The only thing wrong with Brandon Hollomon is that he's not quite Rob Hollomon.
Isn't that always the situation for younger brothers of first-magnitude stars?
First, let us tell you that Rob Hollomon 2 years ago rushed for 1,923 yards and a still-hard-to-fathom 36 touchdowns as West Catholic High advanced to the PIAA Class AA football final. Second, it's not as if Brandon has had to settle for fourth-string status and, oh, maybe 37 yards and two scores over the last two seasons.
His output last fall included 1,428 yards and 15 TDs. This year's yield, though he shares the tailback position with two other guys, has been 1,236/16.
Even better, there's still the chance for a title. Still the chance for Redemption with a capital R, followed by numerous exclamation points.
Like all of the Burrs, Hollomon, a 5-11, 160-pound senior, hopes that two games remain in this season. The one-for-sure will be Saturday, 1 p.m., vs. Lewisburg at Hersheypark Stadium. The same site will host the final 1 week later.
In 2008, Brandon backed up his brother as the Burrs fell to Wilmington, 35-34, in double overtime.
"It hurt watching all the seniors cry; not just my brother," a freezing Brandon said yesterday, before practice behind St. Louis Church in Yeadon. "Part of me wants to win this for all those guys, not just myself.
"I didn't sit with Rob on the bus back to Philly. Once we got home, we didn't talk about it at all. I can't remember too much about that night. We probably just went to sleep. Talking about it, that didn't happen for a couple days. He tried to take the viewpoint that it was over, and that he was going on to bigger and better things. And he also gave me some advice on how to do things better."
Speaking of that . . . Brandon needs 217 more rushing yards to surpass Rob's career total.
Their career numbers look like this: Rob ran 312 times for 3,159 yards and 46 scores. Brandon owns 2,943 yards and 33 scores on 332 attempts. Also, they have combined for 958 receiving yards - Rob (35-536-9 TDs); Brandon (34-422-3) - for a grand scrimmage total of 7,060. Add in 2,105 return yards - Rob leads that battle, 1,396-709 - and the brothers own 9,165 in all.
Be patient. The numbers are still jumping off the stat sheet of assistant Ed "Huck" Palmer.
He notes that Rob leads in total TDs, 64-37, and points, 392-226, and yards-per-carry average, 10.1 to 8.9, and 100-yard rushing games, 16-10, but that Brandon can claim the most carries (33) and yards (254).
"There's good and bad about always being compared with Rob," Brandon said. "The way I look at it, that's not a bad person to be compared to. I take it in stride."
And sometimes uses strides to work in his favor.
"We raced a couple times in the summer, and I beat him," Brandon said, smiling. "I have witnesses. I wouldn't say I beat him good, but I was the clear winner."
After spending a prep-school year in Connecticut, Rob just finished a redshirt season at Kent State. He attended Friday's 55-14 quarterfinal bombing of Northern Lehigh, but is now back at school for a few more days before Christmas (oops, holiday) break will bring him back home to Mount Airy (near Cliveden and Ardleigh).
Not surprising, Rob is Brandon's biggest fan.
"It's great to see him accomplish good things," he said. "I've told him all along to try to be better than me. I like how he's building his own Brandon image.
"Honestly, he runs smoother than I do. The main difference I see is, he doesn't have the same killer instinct. The instant the game starts, I'm gone, ready to go. He kind of eases into it. He does have better hands than me, though."
Said Brandon: "Rob plays with a lot of heart. He's got that killer instinct. Every time he touches the ball, he wants to score a touchdown."
He laughed while adding, "I do think I take defense more seriously than he did. I'm more gifted on that side."
Brandon is receiving contact from the likes of Louisville, Villanova, James Madison, Wagner, Akron and, yes, Kent. Most see him at cornerback.
"That would be one way to stop the running back comparisons," he quipped.
"If somebody wants to give me a free education to play football, I'll play anything they want. Defense? I'm all for it. Just like I'd be fine with running back or receiver. We'll have to see what's going to happen with Kent State's interest because the coach just [resigned], but if they still want me . . . I wouldn't have a problem playing with Rob again."
There might be a playful ulterior motive . . .
Brandon still thinks back to his first football season with Rob on the Mount Airy Bantams' 75-pounders.
"The first time we had a hittin' drill, man, he gave it to me good," he said. "Hurt me a little, even."