With top-ranked Carroll Academy earning a first-round bye, Noah Beck had an extra week to prepare for his matchup with Glenbrook’s top target, 6-foot-3, 210-pound receiver Sammy Feaster. Under the lights on Friday night, the Rebels’ lockdown corner certainly looked like he did his homework.
On a misty evening in North Carrollton, Beck broke up a pass in the end zone, picked off two passes and hauled in a 27-yard touchdown catch to spark a 42-16 victory over the No. 8 Apaches, sending Carroll to the MAIS Class 3A semifinals next week against Greenville St. Joseph.
“We had two weeks to come up with a plan for (Feaster),” said Beck, who has totaled 11 interceptions in 11 games this season. “We came to practice, I thought we were pretty focused and it showed in that second half.”
The Rebels (11-0) trailed early and led just 21-16 at halftime but broke loose for 21 unanswered points in the second half courtesy of touchdown runs by Hunter Brackin, Maddox Carpenter and Braxton York, who also recorded an interception.
“Their secondary just played well,” Glenbrook head coach David Feaster said. “The last few games, we’ve thrown the ball to my son (Sammy Feaster) whenever we wanted to. Greenville Christian and Centreville, none of those guys could stop him -- he had 190 yards against Greenville Christian with those phenomenal athletes. And these guys defended him as good as anybody.”
“They did a good job of adjusting,” Feaster added. “The best defensive tackle in the state (Cooper Beck), they moved him to the strong side over there. That gave us problems.”
The Apaches (5-5) took an early 3-0 lead on their opening drive, but Beck responded with a go-ahead touchdown catch, the first playoff score of the sophomore’s career. After Carroll quarterback Brennan Blaylock threw his lone interception of the game, Glenbrook running back DJ Carter capitalized with a touchdown run to make it 10-7 midway through the second quarter. The Rebels quickly regained a 21-10 advantage thanks to a pair of touchdown scampers by Brackin, who finished with 17 carries for 117 yards and three scores.
“He looked like Hollywood,” said Carroll head coach Bo Milton, referencing Brackin’s popular nickname. “He ran hard. You can’t find him when gets behind those big guys.”
The Apaches hung around, recovering a fumble and marching down field before halftime. Senior quarterback Jackson Powell powered past the goal line with one second remaining in the half to cut Glenbrook’s deficit to 21-16 heading into the locker room.
“The message at halftime was we need to hustle and hit them in the mouth,” Beck said. “And we did that.”
The victory sets up Carroll’s toughest test of the season next week. The final four teams remaining — Carroll, St. Joe, Greenville Christian and Winona Christian — mark the “Highway 82 Playoffs.”
“They’re well-coached and they got a great program,” Feaster said of the Rebels. “We’ll see what they can do next week. Obviously those guys from St. Joe and Greenville Christian are very talented, but with the style of ball these guys play, it should give them trouble.”
• Contact Riley Overend at 581-7237 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @OverendOut on Twitter.