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Brownsville to use late-season victory as building block

| Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 6:30 p.m.
Brownsville quarterback Brandon DeCarlo takes part in a passing camp practice on July 17, 2012 at California High School in California. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Brownsville receiver Keshawn Gregory takes part in a passing camp practice on July 17, 2012 at California High School in California. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Beth-Center's C.J. Novak (left) and Cody Durant run down Brownsville receiver Jacob Rechichar at a passing camp practice on July 17, 2012 at California High School in California. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review

It's hard to say if momentum can carry over from one season to the next, but for Brownsville, ending its season on a winning note — a 20-19 victory over Waynesburg — has a positive upon which to build.

There were points in the season when Brownsville struggled to reach double figures on the scoreboard, but coach Von Braddock knows his team has something to offer.

“My kids know they can compete; it's just putting it together,” Braddock said. “We had a lot of kids who were first-year players. They're decent athletes, but they weren't football players.

“It took awhile to learn the game, but once they learned it, things started coming around. They started trusting themselves and trusted what we were doing.”

Brownsville will rely heavily on the bond that's blossomed between quarterback Brandon DeCarlo and wide receiver Tre Durkin, who together led the team's aerial attack in 2011.

Tight end Christian Floyd and receiver Keyshawn Gregory also will be targets this season.

“Last year, we didn't have those guys around at camp,” Braddock said. “They're getting familiar, so that's better than last year being cold turkey.”

Aside from his skill players, Braddock expects his linebackers corps to carry a lot of the load on the defensive side of the ball.

Senior Nick Landman and sophomore Shane Roebuck started last year, and their knack for finding the ball has Braddock excited.

“Nick has been with me starting since he was a freshman, and Shane got a lot of playing time and he got a lot bigger and stronger in the offseason,” he said. “We're looking for some big things. We've done some work on reads and stuff, and they both have a nose for finding the football.”

As far as carrying any momentum garnered from last year's finish, Braddock has no doubt his players can put things together.

“Everyone wants to win that last game and end on a winning note,” he said. “My guys know how to compete, just not how to win. Changing that mentality the last three years, we've turned it a little bit.”

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