Zyree Brooks' huge night helps Spring Grove earn first District 3 playoff win since 2012

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
  • Spring Grove earned a 33-6 football win over Twin Valley on Friday night.
  • The victory came in the first round of the District 3 Class 5-A playoffs.
  • It was Spring Grove's first District 3 victory since 2012.
  • Spring Grove running back Zyree Brooks rushed for 288 yards and four touchdowns vs. Twin Valley.
Spring Grove's Zyree Brooks runs the ball for a touchdown during PIAA District III, Class 5-A first-round football action against Twin Valley at Spring Grove Area High School in Jackson Township, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. Spring Grove would win the game 33-6. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Zyree Brooks picked the perfect night to have the best game of his standout career.

The Spring Grove High School senior running back scorched the Twin Valley defense for 288 rushing yards and four touchdowns to secure the program’s first District 3 playoff win since 2012 with a 33-6 victory.

Brooks’ biggest play of the game was a 96-yard touchdown run, another career best. The Rockets’ running back had no idea he had scored such a huge touchdown until a teammate asked him a question.

“I didn't even notice it was 96 until I got right to the sideline,” Brooks said. “He was like, ‘Bro, do you know what you just did?’”

Spring Grove head coach Kyle Sprenkle continued the praise for Brooks after the game, but for a different touchdown run. Brooks’ 96-yard score was his first of the game, but his final run may have been just as impressive.

Brooks stiff-armed one defender, broke through an arm tackle from another and sprinted past a third Twin Valley tackler for a 24-yard touchdown that impressed Sprenkle on the sideline.

“I just told him when he came off the sideline, ‘That's the way you finish a run. There was no quit in there,’” Sprenkle said. “He smelled the end zone and he did everything he could to get to it and obviously, that's not one of his longest runs or like his flashiest run, but that's a highlight-reel run right there.”

Spring Grove's Zyree Brooks runs the ball to gain some yardage during PIAA District III, Class 5-A first-round football action against Twin Valley at Spring Grove Area High School in Jackson Township, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. Spring Grove would win the game 33-6. Dawn J. Sagert photo

As dominant as Brooks was on offense, the Rockets defense matched his performance with a big night of their own in the Class 5-A first-round contest.

Twin Valley’s offense struggled to generate any momentum during the game, besides the first drive of the second half.

Down 19-0, Twin Valley went for an onside kick, recovered it and quickly ran down the field and into the end zone for its only score of the game.

Sprenkle said Spring Grove’s coaches tried to prepare the players for the onside attempt, but the Rockets failed to get on the ball.

“We had a feeling (and) we moved some guys around,” Sprenkle said. “Credit to them. They took advantage of a situation there, but we were there. We just needed to finish that play and we didn't make it.”

From right, Spring Grove's Andrew Osmun pulls Twin Valley's Evan Johnson and Jordan Watson across into the end zone as he scores a touchdown during PIAA District III, Class 5-A first-round football action at Spring Grove Area High School in Jackson Township, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. Spring Grove would win the game 33-6. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Spring Grove got the ball and ran out the rest of the third quarter behind big runs by Brooks and junior quarterback Andrew Osmun. Brooks burst into the end zone for his third touchdown to start the fourth quarter and shut down any chance of a Twin Valley comeback.

The Rockets’ defense intercepted passes on consecutive drives to set up Brooks’ final score and seal the victory.

Osmun scored the first touchdown of the game with a 20-yard run. He wasn’t asked to throw the ball much, mostly because of how successful the Spring Grove running game was.

Rematch with Waynesboro: The No. 4 seed Rockets (9-1) will host No. 5 seed Waynesboro (9-2) in the quarterfinals. Spring Grove beat Waynesboro, 25-20, in Week 1, but Osmun broke his ribs and left that game early. Waynesboro won its first-round district 5-A game 42-20 over No. 12 seed Daniel Boone (5-4).

Spring Grove entered the season with high expectations of reaching the playoffs, and despite some struggles along the way, achieved that goal and ended a near decade-long playoff win drought on Friday.

“You got to give credit to the team,” Sprenkle said. “My coaching staff does a great job getting these guys prepared, but you got to give the credit to the team. The guys have been putting in the hard work since they've been sophomores; the senior class is getting rewarded for all that effort. We got a great team, not just the senior class, (but) juniors (and) sophomores. It's a great family atmosphere here, and they deserve all the credit for their success.”

No. 13 seed Twin Valley finished 6-5.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.