Panthers visit South Pike Eagles
The must-win portion of the 2000 football schedule has arrivedfor the Brookhaven Panthers and the South Pike Eagles.
The must-win portion of the 2000 football schedule has arrivedfor the Brookhaven Panthers and the South Pike Eagles. Both teamshave state playoff ambitions and both teams need a victory Fridaynight at Magnolia on Colee Field. Kickoff is 7:30.
Brookhaven (4-1, 1-0) is fresh from an open date. South Pike(4-3, 2-1) whipped Crystal Springs 49-14 last Friday night atCrystal Springs. Brookhaven beat Crystal Springs 42-12 the previousweek.
Brookhaven head coach Greg Wall has taken a long, hard look atSouth Pike on game films. The Eagles are under the direction ofcoach Clarence Morgan, a longtime assistant coach when Wall was incharge of the South Pike program for 22 years.
“The biggest thing that we’ve seen on film is that theiroffensive tackles are huge,” said Wall. “Everybody we talked tosaid they are big-time players.”
Wall was referring to a pair of large, strong seniors. CorneliusStallings, a 6-foot-5, 310-pounder, is a highly recruited collegeprospect; and Reginald Green (6-2, 290) has drawn high marks on thefield, too.
“Offensively, they are big and physical,” said Wall. “Ourdefense is going to have to step up and play hard and stay low. Weare fairly small on our defensive line.
“We are 220 (pounds) at nose tackle,” said Wall “We must staylow and use our quickness.”
Offensively, the Eagles have big-play potential. Corey Addison,a 155-pound senior, rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns inthe win over Crystal Springs. The Eagles have other offensiveweapons.
“We match up pretty good speed-wise on the outside,” said Wall.”They have a great back (John Lowery) running the football. He hashad several games where he rushed for over 100 yards.” Lowery is a210-pound junior fullback.
The Eagles have ran the ball more than they have passed it thisyear. All-Area quarterback and 3-year starter Brian Green graduatedand signed with Jackson State.
This season at quarterback, Jason Pittman and Jonathan Brumfieldare calling the signals. “Brumfield has got the job,” said Wall.”Pittman has been moved to wide receiver.” Brumfield isright-handed and Pittman is left-handed.
Wall said South Pike is big on defense. Joe Barnes (235) at nosetackle. Joshua Stewart (240) and Randy Jackson (275) are atdefensive tackle. At end Brian Crossley and Sedric Elzie (185) “doa good job pursuing the football.”
Wall said the Panthers are rested and ready, especially afterthe open date. Placekicker Ben Giust underwent knee surgery lastweek to repair a torn ACL. Giust sustained the injury during aSunday afternoon pickup soccer game two weeks ago. He had kicked a41-yard field goal earlier this season.
Justin Windham replaced Giust as placekicker in the CrystalSprings game. Windham punts and placekicks.
South Pike Must Win
Coach Morgan said the Eagles must win the game to stayin playoff contention. “With six teams in the division, you can’tafford two losses.” The Eagles were 9-2 last season and finishedsecond to Lawrence County in the division race. Earlier thisseason, the Cougars beat South Pike 12-7 atMonticello.
“Brookhaven has a good football team,” said Morgan. “Italked to the Mendenhall coach (Andy Stevens) and he said he reallyunderestimated their speed and ability to play defense.” ThePanthers won 22-14 at Mendenhall in the third game of theseason.
“(Brookhaven’s) offense has several different ways itcan go,” Morgan continued. “Their quarterback (Fred Perkins) is athreat. The tailback (Cornelius Allen) is talented.”
Allen and fullback Josh Anderson provided much of theoffense in the win over Crystal Springs. Allen rushed for 151 yardsand 1 touchdown. Anderson gained 140 yards and scored 2 TDs.Perkins rushed for 83 yards and scored 2 TDs.
Defensively, Ron Mackabee, Emanuel Perkins, PerryBrumfield and Nic Smith lead the Panthers in tackles.
Panther Paws: Wall coached 25 years at South Pike, 22 ashead coach, before coming to Brookhaven in 1996. He and Morgan grewup together. They belong to the same hunting club in AmiteCounty.
“The big thing is we coached together a long time,” saidWall. “I have a lot of friendships there. Except for this game, Iwish them the best.”