RALEIGH — Playing without your starting quarterback late in the season can often be a coachs worst nightmare. When Broughton coach Chris Martin found out he would be without his regular starter, Maclin Batchelor, he looked at it as an opportunity to see what his backup Patrick Kearney could do.
Kearney did not disappoint, leading Broughton to a 49-21 win over Sanderson in the regular season finale. He threw six touchdown passes.
He had an incredible first half, said Broughton coach Chris Martin. I dont think Sanderson adjusted to that in the first half. It was just a great half.
Kearney took to directing the offense quickly, throwing a 51 yard touchdown pass to Trey Peace on the fourth play from scrimmage to give Broughton a lead they would never relinquish. Later in the first quarter Kearney found Wilson White for a 36 yard touchdown, giving his team a 14-0 lead to finish the quarter.
As good as the offense was in the first quarter, it was even better in the second. They outscored Sanderson 21-7 in the second quarter, as Kearney threw three more touchdown passes: two to Dominique Ford and one to David Hernandez. By the time Broughton honored its seniors at halftime, it already had a 35-7 lead.
Sanderson, however, wouldnt go away easily. After scoring on the first possesion of the second half, and holding Broughton to a three-and-out, it looked to have seized momentum Zairee Parker scored from three yards out to cut Broughtons lead 35-21 in the fourth period.
Sanderson coach Tony Lewis said he was happy with the adjustments his team made defensively in the second half.
They came out firing on all cylinders, and forced us to make some adjustments, he said. We slowed them down a little bit, but never really stopped them."
Lewis said he saw glimmers of what his team has been missing all year on Friday night.
Our problem all year has been that we couldnt put four quarters together, Lewis said. Luckily the defense came through and we were able to get the energy back. We just kind of sailed to the finish.
Sanderson finishes the season 2-9. Broughton finishes 2-10. Despite his teams record this season, Martin did find positive takeaways from the way his team finished in its final game.
You always want to finish on a positive note so that you can use that momentum for the offseason and the beginning of next year, Lewis said. Hopefully that will be the case.