• 54°

Panthers take playoff hopes to Terry

How well the Brookhaven Panthers perform in the next two gameswill determine their state playoff opportunity. The Panthers (5-2,2-1) must win their next two Division 6-4A games to make theplayoffs and the first hurdle is Friday night at Terry (4-4,1-3).

On Nov. 3, the Panthers host Lawrence County (5-3, 2-1) in theregular season finale for both teams. McComb (8-1, 4-0) securedfirst place in the division race with last week’s 40-8 pounding ofthe Panthers.

Lawrence County hosts Crystal Springs (2-7, 0-4) Friday nightand is expected to win easily. Brookhaven’s task, according to headcoach Greg Wall, will be more difficult.

“We must play well to make the playoffs,” said Wall. “We can’trelax. We control our own destiny. If we don’t play well, we don’tdeserve to make the playoffs.”

After a rousing 25-20 victory at South Pike two weeks ago, thePanthers appeared ready for the homecoming showdown with McComb.Misfortune, in the form of a fumbled punt snap and an interceptionleading to easy touchdowns, sparked the Tigers to a 21-0first-quarter lead and the Panthers never recovered.

An estimated crowd of 3,000-plus witnessed the blowout on KingField.

Can the Panthers bounce back against Terry?

“We’ll be back on top of the roller coaster or we’ll be back onthe bottom,” answered Wall. “We know what we have to do.”

Seniors Lead Terry

Coached by David Virgil, the Terry Bulldogs are led by a groupof seniors at the skill positions. Repeated requests for a Terryroster were unsuccessful so Wall used last year’s roster for thescouting report.

Terry’s starting quarterback is senior Delvie Mack (5-8, 185)and another quarterback who throws the ball well is William Evans(5-11, 175). Mack is a 2-year starter who helped lead the Bulldogsto a 37-0 win over Crystal Springs last week.

At running back, Terry has a big fullback in Bobby Kendrick(5-10, 245). “He runs the ball well up the middle,” said Wall.

At tailback, Lorenzo Wesley (5-7, 170, sr.), leads Terry’srushing attack.

At tight end Chris Snell (6-0, 190) is solid. Jamie Mack (6-1,180) works at split end and wide receiver.

Josh Shepherd (5-8, 150) is the placekicker.

On defense, Kendrick and Justin Moody (5-10, 210) star atlinebacker. Also at linebacker is Brock Stringer (5-10, 185). TheDawgs run a 50 front.

“On defense they walked everybody up to the line of scrimmage,”said Wall. “We’ll have to throw some to back them off.”

Panthers Recovering

Quarterback Fred Perkins sustained a bruised shoulderagainst South Pike and his passing was hampered in the McComb game.Corey Wilson also worked at quarterback against McComb and Perkinsmoved to receiver.

Daniel Boyd, a punter and placekicker on the 1999Brookhaven team, had apparently given up football last summer toconcentrate on auto racing at the Pike County Speedway and playingbaseball next spring. Boyd had a change of heart and rejoined theteam last week.

“Daniel Boyd has worked hard this week,” said Wall.”He’ll handle field goals, punts and kickoff duty.”

Josh Brister will handle extra points. “He’s realconsistent and gets the ball up quick,” Wall noted.

Punter Justin Windham reinjured his leg in practice thisweek. “Hopefully, he will be able to do some punting for us,” saidWall.

Against McComb, junior tailback Cornelius Allen rushedfor 120 yards and a fourth quarter touchdown. Josh Townsend scoredthe 2-point conversion.

Allen has rushed 109 times for 729 yards and 5touchdowns this season. He averaged 6.7 yards percarry.

Perkins has gained 500 yards on 86 carries and scored 10touchdowns fullback Josh Anderson has rushed 60 times for 374 yardsand 6 TDS. The Panthers haven’t scored a touchdown by passing thisyear.

Nose tackle Nic Smith led the Panthers on defenseagainst McComb with 8 tackles. Ron Mackabee had 7 tackles. In 7games, Mackabee leads the team with 71 tackles. Sophomore safetyEmanuel Perkins has 42 tackles.

Panther Paws: Last year Brookhaven beat Terry 55-31 forhomecoming.