Brandon players gathered in a circle around coach Jim Wilt at midfield of Bloomingdale's stadium after their game with the Bulls and jumped in unison. The message was clear: the battle of Brandon still belonged to the Eagles.
After listening to talk all week about the Bulls upset of Lakeland last week, Brandon shut out Bloomingdale in the second half and came from behind.
"All we heard all week was Bloomingdale, Bloomingdale, Bloomingdale," Wilt said. "But we've controlled this rivalry for years, so we just came out and punched them in the mouth and took over."
Brandon's running back tandem of Demetrius Jones and Win Hutchinson ran at will against Bloomingdale's defense, racking up a combined 313 yards. Jones finished with 212 yards and two touchdowns, including the winning score with 6:23 to play.
It appeared Brandon would run away with the game after the Eagles scored a pair of first-quarter touchdowns. Brandon ran six straight run plays on the opening possession, capped by Tyson Gordon's 1-yard sneak. Gordon then went 3-of-4 for 64 yards on the Eagles' next possession, finishing with a 16-yard touchdown run by Antonio Brown.
Bloomingdale bounced back to score 21 unanswered points and a 21-14 halftime lead. Touchdowns runs by Bobby Watkins and Tony Thomas of 8 and 13 yards, respectively, tied the score at 14. Then Mike Green blocked David Zettel's punt and Mark Frisk scooped up the loose ball and returned it 15 yards for the score 1:48 before halftime.
Jones tied the game at 21 in the third quarter with a 10-yard touchdown before getting the winning score.
"We've been trying to balance (passing and running) a little more lately, but we just went back to the run in the second half and that brought the win home for us," Wilt said.