Prep Football

Unforgettable: Brock's never-say-die effort leads to winning touchdown

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Oct. 20, 2017 12:01 am Updated: Oct. 21, 2017 1:23 am

QUINCY -- If there was any doubt that Jirehl Brock is one of the best football players in the history of Quincy High School, he surely erased it Friday night.

Brock intercepted a pass and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown, rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns, and completed his first pass of the season for 45 yards.

But the play those who packed Flinn Stadium will be talking about for years to come came with 14 seconds remaining when he broke free from a pack of Quincy Notre Dame tacklers and scored the winning touchdown from 14 yards in a 34-29 victory.

Brock then sealed the improbable victory when he intercepted Nick Wellman's desperation heave on the last play of the game.

"He always does a lot of special things for us," QHS quarterback Logan Ross said. "But he was pretty special tonight."

He needed to be.

The game-winning score was set up by Brock's first completion of the season. With the ball at the QHS 41, Brock took a direct snap and rolled to his right, finding Ross open in the middle of the field. Ross was eventually tackled at the QND 14.

"I was thinking about running it, but I saw they had two (defenders) out there to prevent me from running, so I looked to the middle because their DBs (defensive backs) went with Adonte (Crider)," Brock said.

"I just knew I had to get open," Ross said. "I didn't expect him to throw it to me, but when he did, I just tried to run somebody over."

The Blue Devils then stopped the clock when Ross spiked the ball on first down. The next play was called 27 Lightning, a toss to the left to Brock.

It was the same play QHS coach Rick Little called on the Blue Devils' previous drive with 4:50 remaining in the game. However, Brock looked up to see QND linebacker Jackson Connell coming on a blitz, taking his eyes off the ball and never catching the pitch. Connell recovered the fumble.

On this play, Brock appeared to be stopped at the line of scrimmage.

"I just tried to get outside, and I tried to keep my feet moving when they to wrap me up," he said. "Hopefully, some of the arms would fall off of me, and I can keep going."

Defensive end Jacob Werries was one of the tacklers surrounding Brock.

"I think I might have had him by the ankles," he said.

Connell was there, too.

"I kind of had him around the torso, but not very good," he said. "I thought the ref might have blown the play dead, but to (Brock's) credit, he kept his feet moving."

Brock sprung free from the pile and headed untouched to the corner of the end zone.

"We didn't block it that well," Little said. "Jirehl just refused to be tackled."

Connell caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Wellman with 8:04 to play to get the Raiders within 28-21, and after a three-and-out by the Blue Devils, QND had a chance to put together a game-winning drive. On third and 12, however, Wellman was intercepted by Daesean Campbell, and QHS had the ball on the QND 30.

Brock's fumble gave the Raiders a second chance.

This time, the Raiders marched 63 yards on nine plays. Werries, who rushed for 72 yards as a replacement for injured tailback Dalton Venvertloh, carried the ball four times on the drive. Wellman picked up a fourth-and-6 when he scrambled for 8 yards to the QHS 25.

The Raiders then went to the Wildcat offense for the first time this season, lining up Connell in the shotgun. He carried once for 7 yards, then bolted around right end for an 18-yard touchdown to trim the deficit to one point.

"We've been kind of saving that for a special time," Connell said.

On the two-point conversion try, Connell ran behind left tackle Jonny Bottorff and beat Blue Devils linebacker Brock Baird to the pylon.

"(Connell is) a physical player, and I've got to give that team credit," Baird said. "Sometimes, you just get beat on a play. But we still had a chance."

The Blue Devils led 28-14 at halftime after Brock's first interception, but the Raiders limited Brock to 2 yards on seven carries in the second half prior to his game-winning run.

"There were some guys who were down at halftime, but it was still a close game," Wellman said. "All we had to do was go out and stop them.

"I still believed."

And when they trailed, so did the Blue Devils.

"I had complete confidence," Baird said.

"I had full confidence that we would come back," Ross said.

Wellman admitted that he was worried the Blue Devils had too much time left.

"When (Brock's) on the field, anything can happen," he said.


QHS 34, QND 29


24 First Downs 16

259 Yards Rushing 275

39 Yards Passing 45

298 Total Yards 330

4-14-3 Passes Att.-Comp.-Int. 1-4-0

0-0 Fumbles-Lost 2-1

4-35 Penalties-Yards 8-86

QND 7 7 0 15--29

QHS 14 14 0 6--34

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

QHS--Adonte Crider 16 run (Avery Wilson kick), 2:44

QND--Brady Nierman 99 kickoff return (Reed Hyer kick), 2:30

QHS--Jirehl Brock 70 run (Wilson kick), 2:14

Second Quarter

QND--Jackson Connell 5 run (Hyer kick), 7:03

QHS--Brock 2 run (Wilson kick), 1:46

QHS--Brock 100 interception return (Wilson kick), 0:00

Third Quarter

QND--Connell 5 pass from Nick Wellman (Hyer kick), 8:04

QND--Connell 18 run (Connell run), 0:40

QHS--Brock 14 run (pass failed), 0:14



RUSHING--QND, Connell 16-111, Jacob Werries 15-72, Dalton Venvertloh 7-47, Jonathan Ohnemus 8-36, Simon Holtschlag 2-6, Wellman 2-(minus-13). QHS, Brock 24-201, Crider 5-54, Jake Kelley 6-17, Logan Ross 4-3.

PASSING--QND, Wellman 4-14-3-39. QHS, Brock 1-2-0-45, Ross 0-2-0-0.

RECEIVING--QND, Reed Hyer 2-13, Brady Gilliland 1-21, Connell 1-5. QHS, Ross 1-45.

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