Three touchdown runs by Kha’lil Eason resulted in one huge victory for the Brunswick School football team, which played before a big, supportive, Senior Night crowd at Cosby Field on Friday night.
The Bruins celebrated their Senior Night by facing a tough Trinity-Pawling team and proceeded to earn a crucial win, putting them in prime position for a NEPSAC championship bowl game.
Eason, who scored four touchdowns in last week’s road triumph against Avon Old Farms School, ran into the end zone three more times Friday night, powering Brunswick to a hard-fought 28-20 victory over Trinity-Pawling School.
The win in the back-and-forth game against the Pride, upped Brunswick’s record to 7-2. Immediately following the game, the Bruins’ large student section joined the team in celebration of their Senior Night victory and fourth consecutive win overall.
“Prior to the game, the team honored the 25 seniors, who have contributed to the successful 7-2 season this year and laid the foundation for years to come,” Brunswick coach Mike Hannigan said. “Their heart, passion and leadership set the tone for this year and beyond.
Continuing on his outstanding performance from last week against Avon Old Farms, Eason, a senior, opened the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, giving the Bruins a 7-0 lead. On the score, Eason took senior quarterback Danny Lauter’s handoff and dash around the left side for the touchdown. Trinity Pawling answered back quickly, marching down the field to even the score 7-7 on the strength of a 4-yard run up the middle by senior running back Jack Kaiser.
Early in the second quarter, the Bruins provided plenty of excitement to the crowd, as they dove into their playbook. Senior wide receiver Ashton Winegardner caught a short pass from Lauter and promptly tossed the ball to senior running back Hunter Clark, who raced 60 yards untouched down the right sideline for a touchdown, completing the old hook-and-ladder play.
A second touchdown run by Kaiser for Trinity-Pawling evened the score at 14-14 heading into halftime.
Settling into a rhythm on offense, the Bruins took to the ground with a “thunder and lightning” style attack. Clark provided hard running between the tackles, picking up tough yards in chunks after contact while Eason quickly found the edges and ran away from everyone. Most importantly, the work on the offensive line of junior Miles Walker, senior Cliff Belknap, senior Michael Burton, junior Will Janis and sophomore Matty Augustine paved the way for the duo of backs to gain big yards in the second half.
Eason scored the next two touchdowns for the Bruins, the first on a run through the left side of the line for a 25-yard score, giving the team a 21-14 advantage.
Trinity-Pawling answered back, though, scoring on a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Zach Hios to senior receiver AJ Robinson. The point-after attempt was unsuccessful though, so the Bruins held a 21-20 lead. Eason provided Brunswick some more breathing room, eluding Trinity’s defense for a 15-yard touchdown run, making it 28-20.
“What an exciting Friday night game for the boys to close out the regular season,” Hannigan said.
Brunswick will find out if they qualify for a NEPSAC Bowl game when the bowl selection committee meets today.