Gaping holes in a defense he intently constructed. Uncharacteristic mistakes that obliterated a game plan he'd been working on for weeks.
Before he knew it, the Lumberton Pirates trailed 24-0 early in the second quarter to Purnell Swett in Pembroke and were left gasping for air as the Rams were driving again.
Members of Brill’s starting secondary weren’t happy. Nor were the 1,000 or so fans that made the trip from Lumberton.
"We weren’t focused,” senior Brent Bristow said. “Our defense needed to step it up and (we) didn’t.”
Another veteran defensive back chimed in.
“Some of our guys were scared to tackle Jock (Clark) and Ethan (Clark),” Kendrick McGill said, who also handles return duties for the Pirates. “Jock would just run up the middle right at us. We couldn’t stop him.”
The miserable first-half effort ultimately led to the Pirates' sixth loss in their last seven games against their rival, a 32-30 setback that ended after Maurice Lewis was stopped short on a 2-point conversion try late in the contest.
As a team focused on defense, Lumberton's unit was exposed by the sheer amount of blown coverages and missed tackles that highlighted the loss. Not to mention two fumbles in the first five minutes that put Lumberton in an early, 12-0 hole.
"The offense and defense needed to get better,” running back Larry Parker said. “We didn’t make the plays necessary to win. It was frustrating.”
Parker, the Pirates’ second leading rusher, missed last year’s game with the Rams after breaking his hand earlier in the season. As a senior, Parker has some unfinished business to carry out during his last chance against a rival Friday at Lumberton.
“I just want revenge. I think we all do,” Parker said. “After what happened at Swett, we’re ready to beat them this year.”
For the Pirates (8-2, 3-1) a win this week coupled with a Richmond loss to Scotland would create a three-way tie for first place in the Southeastern Conference. For playoff seeding purposes, the tiebreaker would be decided by a blind drawing shortly after Friday's games.
No doubt there will be some scoreboard watching in the second half against the Rams.
"I would mean everything if we won,” McGill said. “Everyone wants a piece of the championship. I think our team is ready to play.”
A win over the Rams would also eliminate Swett from playoff contention if Hoke wins at Pinecrest.
Lumberton practiced for two hours Tuesday afternoon, led by Mackie Register and several other assistant coaches. Register said the Pirates needed to “clean up” a few things on offense before their regular-season finale.