A handful of explosive plays and a stifling defensive performance was enough to lift Brunswick High to its first win of the season 34-0 over McIntosh County Academy on Friday at Glynn County Stadium.

Following a week off to heal up some early-season injuries, the Pirates (1-2) held the Buccaneers (0-2) to 70 yards of offense and just 37 in the first half as they built a 27-0 advantage. Brunswick also recovered three fumbles.

“You see when our defense starts to get healthy, they’re a lot better then we showed at the beginning of the year, and you saw that,” said Pirates head coach Sean Pender. “Whenever you get a shutout, that’s awesome. That’s huge. That was a goal for the defense.

“Hat’s off to our defense. They did a tremendous job, executed their game plan really, really well.”

The shutout was the first for Brunswick since it beat South Effingham 43-0 on Sept. 16, 2016, and it came in spite of two turnovers by the Pirates offense that set the Buccaneers up in scoring position.

Running back Chuckobe Hill lost a fumble on Brunswick’s first possession of the game, but McIntosh County Academy would turn the ball over on downs despite taking over 36 yards from the end zone.

Elijah Ellison also intercepted a pass to see the Buccaneers up just inside Pirates territory, but a 28-yard field goal was no good, squandering MCA’s best scoring opportunity of the night.

Brunswick, on the other hand, made the most of the opportunities its defense afforded.

The Pirates’ lead was just 14-0 when they forced back-to-back turnovers on the McIntosh side of the field late in the second quarter. Quarterback Anthony Mountain hit Che’querdo Foy for an 18-yard touchdown to go up two scores with 3:19 in the first half, and on the ensuing kickoff, Ellison tried to do a little too much with the ball and fumbled it right back to Brunswick.

On the next play from scrimmage, Mountain once again found Foy, who made a spectacular diving catch in the end zone to push the lead to 21-0.

Once the Buccaneers got the ball back, they immediately lost it again on a fumbled snap just outside the red zone, and three plays later, Khamori Simmons crossed the goal line for his second rushing touchdown of the first half. He also had an electric 51-yard scoring run to put the first points on the scoreboard three minutes into the second quarter.

“Those two turnovers, I think, were the difference makers,” said MCA head coach Bradley Warren.

Simmons finished with 97 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries while fellow sophomore running back Hill also had 97 yards on 15 carries. Brunswick rolled up 158 yards on the ground and 376 total.

Mountain completed 12-of-23 passes for 218 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, and Foy made five catches for 101 yards and two scores for the Pirates.

One area of concern for Pender offensively was his team’s inconsistency on that side of the ball.

Brunswick had some drives stall out when it got behind the down and distance, and the team went scoreless in the second half until Mountain connected with Amarion Whitfield for a 44-yard score with three minutes remaining.

“It’s just penalties,” Pender said. “If you go back and you look at all of our drives that stalled, if it’s not 100 percent, it’s close to, it was penalties why they stalled.

“We’ve got to clean up those penalties.”

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