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The Fifth Quarter: Brooks Quietly Runs Express

Posted Friday, November 22, 2013 by Mike Johnston

Brooks quietly runs Express

The bulk of the yards and the points for the Elmira Express have come from the explosive running back tandem of senior Eli Thomas and Jerry McPeak, who have combined for 2,660 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns through Saturday’s 24-18 victory over Syracuse Christian Brothers Academy in a Class AA quarterfinal.

Senior quarterback Rasean Brooks has quietly and efficiently directed the offense. He rarely runs the ball and passes only a few times a game, but he has been a big reason for the success of the 10-0 Express. Brooks threw a touchdown pass in Elmira’s 42-22 win over Binghamton in the Section 4 final and another Saturday against CBA.

“Rasean catches the majority of the pressure from us,” Elmira head coach Jimmy McCauley said. “We expect him never to mess up. He’s the quarterback. We expect him to control the tempo and things like that.

“He’s the perfect quarterback. He’s always calm and he’ll demand some energy when he needs to.”

Brooks is also a key contributor at cornerback and his interception late in Saturday’s game helped preserve Elmira’s victory.

“You don’t see a lot of times the quarterback playing defense, but he’s an athlete,” McCauley said. “We put him on the field and he makes plays.”

Elmira has a chance to advance to its first state championship game with a victory over top-ranked Rochester Aquinas. The teams meet at 6 p.m. Saturday at Sahlen’s in Rochester.

The only other state playoff win in Elmira City School District history was a 42-27 victory over Syracuse CBA in 2002. EFA went on to lose to Aquinas, 42-14, in the semifinals.

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