NASHVILLE -- After a 20-8 loss to Albany last week ended any playoff hopes for the Berrien High Rebels, coach Ross New's squad will end its 2005 football season tomorrow night at home against the Brooks County Trojans. Berrien has the final week of the regular season off.
New is hoping final game of the 2005 season will give his team a boost for the 2006 campaign.
"We want to end strong," the Berrien coach said. "We have been improving week to week and we want to keep that up."
It will not be easy for the Rebels as Brooks will come in with a 6-2 overall record and a 3-1 mark in Region 1-AA. Berrien is 2-7 overall, 1-4 in the league.
"They are an awesome team. They are one of the most talented teams in the state and in the region," New said of the Trojans.
Brooks' strong suit is defense.
The Trojans have the top rushing defense in the league, having allowed only 646 yards in eight games. Brooks is also second in pass defense, having allowed 580 yards.
Led by Donnell Golden, 692 yards on 102 carries, and A.D. Phillips, 481 yards on 74 carries, the strength of the Brooks offense is the running game.
To counteract that offense, Berrien will rely on Kendrick Riley. The senior is one of the leading rushers in the league with 802 yards on 159 carries.
"He has had a strong season for us," New said.
Quarterback Kenta West ran the ball in for the only Berrien touchdown in the Albany game. He also ran in the two-point conversion. He was 7 for 14 passing for 125 yards in that contest.
Mistakes were the Rebels' biggest problem in that contest.
"We shot ourselves in the foot several times. We had four holding penalties inside their 20, we had a fake field goal that was wide open that we missed on and we allowed them to score a touchdown on a fourth and 15 play," New said. "We had our opportunities, but missed with them."
Another thing that hurt the Rebels was an injury to starting center, Jamie New. The coach's son, New went out in the first quarter with a high ankle sprain.
"Our running game suffered when he went out," the coach said of his son.
The Berrien-Brooks game will be at 7:30 p.m.
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