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November 28, 2009
The Brookhaven Cougars completed a perfect 15-0 season Friday night with a dominating 63-28 win over the Lamar Raiders to capture the AA State Championship at Millsaps College in Jackson. In what was billed as a title game between the two top scoring teams in MAIS football Brookhaven rolled up 640 yards on the night to Lamar’s 368.
(Above) The Brookhaven Cougars, 2009 AA State Champions
The first five minutes of the opening quarter surprisingly produced three punts as both squads appeared tight. Lamar picked up the initial first down of the game on their second possession but couldn’t move beyond their own 25 yard line. The Raider’s Bo Bidgood boomed a 69 yard punt that pinned the Cougars back at their 6 yard line with 6:59 left in the opening quarter. Brookhaven tailback Jennings Mills scurried through the Lamar defense for a quick 23 yard gain on 1st down to the 29 yard line. Chandler Rogers completed his first pass three plays later when he connected with Bubba Keene for a 21 yard gain to the Lamar 37 yard line. Following six consecutive running plays Jennings Mills finished the 94 yard, 11 play drive with a 2 yard touchdown run with 2:36 left in the first quarter. Mills then converted on a two point attempt to put Brookhaven on top 8-0.
Lamar started their third possession of the quarter at the Brookhaven 49 yard line following an unsuccessful on-sides kick by the Cougars. Witt Haggard’s 15 yard keeper moved the Raiders to the Brookhaven 34 for a first down, but after two incomplete pass attempts Haggard dropped to pass on a 3rd and 10 and was forced to scramble to his right and Haggard’s pass attempt was picked off by linebacker Alan Michael Allred at the Brookhaven 27 yard line for the game’s first turnover.
Brookhaven quickly cashed in on the interception. Facing a 3rd and 15 from their own 23 yard line Chandler Rogers hit Jennings Mills across the middle and Mills raced 77 yards for the Cougar’s second score of the quarter. Tyler Trout added the PAT and with 44 seconds remaining in the first quarter Brookhaven held a 15-0 advantage.
(Above) The Brookhaven offensive line providing protection for Chandler Rogers
Lamar was held scoreless in the opening quarter but just barely. On the first play to start the second quarter Witt Haggard connected with Bo Bidgood with a 72 yard touchdown strike. Haggard then ran in for the two point conversion to trim the deficit to 15-8 with 11:48 remaining.
That seven point deficit would be short-lived as Brookhaven only needed 1:46 to increase the lead to 22-8. Chandler Rogers hooked up with Bubba Keene for a 44 yard touchdown pass and catch that culminated a four play 81 yard drive.
Lamar answered right back as they appeared to have gotten a rythym going offensively. The Raiders produced an 80 yard, 11 play drive that featured two 4th down conversions and was capped off when junior wide-out Charlie Nosco went up in the middle of three Brookhaven defenders and pulled down a Witt Haggard pass in the end-zone for a touchdown at the 6:47 mark of the quarter. Lamar’s two point attempt was broken up by defensive back Jeff Rushing with the score 22-14 Brookhaven.
Lamar had no answer for the Brookhaven offense. The Cougar’s covered an on-sides kick attempt by Lamar at their own 48 yard line and then marched 52 yards in 8 plays to increase the lead to 28-14. Chandler Rogers hit Tripp Jolly with a 15 yard touchdown pass for the score. Tyler Trout added the PAT to build the lead to 29-14 with 2:08 remaining in the half.
Brookhaven added two more scores before the first half ended. The Cougar defense forced Lamar into a 4th and 9 situation at the Raider 48 yard line. A Haggard pass intended for Charlie Nosco was broken up by Alan Michael Allred that turned the ball over on downs. Brookhaven hit pay-dirt again when Rogers found Bubba Keene over the middle for a 14 yard touchdown with 23 seconds remaining in the half to push the lead to 35-14. The two point attempt failed.
The Cougars capitalized on another scoring opportunity when Lamar mishandled the ensuing kick-off and Jeff Rushing recovered at the Lamar 23 yard line. Chandler Rogers scrambled for 9 yards on first down and with 3 seconds left in the first half Tyler Trout hit a 31 yard FG to give Brookhaven a 38-14 halftime cushion.
(Above) Lamar quarterback Witt Haggard being stopped by Brookhaven's Clint Stewart
Lamar’s defense halted a Brookhaven drive to start the third quarter and the Raiders climbed backed into the game when Witt Haggard scored on a three yard run around the right side at the 7:27 mark of the quarter. The Raiders went 87 yards in eight plays on the drive. Haggard then connected with Bo Bidgood on the two point conversion to pull to within 16 points at 38-22.
Lamar would get no closer. Brookhaven needed only three plays to build the lead back to 46-22. On 2nd and 14 from the Cougar 23 yard line Tripp Jolly found the end-zone for the second time when he hauled in a perfectly thrown Rogers sideline pass that covered 77 yards. Jennings Mills added a successful two point conversion and the Cougars were up 46-22 with 6:33 left in the third quarter.
The final score for Lamar came on the following possession when Witt Haggard hit Bo Bidgood with a five yard touchdown pass to complete an 80 yard drive that took just 1:20 off the clock. The Raider’s two point attempt failed and with 5:06 left in the third quarter it was a 46-28 game.
Tyler Trout added his second field goal on the night when he hit a 27 yarder with 2:13 left in the third quarter. The kick increased the Cougar lead to 49-28.
The Brookhaven defense all but closed the door on Lamar the remainder of the game. Lamar’s last possession of the third quarter was disrupted by a Will Gatlin sack and a Jeff Rushing interception at the Brookhaven 26 yard line as the quarter ended with Brookhaven enjoying a 49-28 lead.
Brookhaven scored twice in the final quarter. Bubba Keene ran in from 9 yards out with 7:10 left. Tyler Trout’s PAT made it 56-28.
The final score of the contest came at the 2:07 mark when Jennings Mills scored from 1 yard out to cap a 43 yard, 6 play drive that ate up nearly four minutes.
(Above) Brookhaven tailback Jennings Mills rushed for 144 yards and 2 tds
Brookhaven won its’ first state title in football since 1993 and the coach then was Herbert Davis.
“Our whole team did a great job. I thought our defense played outstanding tonight and our offense found a way to put the ball in the end-zone. This was one of our best defensive games all year long,” said Davis. “Our offense starts with Chandler, he’s the trigger guy but he has a lot of help. We’ve had kids grow up this year and become men and become a football team. We were a bunch of individuals that didn’t know what direction we wanted to go but our senior leaders stepped up. We won some games early this season and got on a roll and it’s been a dream.”
“The last three or four games we’ve averaged over 200 yards rushing,” said Davis. "We’re actually a very balanced offensive team which not many realize because we run a spread offense. Our offensive line has done a great job and Jennings Mills and Chandler Rogers have been effective in taking what the defenses have been giving on the ground. Tonight we mixed our plays up well.”
Both Chandler Rogers and Jennings Mills went over the 100 yard rushing mark against Lamar. Mills rushed for 144 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns while Rogers had 139 yards on 18 carries to his credit.
“Chandler went over 1,000 yards rushing tonight,” said Davis. "That’s 3,000 passing and 1,000 rushing, there aren’t too many of those guys out there.”
In containing Lamar quarterback Witt Haggard Davis said, “Our kids did a great job of preparing all week and understanding what we needed to do to try and give him some different looks.”
Chandler Rogers finished up his junior season with a title game performance worthy of much praise. Rogers was 15/24 for 353 yards and 5 touchdowns passing and rushed for 139 yards.
“Right now I really don’t know what to feel,” said Rogers. “It hasn’t sunk in yet but we knew coming in that Lamar had one of the best teams in the state and it was fun to compete against another high powered offense. I didn’t expect the score to be like this but it was fun.”
When asked if the confidence level was still high during the week after the injuries to receivers Bubba Keene and Tripp Jolly, Rogers said, “Yes sir, this week during practice they really fought through the injuries and they told me they would be 100% so I trusted them.”
Both Keene and Jolly put up big numbers in the title game. Keene had 6 receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns while Jolly overcame last week’s concussion to produce 116 yards on 5 catches and two touchdowns.
Junior kicker Tyler Trout was perfect on the night. Trout was 8/8 in PAT’s and nailed both FG attempts.
Sophomore linebacker Jeff Rushing led the Cougar defense with 14 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery, and senior linebacker Jamison Powell had 10 tackles.
(Above) Brookhaven defensive lineman Will Gatlin (#62) reflecting atfter the game
Lamar quarterback Witt Haggard finished with 72 yards rushing on 15 carries and a touchdown. The senior was 12/33 for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns passing. Fellow senior Bo Bidgood had a stellar last game for the Raiders. The wide-out had 7 receptions for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
Lamar finished the season with a 12-2 mark.
Playing at Millsaps college, Trinity played solid football on offense & defense to dominate their opponent, Desoto (Ark) by a score of 37-7. The offense benefited from the solid play of the front line: Chase Patrick, Center; Guards Zack Marshall & Chance Fenn; and Tackles, Deacon Newman & Terrance Hunter. They made it possible for Trinity to gain 184 yds on the ground and 202 yds in the air for a total offense of 386 yds. Senior Brandon Daggs scored first on a 17 yd pass from fellow Senior R.J. Fleming. Fleming also ran for 2 TDs, 5 yds & 8 yds. Kent King ran for 1 TD of 10 yds & Jordan Dossett scored the last TD of the season on a 2 yd run. Chas Moroney kicked 5 of 5 extra points. Givonni Dent completed 8 of 12 passes for 149 yds and R.J. Fleming completed 3 of 7 for 53 yds & 1 TD. Seven Saints carried the ball a total of 37 times for 184 yds: Fleming 18 times for 102 yds, Dent for 3, King for 50, Dossett for 7, Nic Partridge for 3, Tanner Cage for 16 & Matt Rymer for 3 yds. Receptions were: Daggs 2 for 69, King 4 for 48, Dent 2 for 36, Cage 2 for 11, and Jake Winston caught his 1st pass of the season for 38 yds. On defense, Fleming & Eric James made interceptions and Dent & Dylan Pressgrove joined in tackling the Desoto QB in his own EZ for a safety. Major tacklers were: Dent, James, Partridge, King, Dossett, Daniel Dunaway, Newman, Matthew Rymer & Pressgrove. Zack Marshall kicked the last kick-off of the game. All 30 varsity saints participated in the win.. For Desoto, they completed 7 of 16 passes with 2 interceptions for a net 28 yds. They rushed 31 times for a net gain of 47 yds. The season record for Trinity is: 12 Wins with 3 Losses (all to Class AA schools), outscoring opponents 506-218 and winning the MAIS Class A State Championship. Trinity has won state championships in 1989, 2001, 2006 & 2009. The last three occurred under the leadership of Head Coach David King.
November 26, 2009
November 24, 2009
Witt Haggard - Lamar - Senior - QB
48 td's - 3 int's
271 yards avg per game
17 yards per completion
877 yards on 140 carries
67 yards avg per game
6.7 yards per carry
Chandler Rogers - Brookhaven - Junior - QB
41 td's - 4 int's
247 yards avg per game
18.3 yards per completion
932 yards on 175 carries
67 yards avg per game
5.3 yards per carry
Bo Bidgood - Lamar - Senior - WR
131 yards avg per game
18.6 yards per reception
190 yards on 26 carries
Tripp Jolly - Brookhaven - Senior - WR
94 yards avg per game
21 yards per reception
12 returns - 246 yards
20.5 yards per return
Jamie Thompson - Lamar - Senior - WR
61 yards avg per game
15.3 yards per reception
Christian Keene - Brookhaven - Sophomore - WR
76 yards avg per game
20.7 yards per reception
177 yards on 16 carries
23.4 yards per return
Brookhaven – 411 yards per game
Lamar – 432 yards per game
Brookhaven – 256 yards per game
Lamar – 274 yards per game
Brookhaven – 155 yards per game
Lamar – 158 yards per game
Brookhaven – yields 175 yards rushing per game
Lamar – yields 201 yards rushing per game
Brookhaven – yields 66 yards passing per game
Lamar – yields 69 yards passing per game
Brookhaven – yields 241 yards total offense per game
Lamar – yields 270 yards total offense per game
Brookhaven – 38.8 ppg
Lamar – 42 ppg
Brookhaven – 16.9 ppg
Lamar – 17.8 ppg
Brookhaven – Herbert Davis – 2nd season at Brookhaven
Overall record – 118-59
Lamar – Mac Barnes – 9th season at Lamar
Overall record 241-101-1
November 23, 2009
*Unbelievably the season is drawing to a close and has come down to one game. While last Friday night didn’t produce any overtime drama there were two competitive matchups. Big “Shout Out” to both the Brookhaven and Lamar football programs for an incredible season.
*It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge basketball junkie for most of my life. Counting down the days until football ended and basketball got underway was a ritual for me until this season. Beginning back in August on a rainy Thursday night in Hattiesburg when Presbyterian defeated Columbia to kick the season off it’s been fun every week. While I’ve piled up many miles and lots of aches and pains nothing can replace the countless number of great new friends I’ve made and the kindness and hospitality thrown my way. For the first time I can honestly say that I don’t want football season to end.
*A Friday night ritual during football season has been eating out on the way to whatever game I’d be covering that week. Great places such as Hal’s Barbecue in Brookhaven, Mike’s in Amite, Gerald’s north of Franklinton and Kane’s in Foxworth have been primarily responsible for the fifteen pounds I’ve put on during the past three months. This past Friday night on the way to Mendenhall for the Lamar/Simpson game we stopped right outside Prentiss off of highway 35 at a place called Cowboy Jim’s. They served up one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten but the most appealing part of the meal is the customary hush-puppies and collard greens that are served prior to the main dish. I’m already looking forward to the next Simpson basketball game to cover. If you’re ever in that neck of the woods just look for the three live dogs perched on top the roof and you’ll know your there.
*I’m not trying to stir the pot any but the starting times for the single-A and AA title games need to be reconsidered. I can only imagine how difficult it is for single-A coaches and players to play 12-14 games with a kickoff time of 7:00 during the course of the season and then having to prepare for a noon kickoff. There has to be a better way.
*I’ve had the opportunity to catch a few basketball games the past two weeks and something caught my eye during the Presbyterian at Columbia boy’s game. Let me preface this statement first by saying that you couldn’t pay me enough to referee basketball games, it’s not easy, but there seems to be either too many anticipation fouls or inexperience when a big kid is on the court. Last season I saw David Hahn of Chamberlain-Hunt play a handful of times and each game he routinely grabbed the pine early in the game due to foul trouble. The 7’ center would predictably get straddled with early touch fouls that an ordinary MAIS center wouldn’t. This is what I noticed happening to Columbia’s Christian Robbins a few weeks back in the Presbyterian game. The 6’10” junior was getting lots of solid physical play from defenders but he quickly picked up fouls early in the game for the same solid physical defense he played.
*Southern Sports & Travel is approaching two marks……This Saturday marks one year online and within a week the 50,000th visitor will have viewed the site. Thanks to all for the interest.
God is great!
See ya somewhere……….
Courtesy of the Copiah County Courier, By James Beasley
After losing to powerhouse Brookhaven Academy in a preseason tournament, the Copiah Academy Lady Colonels are learning how to win. Last week, CA tamed a pair of cats, mauling the Central Hinds Lady Cougars 63-33 in Raymond on Tuesday and then rallying to edge the Canton Academy Lady Panthers 49-45 in overtime at Gallman on Saturday. The victories improved Copiah’s overall record to 4-1.
At Central Hinds, the Lady Colonels jumped in front 14-4 after the first quarter, increased their lead to 27-14 by intermission, and then pulled away in the second half for the lopsided win.
Whitney Phillips led Copiah with 17 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Rachel Strait was also in double figures with 12 points. Madelon Cline and Lori Baham had 8 points, followed by Elizabeth Cliburn with 7 points. Other CA totals included Kacie Berry with 4 points, Mary Landrum Pyron with 3 points, and Kelsey Aikens and Logan Berry with 2 points each. Jordan Fisher led the Lady Cougars with 14 points.
On Saturday, the Lady Colonels rallied from a 7-point deficit in the fourth quarter to nip the Canton Academy Lady Panthers 49-45 in what CA head coach Dee Granger called “our worst game of the year.”
Copiah led 10-8 after the opening period, and was tied 22-22 at intermission, thanks to 3-pointers by Brooke Wilson and Whitney Phillips in the final minute of the half. The Lady Colonels trailed 35-28 heading into the fourth quarter, but rallied to tie the score 39-39 on Wilson’s clutch 3-pointer with 40 seconds left in regulation. CA then secured the win by hitting all 8 of its free throws in overtime, including four by Cliburn and two each by Camryn Mitchell and Pyron.
Phillips led the winners with 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. Close behind were Strait with 9 points, Baham and Wilson with 8 points, and Cliburn with 7 points. Other CA totals included Mitchell with 3 points, Pyron with 2 points, and Kacie Berry with one point. Canton was led by Corey Yeates with 17 points, followed by Katie Pepper with 12 points.
The Copiah Academy Colonels had four players in double figures as they whipped the Central Hinds Academy Cougars 67-51 in Raymond last week. CA captured its first win of the season by outscoring Central Hinds 25-8 in the final eight minutes of the contest.
Ben Boone led the winners with 18 points. Dennis Harper and Russell Hood had 14 points each, while Reece Hankins added 12 points. Rob Pyron closed out the Colonel scoring with 9 points.
Meanwhile, the Cougars were led by Jordan Curvie with 15 points, followed by Pete Demuth and Hunter Welch with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
On Saturday, Canton Academy outscored Copiah 10-5 in the fourth quarter as the Panthers escaped Gallman with a 39-34 victory.
Copiah trailed 10-3 in the first quarter and 22-17 at halftime, despite 3-pointers by Boone and Hood in the final minutes of the half. The Colonels got another 3-pointer from Hood in the third period and a basket by Pyron as they tied the score 29-29 heading into the fourth quarter.
Canton then went on a 10-2 run before Copiah’s Reece Hankins connected on a 3-pointer at the buzzer to account for the final margin. The loss left the Colonels with a 1-2 record.
Hankins led Copiah with 13 points, followed by Hood with 9 points. Other Colonel totals included Boone with 5 points, Dennis Harper with 4 points, Pyron with 2 points, and Michael Bagley with one point. Michael Jerome and Taylor Pierce led the Panthers with 18 and 12 points, respectively.
Courtesy of the Press-Herald
The Glenbrook Apaches traveled to Natchitoches Thursday night to take on the Louisiana School of Math and Science.
The Apaches used a big second half to win going away, 63-29.
“They (LSM&S) came out to play in the first half,” Glenbrook head coach Chris Kourvelas said. “They played really well fundamentally.”
Glenbrook led 12-9 at the end of the first quarter and 30-16 at the half. The Apaches out-scored LSM&S 18-4 in the third and 15-9 in the fourth to take the win.
“We continued to play unselfish basketball,” Kourvelas said. “We kept looking down court for teammates as we ran our offense. We also played well defensivley all night.”
DeAngelo MacDonald and Colton Spurlock each scored 14 points to lead the Apaches and Thomas Beam had nine.
“Now we have a break before our next game,” Kourvelas said. “So we’ll use the practice time to improve on the things we need to improve on.”
The Apaches’ next game will be Monday, November 30 at Columbia Academy in Magnolia, Arkansas.
Courtesy of the Panolian, By Brad Greer
That was the case for the Tunica Institute girls basketball team as they fell hard to North Delta 66-8 Tuesday night in the Lady Green Waves home opener. North Delta defeated the Blue Devils 63-17 in Tunica last Monday night in the first matchup between the two schools.
In a game that was basically over within the first four minutes, North Delta jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter. The lead grew to 24-0 before Tunica scored their first points with 2:30 left in the first half. Bradi Beard scored eight of her game-high 16 points in the first quarter as the Green Wave took a 26-4 halftime lead. The second half was played using an eight-minute running clock.
Lauren Kimzey followed Beard in scoring with nine points as ten Green Wave players cracked the scoring column. Laci DuBravec registered eight points while Linsey Hebert and Kourtney Norris added seven points. Sara Waldrip chipped in six points while Katelyn Still added five including a halfcourt buzzer-beating three pointer at the end of the third period. Other scorers included Jordan Pointer with Hanna Greenlee and Hannah Waldrip with two points each.
North Delta, (5-3), shot 37-of 65 from the floor for 57 percent while turning over the ball seven times. Tunica meanwhile turned the ball over 22 times on 4-of-28 shooting
Tonight, North Delta will host Magnolia Heights in final basketball action before the Thanksgiving holidays. Games start at 2 p.m. with the seventh girls game.
For Copiah, senior Rachel Strait had 9.
November 21, 2009
Senior quarterback Witt Haggard passed for 196 yards and five touchdowns to lead a balanced Raider offensive attack that totaled 438 yards on the night.
Lamar set the tone early as they took the opening kick-off and drove 79 yards in 20 plays to take an early 7-0 lead when Witt Haggard hit Michael Marcello with a 10 yard touchdown pass. The drive consumed nearly seven minutes of the first quarter.
In what seemed to be a replay of the first meeting back in week ten Simpson answered with a 65 yard drive that culminated on a Kyle Munn 12 yard run around the left end at the 2:08 mark for a score. Justin Griffin added the PAT to tie the game at 7-7.
(Above) Lamar's Witt Haggard escapes the Simpson pass rush
On Lamar’s next possession the Raiders put together a balanced drive that featured a 26 yard run from Bo Bidgood down to the Simpson 37 yard line. Simpson’s defense stopped tailback Michael Marcello for a 4 yard loss and incomplete passes on second and third down put Lamar in a 4th down and 13 situation from the Simpson 41 yard line. Witt Haggard hit Jamie Thompson with a 21 yard strike at the Cougar 20 yard line to preserve the drive. Following an off-sides penalty assessed to Simpson, Haggard hit Charlie Nosco for 7 yards to end the quarter at the Cougar 9 yard line and the game knotted up at 7-7.
Lamar opened the second quarter with a minimal two yard gain from Michael Marcello on first down, then on second and goal Haggard hooked up with senior wide-out Bo Bidgood for a 7 yard touchdown pass and catch. Tyler Roberts added the PAT to put the Raiders up 14-7 with 11:15 left in the first half.
On the ensuing kick-off Lamar surprised Simpson with an on-sides kick and the Raiders recovered at the Cougar 47 yard line. Witt Haggard ran 11 yards on second down to the Cougar 36 yard line. On the following play Haggard was hit in the backfield by Simpson linebacker Dee Warren causing a fumble. The Raiders recovered but Simpson was assessed a 15 yard personal foul penalty that moved the football down to the Cougar 25 yard line. Haggard then hit Jamie Thompson for 20 yards to the Simpson 5 yard line on first down. Following an incomplete pass and a loss of three yards on a quarterback keeper, Haggard hit Jamie Thompson on a slant route with a laser pass for an 8 yard touchdown. Roberts’ PAT increased the Lamar lead to 21-7 with 9:39 remaining in the second quarter.
(Above) Lamar's Harrison Thomas (#50) hauls down Simpson's Kyle Munn
In what appeared to have been a huge momentum swing and Simpson down two touchdowns, the Cougars set up shop at their own 34 yard line after the kick-off for only their second possession of the game. Simpson mounted a 10 play, 66 yard drive that included two 4th down conversions. The last resulted in a 38 yard touchdown run from Kyle Munn on 4th and 6 with 4:38 left in the opening half. Justin Griffin added the PAT and the deficit had been reduced to 21-14.
Lamar’s Bo Bidgood returned the ensuing kick-off 62 yards down to the Simpson 33 yard line but the Raiders were unable to capitalize and turned the ball over on downs following a 4th and 5 pass attempt that fell incomplete.
Simpson took over with 2:48 left in the half. Cade Eiland took a direct snap in the wildcat formation and raced 34 yards to the Lamar 35 with 1:14 left. The Cougars managed just five yards on consecutive carries from Munn and Eiland, forcing Simpson to burn their final time-out with 37 seconds remaining in the first half. On 3rd and 5 from the Lamar 30 yard line Kyle Munn dropped back and hit tailback Jacob Busby with a perfectly thrown pass for a 30 yard score that brought a thunderous reaction from the home crowd. Griffin’s PAT tied the game at 21-21 and appeared to have stunned Lamar heading into the locker-room at the halfway point.
(Above) Big crowd on hand in Mendenhall
Simpson’s offense took the field at the Cougar 26 yard line to start the second half but faced a fired up Lamar defense. Cade Eiland managed a 1 yard gain on 1st down, then Kyle Munn’s 7 yard keeper set up a 3rd and 2 from just inside the 26 yard line. Lamar linebacker William Fulton stuffed Munn in the backfield for a 4 yard loss on 3rd down to force the first punt of the game.
Lamar took over at their own 30 yard line following a 39 yard Justin Griffin punt. Lamar’s Michael Marcello hit a hole for a quick 5 yards on 1st down, then the sophomore busted through the middle for a 57 yard gain before finally being pulled down at the Simpson 8 yard line. Three plays later Lamar still hadn’t found pay-dirt but on 4th and goal from the 1 yard line Witt Haggard connected with Jamie Thompson to put the Raiders back on top at the 7:28 mark of the third quarter. Tyler Roberts added the PAT for a 28-21 Raider advantage.
(Above) Kyle Munn finds running room with Lamar's Charlie Nosco (#3) closing in
Simpson started their second possession of the half at their own 35 yard line. Kyle Munn rumbled for 14 yards on first down to the Cougar 49 yard line. Three more carries from Munn moved the football to the Lamar 30 and a first down. Cade Eiland went off left tackle for 11 yards to the Raider 19 as the Cougar ground game began to pick up steam. Two more Kyle Munn carries and the Cougars faced a 3rd down and 3 from the Lamar 13 yard line. On the next play Munn broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and scored to cap off a 65 yard drive that consumed just under four minutes and eight plays. Justin Griffin made good on the PAT to tie the battle at 28-28 with 3:31 left in the third quarter.
Simpson then forced Lamar to punt after a quick three and out. The Cougars took over at their own 36 yard line following a Bo Bidgood punt. Munn’s keeper up the middle moved the Cougars up to the 45 yard line on first down. Munn chewed up more yardage on a 2nd and 1 carry to the Lamar 44 yard line. They ended the third quarter with a holding infraction that pushed them back to their own 42 yard line followed by Cade Eiland’s 4 yard pick up to the 46 as the quarter expired and the game tied at 28-28.
(Above) Lamar tailback John Clinton McElroy (#31) picking up yardage
Lamar put up a huge defensive stand to begin the final quarter that would ultimately determine which team would play for a state championship next week. With Simpson mounting a drive and go ahead score for the lead the Raider defense stepped up with a big stop that changed the flow of the game. Facing a 4th down and 4 from the Lamar 38 yard line Simpson’s Kyle Munn was hauled down in the backfield by defensive lineman Harrison Thomas for a loss of 4 yards, but more importantly the possession of the football at the Lamar 44 yard line with 10:42 remaining in the contest.
Lamar took over and went 56 yards in 5 plays to take the lead for good as Witt Haggard nailed Jamie Thompson with a 32 yard touchdown pass with 9:12 remaining in the game. Tyler Roberts added his 5th PAT of the night to put Lamar up 35-28.
Simpson moved from their 24 out to the 41 before stalling out with just over seven minutes left. Justin Griffin then delivered a 48 yard punt that backed the Lamar up at their own 12 yard line.
(Above) Lamar's Cameron Melancon (#10) tries to slow down Kyle Munn
Lamar took over what would be the game clinching drive with 6:56 left in the game. Following two short rushing attempts Witt Haggard hit John Clinton McElroy for a 16 yard gain out to the 43 yard line on a critical 3rd down play. Haggard called his own number on the ensuing play and raced around the right end and down the sidelines before stepping out at the Simpson 32 yard line for a 25 yard gain with 5:33 left. Two plays later Bo Bidgood picked up a hard 8 yards on the ground to the Cougar 24. Following a holding penalty Lamar faced a 3rd and 9 from the Simpson 30 yard line. Haggard picked up 8 yards on the ground to set up a 4th and 1 at the Simpson 22 with 4:13 left in the game. Witt Haggard was hit hard on the quarterback keeper by Jacob Busby but not before he picked up 3 yards and a 1st down. Two plays later Bo Bidgood scored on an 18 yard end around sweep with 3:06 on the clock and Tyler Roberts added the PAT to increase the lead to 42-28.
Lamar’s defense pinned their ears back on Simpson’s following possession. Dusty Weisner sacked Simpson’s Sam Cowart for a loss of 5 yards on a 2nd and 10 play. Two plays later Lamar’s William Fulton brought down Cowart in the backfield forcing a fumble that was recovered by Harrison Thomas at the Cougar 48 yard line to nail the door shut.
(Above) Simpson's Kyle Munn stopped by Raider linebacker John Clinton McElroy
Witt Haggard added 59 yards rushing to his passing totals on the night. Senior wide-out Bo Bidgood had 74 yards on the ground (1 td) and 5 receptions (1 td) for 49 yards. Senior wide-out Jamie Thompson pulled in 5 catches for 82 yards and 3 touchdowns, sophomore Michael Marcello ran for 72 yards on 13 carries and fellow sophomore John Clinton McElroy had 5 receptions for 52 yards and 2 carries for 20 yards on the night.
Simpson was led by senior tailback Kyle Munn with 167 yards on 31 carries and 3 touchdowns. Munn also had a 30 yard touchdown pass. Sophomore tailback Cade Eiland ran for 84 yards on 13 carries.
Lamar improved to 12-1 and will face #1 ranked and undefeated Brookhaven for the state AA crown on Friday.
The state title game will pit the best two quarterbacks in the MAIS against each other and the two highest scoring offenses in the MAIS.
Simpson finished a great 2009 season at 11-2.
I asked Coach Barnes to sum up his team’s performance tonight after losing here back in week ten.
“What can you say for our whole team? We were over-rated early in the year because of our schedule, they (Simpson) woke us up in week ten,” said Barnes. “I give credit to Simpson for being a very good and very well coached team. This was one of the best wins that I’ve ever been a part of in beating a very good team in a critical game. I told our kids before the ballgame that, guys I want you to understand, I’m thankful to be coaching you during this season of Thanksgiving, whether we win or not, I’m thankful to be coaching a group of kids like you that will not quit.”
Brookhaven overcame a penalty-filled performance and two crucial injuries, topping the Mustangs 17-7, to claim the AA South State Championship. Brookhaven improved to 14-0 on the season and advances to meet Lamar School of Meridian Friday afternoon for the MAIS AA State Championship game. River Oaks, the district 6-AA champion, ends its season at 11-2.
“It was a sloppy, ugly win.” said Davis. “We had way too many penalties and a couple of turnovers. We don’t be able to play like that next week and expect to win.”
Brookhaven wasted little time in getting things going. After the Cougar defense held River Oaks to a three and out on the opening drive of the game, Brookhaven sophomore wide receiver Bubba Keene took the handoff from quarterback Chandler Rogers on a sweep and out ran defenders for an 80 yard score. Tyler Trout added the extra point, giving Brookhaven a 7-0 lead with 9:42 left in the opening quarter.
Both teams traded possessions through the second quarter, battling penalties and turnovers before Rogers was able to connect with Keene from 18 yards out for the touchdown. Trout kicked the extra point, giving the Cougars a 14-0 lead at the break.
River Oaks got it’s only score of the night with 3:04 left in the third quarter as quarterback Ryan McGregor connected with Vincent Moore on a 34 yard strike. Corey Talley added the extra point, cutting the Brookhaven lead to 14-7.
Brookhaven was forced in to a three and out on the next possession, punting back to the Mustangs and sending an uneasy feeling through the crowd. But the Brookhaven defense stood tall on the ensuing Mustang drive, forcing a turnover on downs with 9:17 left in the game. The Cougar offense responded with an 11 play, 66 yard drive that ended with Trout kicking an 18 yard field goal, giving the hosts a 17-7 lead with 3:04 left to play.
Brookhaven’s defense did the job the rest of the way, forcing another turnover on downs from the Mustangs in the waning minutes to seal the victory.
One concern for the Cougars heading in the title game is the status of its two leading receivers. Senior Tripp Jolly and Keene both left the game with injuries before halftime.
Keene returned to very limited action in the second half, but Jolly was done for the night.
“We aren’t sure about Bubba and Tripp yet for next week.” said Davis. “We’re going to get them checked out and see what the situation is. They’re both big for us offensively, and we’re really going to need them next week.”
Rogers led the Brookhaven offense, completing 11 of his 16 pass attempts for 187 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted once. Jennings Mills had 104 yards rushing on 21 carries. Bubba Keene picked up 78 yards and a touchdown on 3 carries. Donovan Lorraine led Brookhaven with 4 receptions for 79 yards. Keene caught 3 passes for 44 yards and a touchdown.
“Brookhaven is a very fast, well coached team.” said River Oaks coach Robert Hannah. “There were very physical tonight and we weren’t ready for that. Coach Davis had a great game plan and they executed that game plan well.”
We had a pretty good offense coming in to this game.” added Hannah. “But Brookhaven did a good job of eating up a lot of time on their drives and keeping our offense off the field. We never could get in a rhythm. Congrats to coach Davis. He is a class act and they have a great team.”
Ryan McGregor led the Mustangs, completing 7 of his 18 pass attempts for 159 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted once. Vincent Moore led River Oaks with 4 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, Jamison Powell and Alan Michael Allred each had 10 tackles to led Brookhaven. Bailey Hodge followed with 8 stops. Clint Stewart and Jennings Mills each had 7 tackles a piece. Jeff Rushing had an interception and Logan Pace recovered a fumble.
Brookhaven meets Lamar School Friday at 5 p.m. for the AA State Championship game at Millsaps College in Jackson. Lamar won the North AA Championship by defeating Simpson Academy 42-28.
First Downs 17 13
Rushes-Yards 39-215 26-68
Passing Yards 187 159
Comp-Att-Int 11-17-1 7-19-1
Total Yards 402 227
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 1-1
Punts-Avg 2-32 2-33
Penalties-Yards 13-90 3-25
BA 7 7 0 3 17
RO 0 0 7 0 7
Brookhaven – Bubba Keene 80 run (Tyler Trout kick) 9:42
Brookhaven – Keene 18 pass from Chandler Rogers (Trout kick):13
River Oaks – Vincent Moore 34 pass from Ryan McGregor (Corey Talley kick) 3:04
Brookhaven – Trout 18 FG 3:04
Dominating on both sides of the ball, Trinity Episcopal defeated Riverfield Academy of Rayville, LA on their home field, 38-11. For Trinity, is was their 7th South State A Championship since 1975. R.J. Fleming ran for 4 touchdowns; 33, 19, 4 and 3 yards. Kent King returned an interception for a 40 touchdown and Chas Moroney added a 35 yard field goal and 3 extra points. Tanner Cage scored a 2 point conversion on a pass from Givonni Dent. Freshman Tanner Cage intercepted a pass in the 4th quarter. Zach Marshall & Zach Wilson both recovered RA fumbles. Kent King, Matthew Rymer, Terrance Hunter & Dylan Pressgrove contributed to the 5 defensive plays in which Riverfield lost yards. Terrance Hunter's solo sack cost Riverfield 10 yards. Trinity advances to the State A Championship game vs Desoto on Friday, Nov. 27th at Millsaps College at 12:00 Noon.
November 19, 2009
Witt has been at Lamar since the fourth grade where he first suited up to play football but the quarterback position isn’t where he started. Haggard was a fullback that initial season but by the time he suited up in the sixth grade quarterback would be his fit.
In Haggard’s freshman season he joined the varsity squad as soon as the junior varsity season wrapped up. One of Witt’s teachers also happened to be the varsity football coach at Lamar. Head coach Mac Barnes began working with Witt that freshman season. “I’ve always had a good relationship with Coach Barnes. He was one of my teachers and started working with me a lot in my freshman year,” said Haggard.
In Haggard’s sophomore season he saw limited play but managed to gain valuable experience and scored three touchdowns via the pass and two on the ground. Haggard’s biggest highlight of his sophomore season came off the football field. The sophomore was named to the All-MPSA first team as a catcher.
In 2008 the quarterback position at Lamar was all Haggard’s. In his first year as a starter Witt helped guide the Raiders to a 9-3 record in AAA. After being groomed by coach Barnes the junior seemed to step right into the position and hit the ground running. Haggard passed for 3,561 yards and 31 touchdowns his junior season. He had an incredible 74% pass completion rate and managed to pick up 334 yards and 4 touchdowns rushing. For his efforts Haggard was named to the All-MPSA first team.
His senior season has been as effective as his junior stint. Haggard has compiled 3,332 yards passing and 804 yards rushing through twelve games. What’s more impressive is the 43 touchdown passes he has thrown to only 3 interceptions. Throw in the 14 rushing touchdowns and Haggard has a staggering 57 with one or possibly two games remaining.
This Friday night Haggard hopes the outcome will be different than in week ten. “The first time we played we came in with the #1 ranking and had a big bulls-eye target on us. They really surprised us defensively then, but I feel like we’ll play them much better this time,” said Haggard.
As with most senior athletes reflection sets in as the season winds down. I asked the 6'2" senior a few questions about his time at Lamar.
*Favorite sport; football or baseball?
*Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
*Who has been your biggest influence athletically?
“Coach Barnes. He has really pushed me to be the best I can be and has taught me so much”
*What has been your biggest frustration this season?
“The loss to Simpson, not being able to play defense and throwing those three interceptions”
*What do you hope to be doing this time next year?
“Playing football somewhere”
Witt Haggard exemplifies what a student-athlete is all about. Not only has Haggard excelled on the field but the senior is an honor student and maintains a 3.5 GPA. He has scored a 24 on the ACT and is scheduled to take it again. Witt is also an Academic Society Beta Club member and Mu Alpha Theta.
1,200 yards +
Record as a starter
November 18, 2009
Both teams are coming of huge second round wins. Brookhaven eliminated defending champs Centreville 57-56 in double overtime while River Oaks sent home a solid Bowling Green squad 21-14. Predictions run the gamut amongst fans but from non partisans Brookhaven is the heavy favorite. On paper who can argue, but it’s very difficult for a team to play at its’ highest level coming off such a draining and emotional game as Brookhaven will be attempting to do. I’ve witnessed those struggles first hand during MAIS post season basketball the past two seasons.
It would be no surprise to see both Brookhaven and River Oaks playing for the right to wear a ring again next season. Both squads only graduate six seniors and are heavy with juniors and sophomores.
Inside the numbers…….
>The Brookhaven Cougars are ranked #1 in the latest Southern Sports & Travel rankings.
>Brookhaven defeated Silliman 34-14 in round one and defeated Centreville 57-56 in round two.
>The Cougars average 40.5 ppg which is second best in AA football and yield 17.6, which ranks fourteenth.
>Brookhaven is 13-0
>The Cougars are 7-0 at home where they average 41 ppg and yield 19 ppg.
>Brookhaven is +18 in turnovers
>Key players – Junior quarterback Chandler Rogers has passed for 3,273 yards with 40 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. Rogers also has rushed for 899 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Senior wide-out Tripp Jolly has 57 receptions for 1,194 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Sophomore wide-out Bubba Keene has 45 receptions for 949 yards and 14 touchdowns. Keene also has 4 rushing touchdowns and one interception return for a touchdown.
Senior linebacker Jamison Powell leads the Cougar defense with 141 tackles, 3 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries.
>The River Oaks Mustangs are ranked #3 in the latest Southern Sports & Travel rankings.
>River Oaks defeated Central Hinds 35-14 in round one and defeated Bowling Green 21-14 in round two.
>The Mustangs average 33 ppg which is third best in AA football and lead all AA teams in points yielded at 10.3 ppg.
>River Oaks is 11-1
>The Mustangs are 4-1 on the road where they average 25.4 ppg and yield 8.4 ppg.
>River Oaks is +20 in turnovers
>Key players – Tailback Vincent Moore has 741 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns. The junior also has 16 receptions for 280 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Quarterback Ryan MacGregor has passed for 888 yards with 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The sophomore also has 463 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.
Senior linebacker Stephen Bragg leads the Mustang defense with 102 tackles, 3 sacks and 4 forced fumbles.
>Common opponents: Trinity, Riverfield, Central Hinds and Bowling Green.
*Brookhaven beat Trinity 25-21, Riverfield 37-8, Central Hinds 38-7 and Bowling Green 21-14.
*River Oaks beat Trinity 27-25, Riverfield 27-6, Central Hinds 35-14 and Bowling Green 21-14.
Brookhaven head coach Herbert Davis
After such a dramatic win on Friday night against Centreville is there any concern about a possible letdown?
“Definitely worried about a letdown. Must worry about us first. We need to play our best because that is all we can control anyway."
With the Centreville game being such a physical one are there any injuries?
“We are ok with our injuries but sore.”
What different type of problems will River Oaks present than what Centreville did?
“River Oaks is very well coached and has lots of skill players. Speed is a concern as well as a great defense.”
What will be the biggest key to winning this Friday night?
“Mental execution on both sides, no penalties and turnovers.”
What is the team's health status following the win over Bowling Green?
“The team is healthy, but very sore.”
Will you prepare any differently this week or will it be like every other week?
“Preparation for this week will be normally as possible, although the kids realize how important this week really is.”
What must River Oaks do to slow down Brookhaven quarterback Chandler Rogers?
“I am not sure if we can slow down a quarterback of his capabilities; we hope to put some pressure on him and to keep the completions in front of us and to also tackle better.”
What will be the key to a River Oaks win?
“In order to win we must create turnovers and take advantage of them on offense.”
I offer my sincere appreciation to coaches Davis and Hannah for their remarks.
November 16, 2009
It was nearly four weeks ago when the Lamar Raiders took their undefeated record and #1 ranking into Mendenhall to battle the once beaten Simpson Cougars for the district 3AA crown. The much anticipated matchup lived up to its’ billing through the first half as Simpson took a narrow 21-14 advantage into halftime. With just under six minutes left in the third quarter each team had scored with Simpson holding on to a 28-21 advantage. Then the wheels came off for the Raiders as Simpson reeled off 20 straight points to win the district title 48-21.
This Friday night the two squads will butt heads and once again the stakes are high. The winner takes the north AA championship and moves on to play for a state ring the following week while the loser goes home. Both schools have the same number of seniors and for ten of them Friday night will be the last time they suit up for their school.
Inside the numbers…….
>The Simpson Cougars are currently ranked #2 in the latest Southern Sports & Travel rankings.
>Simpson defeated North Delta 27-8 in round one and defeated Indianola 49-20 in round two.
>The Cougars average 29.5 ppg which is sixth best in AA football and yield 12.7, fourth best.
>Simpson’s only defeat came in week six, a 37-14 loss at Brookhaven.
>The Cougar’s are 7-0 at home where they average 37 ppg and yield 12 ppg.
>Key players – Senior tailback Kyle Munn who is the fourth leading rusher in AA football with 1,561 yards. Munn averages 142 yards a game (11 games) and 8 yards a carry. The senior has 23 touchdowns to his credit.
Sophomore tailback Cade Eiland is the sixth leading rusher in AA football with 1,340 yards. Eiland averages 112 yards a game and has 18 touchdowns on his resume.
>The Lamar Raiders are currently ranked #4 in the latest Southern Sports & Travel rankings.
>Lamar defeated Oak Hill 35-0 in round one and defeated Marshall 54-41 in round two.
>The Raiders average 41.5 ppg which is best in AA football and yield 16.9, eleventh best.
>Lamar’s only defeat came in week ten, a 48-21 loss at Simpson.
>The Raiders are 5-1 on the road where they average 40 ppg and yield 28 ppg.
>Key players – Senior quarterback Witt Haggard who leads all AA quarterbacks with 3,332 yards passing and 43 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. Haggard has rushed for 804 yards and 14 touchdowns. He averages 278 yards passing and 67 yards rushing each game.
Haggard’s favorite target is senior wide-out Bo Bidgood. Bidgood has 84 receptions for 1,635 yards and 19 touchdowns on the season and has rushed for 2 touchdowns.
>Common opponents: East Rankin, Hillcrest, Canton and Leake.
*Simpson beat East Rankin 6-3, Hillcrest 30-0, Canton 23-13 and Leake 41-14.
*Lamar beat East Rankin 21-13, Hillcrest 48-0, Canton 53-40 and Leake 20-7.
>Stats from the first meeting in week ten:
First downs…SCA 23 – Lamar 20
Rushing yards…SCA 514 – Lamar 251
Passing yards…SCA 0 – Lamar 160
Total plays…SCA 56 – Lamar 57
Total offense…SCA 514 – Lamar 411
Turnovers…SCA 0 – Lamar 0
Simpson head coach Billy Hankins
What is the team’s health status following the win over Indianola?
“At this point in the season we are reasonably healthy. The one big loss for us was losing our leading tackler Gage Blackledge a few weeks ago. Hopefully we can keep everyone healthy this week in practice.”
What concerns you most about Lamar?
“As for Lamar obviously they have an unbelievable amount of offensive fire power. They have at least 4 really good receivers and a couple of good running backs. But obviously the thing that makes them go is their quarterback. He is the best I have seen in the MAIS since I began coaching in 1992. Not only is he a great passer but also a really good runner. Last week against Marshall I thought their defense played really well against a good Marshall team.”
Do you expect any new wrinkles from Lamar?
“I am sure just like us they will tweak some things but they have had a great year and I am sure they will continue to do the things that got them to this point.”
What will be the key for Simpson to win and advance?
“First it is always difficult to beat any team twice in the same year. Much less a team as talented as Lamar. The key for us will be to just play our game. Try to run the football and keep their offense off the field. If we don’t limit their possessions it will be really hard to win. I also feel that our defense needs to be more aggressive. The last time we played we were not as physical as we would like to be.”
What is the team’s health status following the win over Marshall?
“We did not have any major injuries at Marshall. Michael Marcello and John Countiss both missed the Oak Hill game, but they played at Marshall and did fine.”
What will be the key to winning against Simpson this Friday night?
“No doubt that the key for anyone playing Simpson is to try to slow down their powerful running game. "
When Lamar and Simpson met on October 23 you were only down 21-14 at the half. What did you take away from that game after having time to analyze it?
“The second half of our first game showed that Simpson probably has more depth than anyone in AA, and that they keep coming at you on both sides of the ball for 48 minutes.”
November 15, 2009
Southern Sports & Travel, By Darron Thomas
The River Oaks Mustangs advanced to the south AA title game Friday night with a come from behind 21-14 win over Bowling Green in Monroe. Junior tailback Vincent Moore racked up 226 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns to spark the 11-1 Mustangs who move on to play #1 ranked Brookhaven next Friday night in Brookhaven.
River Oaks scored first on a Vincent Moore 1 yard run at the 7:33 mark of the opening quarter. Corey Talley added the PAT to put the Mustangs up 7-0. Three minutes later Bowling Green quarterback Cash Cooley hit Jason Milton with an 11 yard touchdown strike. Milton added the PAT and with 4:15 left in the first quarter the game was tied at 7-7.
Bowling Green would take the lead when senior tailback David Fulks went in from 1 yard out in the second quarter. Milton’s PAT gave the Buccaneers a 14-7 lead with 7;34 remaining in the half.
A big turning point in the game was turned in by the River Oaks defense when they stopped Bowling Green from scoring from the 1 yard line with 2 seconds remaining in the first half.
River Oaks tied the game at the 10:22 mark of the third quarter when Vincent Moore raced 57 yards for a score and with the PAT of Corey Talley the game was tied at 14-14.
The game was decided with 2:08 left in the fourth quarter as sophomore quarterback Ryan MacGregor hit Vincent Moore with a 25 yard fade route for the game winning touchdown. MacGregor was hit just as he released the ball. The drive began at the Mustang 20 yard line with just over three minutes left in the game. John Rockett picked up 23 yards on a toss sweep left on first down. Then on the next play River Oaks ran a sweep pass right from Vincent Moore to John Rockett for 32 yards down to the Bowling Green 25 yard line to set up the touchdown pass. Talley added the PAT for the ultimate final score of 21-14.
River Oaks tailback Vincent Moore had 89 yards rushing on 9 carries and two touchdowns, two receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown, and had 101 return yards. Ryan MacGregor was 4/7 for 83 yards and a touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball junior defensive tackle Seth Lawrence had 16 tackles and senior defensive end PJ Bedenbender had 14 tackles. "Lance Ginn played a good bit at defensive back in the second half and made some big tackles, pass breakups, and an interception," said assistant coach Dalton LeBleu. "Lance has been hurt most of the season with a broken collarbone. He has made key contributions for us during the playoffs and is playing more and more now that he is fully recovered. He broke his collarbone on the first Friday of two-a-days then re broke it during our homecoming game versus Union Christian."
Bowling Green finished the season at 7-5.
November 14, 2009
Southern Sports & Travel, By Darron Thomas
In a round two playoff game that resembled an Ali-Frazier fight Centreville took the opening drive 74 yards in 5 plays that culminated on a Zach Sinclair 1 yard plunge through the middle for the game’s first score. Gavin Travis added the PAT and the war was on.
Brookhaven’s offense didn’t stay on the field long on their first possession as the Cougar’s were able to manage only 3 yards and were forced to punt. Centreville looked to be on the move again as they pushed down to the Brookhaven 35 yard line but stalled when they tried to convert a 4th and 6 after a timeout. Cliff Hurst was sacked by Brookhaven’s Will Gatlin for a loss of eight yards back to the Cougar 43 yard line to turn the ball over on downs.
Brookhaven cashed in on the field position and drove 57 yards in 9 plays to tie the game when Jennings Mills ran in from three yards out at the 3:00 mark of the opening quarter. Centreville moved the chains one time on their next possession but were forced to punt. Cliff Hurst’s 39 yard punt ended the quarter with the game at 7-7 and Brookhaven with the ball at their own 23 yard line. (Above) Brookhaven's Jennings Mills (#21) fights for yardage
Like a boulder rolling down a hill the pace was about to pick up and most everyone knew it. Brookhaven’s Chandler Rogers hit Bubba Keene for a 32 yard strike on a fade route to give the Cougars a first down at the Tiger 46 yard line. Then seven plays later and facing a 3rd and goal from the Centreville 15 yard line Rogers handed off to Bubba Keene who hit Tripp Jolly on a 15 yard halfback pass for a touchdown with 8:04 left in the half. A Tyler Trout PAT gave the Cougars their first lead of the game at 14-7.
With Centreville taking possession at their own 35 yard line Zach Sinclair went around the right side for 51 yards before being hauled down at the Cougar 14 yard line. The Brookhaven defense held enough to force a 4th and 1 yard but Cliff Hurst converted with a run to the Cougar 3 yard line to give the champs another set of downs. One play later Zach Sinclair went in for this second score of the night and Travis’s PAT tied the game at 14-14 with 5:41 left in the half.
Both teams would score again in the remaining 5:41 of the half. Brookhaven’s Bubba Keene returned a Centreville kickoff 54 yards down to the Tiger 29 yard line to set the table for the Cougars and Chandler Rogers. Five plays later Rogers busted in from one yard out and Trout added the PAT to put Brookhaven up 21-14 with 3:15 left in the second quarter. (Above) Brookhaven defenders bury Centreville's Zach Sinclair on last play of game
Centreville drove from their own 35 yard line down to the Brookhaven 24 and with 54 seconds on the clock quarterback Tyler Towles found wide-out Colby Lockwood for a 24 yard touchdown strike that knotted the game at 21-21.
Amazingly Brookhaven took only 39 seconds to move 59 yards and found themselves at the Centreville 7 yard line after a 14 yard slant pass from Rogers to Bubba Keene. But after their third time-out of the half the Cougars were stopped at the five yard line as time expired in the half and the game tied at 21-21.
Brookhaven opened the third quarter with a drive that covered 76 yards and consumed nearly six minutes. The 13 play drive was finished off when Chandler Rogers kept the ball on an option play from six yards out at the 6:17 mark of the quarter. The Tyler Trout PAT attempt was blocked leaving the Tigers with a 27-21 deficit.
Centreville’s Jason Doughty tied the game on a 41 yard touchdown sprint with 3:13 left in the third quarter. Gavin Travis added the PAT as the Tigers went back up 28-27. (Above) Brookhaven's Chandler Rogers gets stopped by a trio of Tigers in overtime
Chandler Rogers then calmly guided the Cougars down the field. The junior hit Donovan Lorraine for 14 yards up to the Cougar 44 yard line. Two plays later Rogers ran for 14 yards to the Tiger 44 yard line. With 50 seconds remaining in the quarter and facing a 3rd and 7 at the 42 yard line Rogers dropped back to pass and scrambled to avoid a charging Centreville pass rush. He then spotted sophomore wide out Will Lucas and hit him with a 42 yard touchdown bullet. Centreville sacked Rogers on a two point attempt and with 50 seconds remaining in the quarter the Cougars had the advantage at 33-28.
Brookhaven got the ball right back at the Centreville 49 yard line when Mark Rushing recovered a successful onsides kick. Brookhaven ended the third quarter on a Rogers to Mills connection for 13 yards to the Tiger 28 yard line and the score 33-28.
On the first play of the fourth quarter Centreville’s Michael Pate sacked Rogers for a loss of 12 yards back to the Tiger 40. Then on the next play Brodie Lafontaine hit Rogers from his blind side and forced a fumble that was recovered by Centreville at their 45 yard line. On the third play of Centreville’s possession Zach Sinclair raced 44 yards to put the Tigers back on top at 35-33 with 10:12 left in regulation.
Brookhaven’s Bubba Keene had another solid return on the kick-off, this time 41 yards to the Cougar 46. This Brookhaven drive took them to the Centreville 2 yard line and when Bubba Keene took an inside handoff in for the score it appeared the Cougars had retaken the lead but a motion penalty negated the touchdown and pushed Brookhaven back to the 7 yard line. Keene took a handoff and scrambled in from 7 yards out for what most thought was the go ahead score, but more laundry was on the field. This time a holding penalty plus an unsportsmanlike call against the Cougars pushed them all the way back to the 27 yard line where they faced a 3rd and goal. After a Rogers incomplete pass junior kicker Tyler Trout made good on a 44 yard field goal to put Brookhaven on top 36-35 with 5:32 remaining. (Above) Brookhaven on an early third quarter drive before a big home crowd
Centreville then got a big play from their special teams unit when Hunter Travis returned the ensuing kickoff 48 yards to the Brookhaven 36. Centreville moved to the Cougar 33 but after three plays found themselves facing a 4th and 4 from the Brookhaven 30 yard line with 3:45 left in regulation. Zach Sinclair went around the left end for 19 yards to the Brookhaven 11 yard line and on the next play Sinclair hit pay-dirt from 11 yards out. He then converted on the two point attempt to put Centreville up 43-36 with just over three minutes left in regulation.
In what could be deemed the drive of Brookhaven’s season the Cougars started from their own 18 yard line. Rogers ran for 16 yards to the 34 then on 3rd and 10 Rogers hit Bubba Keene for an 11 yard gain and a first down at the Tiger 45 yard line. An 18 yard gain by Rogers was wiped out by holding and a Michael Pate sack on Rogers pushed Brookhaven back to their own 48 yard line with 1:34 remaining. Staring at a 3rd and 17 at the Brookhaven 48 and 1:09 on the clock Rogers hit Donovan Lorraine for 14 yards to the Tiger 36 yard line, one yard short of the first down marker. On 4th and one and 53 seconds on the clock Rogers ran 16 yards to the Centreville 20 yard line for a 1st down. On the next play Chandler Rogers hit Tripp Jolly with a perfectly thrown 20 yard fade pass in the end-zone that rocked the crowd and brought the Cougars to within one point at 43-42 and 22 seconds left. Tyler Trout put the PAT through to tie the game at 43-43. (Above) Centreville quarterback Tyler Towles (#8) about to pitch to Zach Sinclair (#23)
Centreville’s attempt to move the ball at the end of regulation failed as the game then went into overtime.
Centreville scored first when Cliff Hurst went in from one yard out as the Tigers took three plays to score. Gavin Travis added the PAT and the Tigers went up 50-43.
Brookhaven answered by scoring in just two plays as Rogers hit Donovan Lorraine on a 9 yard slant route and Tyler Trout hit the PAT to tie the game at 50-50.
Brookhaven took possession first in the second overtime stanza. Chandler Rogers connected with Bubba Keene on their first play for a ten yard touchdown strike. Trout added the PAT to put Brookhaven back up at 57-50.
Centreville answered as Zach Sinclair broke two tackles and scored his fifth touchdown on the Tiger’s first play from scrimmage to pull to 57-56. Centreville then lined up for the two point attempt and Brookhaven called timeout. Following the timeout Sinclair was stopped at the one yard line by a bevy of Brookhaven players as the crowd erupted in what was one of the best high school playoff games played in many years. (Above) Chandler Rogers had 367 yards passing and 176 rushing on the night
“We didn’t want anymore of Centreville after our first meeting back in October” said Brookhaven head coach Herbert Davis. “I’ve only been part of one other game similar to this one. Our kids stepped up when they had to and beat a very good football team tonight”.
Brookhaven racked up 614 total yards on the night to Centreville’s 426. The #1 ranked Cougars had a balanced attack with 381 yards passing and 233 on the ground. Chandler Rogers proved once again why most consider him the best quarterback in the MAIS as he passed for 367 yards on 27/39 and 4 touchdowns. The junior also rushed for 176 yards on 25 carries and 2 touchdowns. Sophomore wide-out Bubba Keene pulled in 9 receptions for 131 yards and a score. Keene also passed for a score on the night. Senior defensive end Will Gatlin recorded 14 tackles for the Cougars. Both Mark Rushing and Keene had 1o tackles each.
Centreville tailback Zach Sinclair finished with 301 yards on 33 carries and 5 touchdowns. The senior finishes his final season at Centreville with 2,179 yards and 38 touchdowns and leaves with two championship rings.
Brookhaven improves to 13-0 and will host the River Oaks Mustangs next Friday night. River Oaks eliminated Bowling Green 21-14 in Monroe last night and will bring in an 11-1 mark.
Centreville finishes at 9-4.
Raiders have rematch with Simpson
It took Lamar's offense one drive to get rolling Friday night at Marshall Academy in the second round of the MAIS Class AA playoffs. Once it did, though, the Raiders rolled right into the semifinals and a rematch with Simpson Academy following a 53-41 win against the Patriots. Simpson downed Indianola Academy 49-20. “We knew if we got to this point, we’d see them again,” Lamar coach Mac Barnes said. Lamar (11-1) fell behind Marshall 14-0 as the Raiders didn't score on their first possession. After that, though, Lamar scored on nine straight drives. Lamar led 27-20 at halftime. "We knew it was going to be hard to stop them, especially early, because it was an offense we hadn't seen," Barnes said. Leading by a score at the half, Lamar received the opening kick of the second half and promptly went up 33-20. The Raiders then stuffed Marshall Academy on downs inside the 10 and drove the length of the field to take the three-score lead. Marshall Academy would tack on three scores in the final six minutes. "They're a very good offensive team," Barnes added. "We knew we were going to have to score." Senior quarterback Witt Haggard led Lamar, throwing for four touchdowns and running for three more.Simpson handed Lamar its only defeat, 48-21, on Oct. 23 to capture the Region 3-AA title. “We played against a really good running team tonight,” Barnes said. “Plus, we played a tough team in Leake (Academy) two weeks ago and Oak Hill runs pretty well. “I’m very confident that our kids will come out and play well next week.”