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Panthers harvest division win at South Pike

MAGNOLIA – With a full moon gazing down on Colee Field, theBrookhaven Panthers harvested another piece of the Division 6-4Afield Friday night. Led by quarterback Fred Perkins and ahard-nosed defense, the Panthers beat South Pike’s Eagles 25-20 ina division showdown.

Brookhaven (5-1, 2-0) wasn’t assured of a victory until SouthPike quarterback Perry Brumfield’s fourth down pass for JasonPittman fell incomplete with 42 seconds left to play. The Pantherstook over at their 40-yard line and ran out the clock.

Panther linebacker Perry Brumfield celebrated the big victoryand shared his feelings on the game. “The Good Lord blessed us andpulled us through. We got another slice of the division pie. Wemust play hard like this every game.”

Brumfield and his defensive teammates limited South Pike to 203yards total offense, 163 coming on the ground. The Eagles lost fourfumbles.

“Our coaches preached about the weapons (South Pike) had,” saidBrumfield. “We did a good job with our pass defense. Our defensivebacks, linebackers and line did a good job.”

South Pike fell to 4-3 and 2-2, virtually out of the divisiontitle race and probably out of the state playoff picture. TheEagles spotted Brookhaven an 18-0 second-quarter lead before comingto life.

“We played well enough to win and we had a chance at the end,”said South Pike coach Clarence Morgan. “We came back from a bigdeficit.

“Brookhaven executed real well,” said Morgan. “Their offensiveline blocking was better than we expected.”

Brookhaven senior offensive tackle Randy Jackson said thePanthers produced an exceptional effort against a strong South Pikesquad. “It was a hard-hitting game and we played our hearts out. Itwas a big district win for us.”

Perkins was the catalyst in Brookhaven’s offense. He directedthe Panthers to a touchdown on their first possession of the game,starting with a 25-yard kickoff return. Wingback Tarik Williams hadruns of 15 and 30 yards on the 67-yard drive. Perkins scored on a1-yard sneak and it was 6-0 with 10:27 left in the firstquarter.

A 34-yard scoring run by fullback Josh Anderson up the middleput the Panthers ahead 12-0 on their next possession.

On Friday the 13th, good fortune smiled on the Panthers. A31-yard field goal attempt by Justin Windham was partially blockedby the Eagles. South Pike’s Reginald Lumpkin picked up the footballat his 8-yard line and returned it to the 12 where he fumbled.Offensive guard Adam Furlow alertly recovered the ball and thePanthers maintained possession.

Furlow was subbing for Kern Hoff who sustained a first-quarterleg injury. X-rays revealed a broken tibula in Hoff’s lower rightleg. Hoff is scheduled to undergo surgery on Monday.

Five plays later, Perkins scored on a sneak and it was 18-zip.Windham’s PAT kick was blocked.

South Pike’s offense finally awoke. The Eagles needed 12 playsto drive 49 yards on the Panthers. Fullback John Lowery scored from4 yards out. Andrez Aguilar kicked the extra point and it was 18-7with 53 seconds left in the first half.

On its second possession of the second half, South Pike marched60 yards to paydirt. Senior halfback Corey Addison cut back acrossthe middle and went 21 yards for the TD. Aguilar’s PAT made it18-14.

The Eagles tried an onsides kickoff but Brookhaven’s Seth Flynncovered the ball at his 41. Perkins guided the Panthers 59 yards in8 plays. On two occasions he scrambled for 21-yard gainers and apair of first downs.

Anderson plunged the final 5 yards up the middle for the TD.Windham’s PAT made it 25-14. with 11:53 left in the game.

Recalling his tackle-breaking scramble for a first down, Perkinssaid, “We called a pass play but I saw an opening to get a firstdown. South Pike hit hard and they did a lot of stunting the secondhalf.

“Our defense has been carrying the load,” said Perkins. “WithGod’s help we won tonight.”

South Pike came charging back. The Eagles went 59 yards in 9plays, with Brumfield completing passes of 22 and 14 yards alongthe way. Brumfield scored on a sneak.

The Eagles tried a 2-point conversion but Brookhaven linebackerRon Mackabee tackled Addison short of the goal line. South Piketrailed 25-20 with 3:02 left to play.

“Like all big games, turnovers make a difference,” saidBrookhaven coach Greg Wall. “Our defense was terrific and Fred dida great job running our offense.”

Brookhaven hosts the McComb Tigers Friday night in a battle ofdivision leaders. It also is Brookhaven’s homecoming game.

@Bbstandings:

STATISTICS B SP First Downs 11 14 Rushes-Yards 50-23249-163 Passing Yards 20 40 Total Yards 252 203 Passes 1-2-0 4-13-0Fumbles-Lost 5-3 4-4 Punts-Average 4-26.2 3-33.3 Penalties-Yards5-25 3-35

Brookhaven 12 6 0 7 – 25

South Pike 0 7 7 6 – 20

FIRST QUARTER Brookhaven, F. Perkins 1 run (kickfailed), 10:27. Brookhaven, Anderson 34 run (run failed),4:15.

SECOND QUARTER Brookhaven, F. Perkins 1 run (kickfailed), 9:20. South Pike, Dickerson 4 run (Aguilar kick),:53.

THIRD QUARTER South Pike, Addison 21 run (Aguilar kick),2:17.

FOURTH QUARTER Brookhaven, Anderson 5 run (Windhamkick), 11:53. South Pike, Brumfield 1 run (runfailed).

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING: Brookhaven, F. Perkins22-111, Anderson 10-63, Allen 11-21, T. Williams 6-49, Team1-(minus 12). South Pike, Addison 13-78, Lowery 13-30, Dickerson6-22, Brumfield 11-18, Lumpkin 5-15, Carter 1-0.

PASSING: Brookhaven, F. Perkins 1-2-0, 20. South Pike,Brumfield 4-13-0, 40.

RECEIVING: Brookhaven, Allen 1-20. South Pike, Lumpkin1-22, Forrest 1-14, Addison 2-4.