By Darron Thomas, Southern Sports & Travel
Brookhaven followed their usual script on Friday night as they found themselves behind early on in a game but the #1 ranked Cougars finished the way they have all season, on top. After spotting Bowling Green an early 6-0 first quarter lead Brookhaven reeled off 21 straight points en-route to a 21-14 win that not only delivered a fourth consecutive district championship, but also secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Bowling Green struck quickly to begin the game on a Cash Cooley kick-return that he carried all the way to the Brookhaven 9 yard line. One play later Cooley dashed in as the Buccaneers took an early 6-0 lead just 15 seconds into the contest.
Brookhaven, true to form, answered right back as they marched 61 yards in 6 plays to tie things up when quarterback Chandler Rogers hit wide-out Bubba Keene on a 34 yard touchdown pass. Tyler Trout’s PAT forged the Cougars ahead 7-6 midway through the opening quarter.
Brookhaven increased their lead to end the first quarter on a Chandler Rogers one yard keeper. Tyler Trout added the PAT to build the lead to 14-6.
Bowling Green struggled after their first possession, having little success in the air or rushing the ball. Brookhaven added another score in the second quarter when Rogers went in from one yard out to cap off a 5 play 45 yard drive, followed by a successful Tyler Trout PAT to propel Brookhaven into halftime with a 21-6 lead on a wet and soggy field.
Bowling Green started moving the football in the third quarter and put together a solid drive of their own going 75 yards in 10 plays culminating on a David Fulks touchdown scamper. Cash Cooley converted on the two point attempt to trim the Brookhaven lead to 21-14.
Neither team would score in the final quarter as both defenses held firm. Bowling Green’s last effort began on their own 10 yard line with just over two minutes left and no timeouts. Any hopes of extending the game into overtime was nixed as Brookhaven linebacker Jamison Powell intercepted a Cash Cooley pass with less than a minute remaining.
Brookhaven improved to 11-0 and 4-0 in district play and completed their first undefeated regular season in school history. Junior quarterback Chandler Rogers was 11/21 for 139 yards passing and a touchdown. Rogers also had 67 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Junior running back Jennings Mills had a solid effort as he rushed for 96 yards on 11 carries.
On the defensive side of the ball for the Cougars linebacker Jamison Powell had 13 tackles and two interceptions on the night. Linebacker Alan Michael Allred and defensive back Donovan Lorraine each had 9 tackles.
For Bowling Green quarterback Cash Cooley rushed for 104 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown, and was 7/14 passing for 35 yards and two interceptions. Seth Fauntleroy led the Buccaneers with 10 tackles, Jason Milton and Shod Fortenberry each had 7 on the night.
Brookhaven will host either Central Hinds or Silliman next week in round one of the playoffs while Bowling Green (6-4) will travel to Central Private.