HALLETTSVILLE — Opposing coaches have asked Hallettsville’s Tommy Psencik how he would try to contain running back Jonathon Brooks.
Psencik tells them he doesn’t have an answer.
“I’d try to stop your two best receivers and put the nine others on Jonathon,” Psencik said. “I don’t even know if I could get it done then after watching the other day.”
Brooks set school records by rushing for 501 yards and nine touchdowns Friday night in the Brahmas’ 61-48 Class 3A, Division I regional playoff win over Lorena.
“I just went in there and coach called the plays and our linemen really blocked their tails off, and it just unfolded perfectly, and I just made plays,” Brooks said. “After the first drive, I can tell if the defense is physical or not and what they’re doing.”
Brooks, who has committed to the University of Texas, carried the ball 27 times and averaged over 18 yards per carry. He scored on runs 3, 69, 25, 1, 6, 36, 29, 46 yards and 52 yards.
“All I can tell you is it happened and the line really did well,” Psencik said. “We had some check offs at the line. The coaches set it up, and Jonathon did the rest. He made some heck of a moves right in the hole to make somebody miss to where he could free up.”
Brooks had no idea of his totals until the game was over.
“It’s kind of crazy,” he said. “During the game, it didn’t even feel like it was that much. But we came together as a team, and won the game.”
The state record for rushing yards in a game is 599 yards set by Matt Gadek of McKinney in 2017.
Brooks could have had more yards and another touchdown, but purposely went down to help run out the clock.
“Some of the defensive players were mad that they weren’t getting enough rest,” said Brooks, who also starts on defense. “They were a great team, and it was hard for us to stop them on defense, but we found a way, and we pulled through.”
The 6-foot, 185-pound Brooks has carried 210 times this season for 2,719 yards and 52 touchdowns.
“His vision just seems to be getting better and better all the time,” Psencik said. “He’s humble enough to tell you that he missed a few cutback holes that we were watching on film earlier. But it just amazed me.”
Brooks credits much of his success this season to the work he did over the summer.
“I came out here to the stadium every other day in the summer with a couple of friends,” he said. “We conditioned and did drills and I kept myself in shape.”
Psencik knows opponents will continue to key on Brooks as they have all season. But Psencik is certain Brooks is prepared for the challenge.
“He’s going to draw a lot of attention,” Psencik said. “He’s hard to tackle in open space. A lot of it is just his mannerisms on the field. He’s got just that knack and vision. I think all the great backs have that element, and I don’t think it can be coached.”