Don’t think. Just play.
That’s the advice Oscar Smith coaches gave quarterback Dominique Brooks for Friday’s Class 6 Region A semifinal against Ocean Lakes.
And after a shaky start, the lessons sank in. Brooks threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Tigers to a 31-6 victory at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. The Tigers, who advanced to their 14th consecutive region final, play at No. 1 seed Landstown next Friday.
“Our goal is to play into December,” said Oscar Smith coach Scott Johnson. “That’s what’s important to us.”
And to get there, Johnson knew Brooks had to have a big game.
But things didn’t start well. The Tigers fumbled three times in the first half. Fortunately for them, the defense was able to hold the Dolphins to a field goal.
The defensive hold was crucial for the Tigers, who had struggled of late.
After holding Southeastern District teams to just 20 total points in eight games, they allowed 29 to King’s Fork in the loss that ended their 99-game district winning streak. And last week, they gave up 21 to Cox in the region quarterfinal.
“We felt that we had something to prove,” said Oscar Smith defensive lineman Kyle Thomas. “And for us to hold (Ocean Lakes) was really good … they could have scored 21 points, but our defense worked hard.”
The only points Ocean Lakes came away with was Shawn Hamilton’s 41-yard field goal in the first quarter for a 3-0 lead.
Oscar Smith (10-2) scored in the second quarter, when Brooks connected with Kenny Etheridge on a 38-yard pass to help give the Tigers a 7-3 lead with 2:22 left.
“It was wide open (because) the safety went right,” Brooks said, “and nobody came over and I threw it.”
The Tigers added three more points at the end of the half on Azeez Attar’s 30-yard field goal for a 10-3 lead.
Johnson was pleased to see…