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WPIAL

Shout Out from DeSean Jackson Powered Steel Valley’s Cruce Brookins to 333-Yard Rushing Day

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MUNHALL, Pa. — Steel Valley quarterback and safety Cruce Brookins led his team past the McGuffey Highlanders with a rushing performance for the ages: 333 yards and six touchdowns.

Brookins picked up 132 yards on his first two carries and never looked back. He said he was ready for a hard-nosed game because of the bad weather.

“I looked on the forecast and it was raining, so I knew we [were going] to be running,” Brookins said. “It was hard to throw them balls in the rain. It kept slipping out of my hand and it didn’t work, so we just kept running it.”

The senior Kent State commit said his workout regimen helped him stay upright on the slick field.

“Just working on my balance, I’ve been lifting a lot on my legs,” Brookins said. “They were a physical team, they [were] coming hard, but we came harder and we won.”

Despite his big day, Brookins didn’t bask in the limelight. Instead, he credited his teammates for their role in his performance.

“Our line prepared, and we dominated. … My line opened up all the holes, and I just hit them,” Brookins said. “I’ve been playing with them since midget league, a couple of the guys. So it’s just natural to us.”

Before the game, Brookins got a motivational shoutout from an unexpected source: 15-year NFL veteran DeSean Jackson, who has 11,126 receiving yards and 62 touchdowns to his name. Brookins is related to Jackson’s mother.

“Me and my family are very close with his mom, and my dad asked for him to send me a video of shouting us out,” Brookins said. “I didn’t know… they surprised me after practice! Just my family being awesome!”

Brookins plays on both sides of the ball — he’s made five interceptions on defense this season — and he said he’ll play safety for the Golden Flashes in college. But for right now, he’s a rushing wrecking ball for the Ironmen, who will face Neshannock at Montour High School in the WPIAL Class-2A semifinal on Friday.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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