ALBANY -- For Monroe coach Charles Truitt it was the best of times and it was the worst of times.
Tornadoes quarterback Charles Stafford completed 21 of 39 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns, but Monroe squandered three other opportunities in the Red Zone as Brooks County improved to 3-1 with a 21-12 win at Hugh Mills Stadium Friday.
Stafford threw TD passes of five and six yards to Jawaski Randle, but in three other trips inside the Brooks County 20, Monroe lost 15 yards and turned the ball over twice on downs and was intercepted once.
Monroe, which fell to 2-2, also hurt itself by being penalized 11 times for 75 yards - several were drive killers.
"It was two steps forward, three steps back for us tonight," Truitt said.
"We looked good in spots but the penalties killed us. We played well between the twenties, but had negative yardage in the red zone. That's one of our main problems right now -- scoring when we get into the red zone."
Brooks, which plays in Region 1-AA, got on the board with it's first possession of the game, marching 63 yards in 16 plays culminating in Malcolm Parrish's 1-yard tumble into the end zone with 5:55 left in the first period to make it 7-0.
That score held at the half, but the Trojans boosted their lead to 14-0 when Destin Simmons banged in from three yards out with 6:49 remaining in the third quarter.
"We didn't play particularly well tonight," Brooks coach Maurice Freeman said. "I though our first drive was the best we played all night. But we eked out a win and I am happy about that."
Monroe used a 23-yard interception return to the Brooks 22 to set up a short scoring drive. It took the Tornadoes three plays for Stafford to find Williams with a five-yard touchdown strike with 9:54 remaining in the game. The PAT fails and Monroe trailed just 14-6
The teams swapped possessions before Brooks snuffed out Monroe's comeback hopes with a five-play 56-yard scoring drive.
Simmons had runs of two, six and 10 yards before crashing into the endzone with a seven yard TD run to push the Trojans' lead to 21-6 with 4:20 left.
Monroe, however, answered with a 68-yard drive of its own. Stafford found Trevious Hudson with passes of 13 and 18 yards then zipped a six-yard TD strike with 2:07 left to Williams. The two-point attempt failed for the final 21-12 margin.
"I thought the guys played hard tonight, they didn't give up," Truitt said. "We got to play a lot of young players tonight and they played well. Our real season begins next Friday."
Monroe will entertain Cairo next Friday while Brooks travels to Berrien.