Dwyer 52, Pahokee 0: QB Jacoby Brissett helps Panthers roll through Blue Devils
Friday, September 17, 2010
by Jeff Greer
Gary Coronado / Palm Beach Post
Dwyer quarterback Jacoby Brissett hasn't played in a third quarter in Palm Beach County football this season.
He hasn't had to.
In Dwyer's 52-0 win over visiting Pahokee on Friday, Brissett ran for two touchdowns and passed for another to earn another second-half break and help the Panthers take a 49-0 halftime lead.
The 6-foot-4 quarterback made his job look easy, spreading seven completions to three receivers en route to 127 yards. He was 7 for 10 passing and rushed for 14 yards on two carries, both of which went for touchdowns.
"We had our best week of practice so far," Brissett said, "and our whole team just came together tonight."
Without star tight end Nick O'Leary, who sat out the second contest of his two-game suspension, Dwyer (2-1, No. 2 in the PBGametime.com poll) continued to rely on receiver Darrell Hunter and running back Shawn McClaine as Brissett's go-to options on offense.
McClaine took 12 carries for 87 yards and ran for three touchdowns. The diminutive 5-9 tailback broke three runs for more than 10 yards, and Pahokee never figured out how to stop him.
"Everyone talks about Park Vista's (offensive) line, but our line's pretty damn good, too," Dwyer coach Jack Daniels said. "Shawn's a little guy behind a bunch of big guys but he has an extremely quick burst when he sees a hole."
Hunter did his part, too. The senior, who also starts at cornerback, hauled in four catches for 93 yards and had a touchdown. His 53-yard catch set up Dwyer's opening touchdown in the first quarter.
Even standout defensive end Curt Maggitt, who plays tight end on offense and wore O'Leary's No. 34 to honor his suspended teammate, had two catches for 27 yards.
Those performances made O'Leary's absence easy for Brissett to overcome.
"If there's a better quarterback in the state, I need to see it," Daniels said. "The way he manages the game and can make all the throws, he's a great player."
For Pahokee, things never got going.
The Blue Devils' only first down in the first half came on a Dwyer penalty, and they had five total yards of offense at halftime.
It wasn't turnovers that killed Pahokee (2-1, No. 7 in the PBGametime.com rankings); coach Blaze Thompson's team just couldn't move the ball. The fact that Dwyer kicker Bobby Puyol boomed all eight of his kickoffs for touchbacks didn't make Pahokee's life any easier.
"They outplayed us," Thompson said. "We needed to bring our A-game and they need to play a sub-par game for us to win.
"But this is Pahokee. We play the big boys. We don't avoid battles."
In a game that featured two of the most prominent high school football programs in the county and state, Pahokee's youth and inexperience showed.
People around the program have said this year's team will suffer some lumps. That much was obvious.
But for Dwyer, a team on a mission since losing its nationally televised opener in controversial fashion two weeks ago, the win was another clear statement that the Panthers don't want to leave any future contests to chance.
McClaine led Dwyer to a 35-0 win against Palm Beach Gardens last week. Brissett was the leader of his team's mission tonight.
In two weeks, when O'Leary returns for Dwyer's game at Atlantic on Oct. 1 (after an open date next week), Brissett will have another weapon to help him carry the load.