Brooker’s return energizes Demopolis
Senior Tyler Brooker returned Tuesday after missing six weeks of action to help Demopolis (4-4-2) surge past region foe Pleasant Grove 8-1.
Pleasant Grove scored the first goal of the game on a corner kick before the Tigers began their assault.
Brooker scored his first goal of the game at the 7:21 mark to tie the contest at 1-1. Cameron Fendley scored off a Rem Keen assist a minute later to push the lead to 2-1. Less than a minute passed before Brooker struck again on an unassisted goal to stretch the advantage to 3-1. After just 11:20 had elapsed in the first half, Brooker connected on his third goal of the game to push the score to 4-1.
At the 24:42 mark, Alan Brooker scored off a Trent McDowell assist to make it 5-1 in favor of the Tigers. Tyler Brooker scored his fourth goal of the first half at the 31:11 mark to give DHS a 6-1 halftime lead.
“All season long we have held the ball 90 percent of the time,” DHS head coach Peter Keen said. “Tyler was the missing key.”
Upon his return to the lineup, Tyler manned his customary midfield position before the decision was made to move him up top.
“He doesn’t play up top normally,” Peter Keen said. “I put him up there and he did what he was supposed to do.”
Demopolis stretched its lead to 7-1 at the 58:36 mark when Tyler Brooker scored his fifth and final goal of the game off a McDowell assist.
“When he broke his foot, the morale on the team at that moment was crushed,” Keen said of the injury Tyler sustained against Northridge on Friday, Feb. 13. “Even at practice (Monday) night, you could tell the momentum was a whole lot higher, more aggressive.”
Demopolis added its final score when McDowell found the inside of the net off a Jarvis Lawson assist.
While the scoring took center stage Tuesday, Peter Keen was complimentary of his defensive unit’s work.
“I was really proud of our defense,” Keen said. “They played really well. They kept the ball up front all night.”
The defense’s ability to keep the ball in the Pleasant Grove half of the field helped enable Demopolis to take 48 shots on goal in the match. Comparatively, Pleasant Grove attempted only seven.
“We’re batting .500. Last year we weren’t at this point,” Peter Keen said.
His players took the field Tuesday after having heard for the majority of the day that they would likely not be playing.
“They were told that they more than likely wouldn’t play because of the weather,” Keen said. “We took a chance and it turned out to be beautiful, great soccer weather.”
Demopolis travels to John Carroll Friday.
“We’re playing John Carroll Friday and it’s going to be a tough game regardless.”