he is right,” said North Gwinnett kicker Cameron Clark. “It’s a privilege to play a good team and play in a spot like this one and to play on this team.”
Clark, who nailed the game-winning field goal against Colquitt in the AAAAAAA state title game last season, credits his junior year as the motivation needed to excel on a stage like Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“My junior year I got my jitters out I believe,” Clark said with a chuckle. “So entering my senior year I am pretty confident with myself and comfortable on any field I am on.”
North Gwinnett finished with 301 yards of total offense — 213 rushing and 88 passing yards—while holding Brookwood’s offense to just 128 total yards. Goodson finished with 142 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Crosby rushed for 49 yards and a score.