November 25, 2012 12:57:38 AM
REFORM, Ala. -- Sometimes, Jermarcus Brown feels like he's running on a chessboard because wherever he is on the field, there's an offensive lineman in position to check a defender.
The Pickens County High School running back continued his dizzying pace through the Alabama High School Activities Association Class 1A playoffs Friday, scoring five touchdowns and piling up 230 all-purpose yards in a 53-32 victory against Berry.
Brown had an 82-yard kickoff return for a score to give Pickens County a 33-12 lead in the second quarter.
"When we know we can have fun, it makes it easier," said Brown, who has received recruiting interest from Mississippi State University and the University of Missouri. "Once I see my linemen get off one block and move up, I smile because I know it's going to be a great game. My line never lets me down. When I tell them how many touchdowns I want, my line makes it happen."
Said Pickens County offensive tackle Terrien Steele, "In the second quarter, we did a great job of blocking and getting our backs up and through the holes. We just kept on driving and driving. Watching film all week, we saw what blitzes they've been doing and relied on that tonight."
Berry's task of stopping Brown and quarterback Devonte Simon, who threw for 190 yards, was compounded by poor tackling, especially after kick return scores from Brown and Simon put the game out of reach in the second quarter.
Berry coach Danny Raines said Pickens County's game plan mirrored was similar to the one the Tornadoes used in a 49-22 victory against the Wildcats in the regular season.
"We didn't do a good job of limiting their big plays," Raines said, "it killed us. Pickens (County) has that big-play potential on every play."
Pickens County will travel to Guin to face Marion County, which beat Hubbertville 41-22 on Friday, in the Class 1A state semifinals. Pickens County lost to Marion County 45-27 in the regular season. Marion County won the Class 1A state title last season.
Pickens County could use another all-star performance from Brown, who has eight touchdowns and 583 rushing yards in the postseason. He had an 87-yard kickoff return for a score in the loss to Marion County in October.
"We enjoy coming back in on Sundays, watching film, and watching (Brown) run," Pickens County coach Patrick Plott said. "He's got a great blend of power and speed. He's a special kid."