Panthers take care of Port Gibson

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 2, 2001

PORT GIBSON – “This is the toughest region in the state, barnone,” said Port Gibson coach Gary “Bo” Wright. He had just watchedhis Blue Wave drop a 31-20 Friday night decison to the BrookhavenPanthers in Region 6-4A action.

Brookhaven (3-1. 2-0) travels down I-55 to meet Pike Countyrival McComb, at C.C. Moore Stadium Friday night. Port Gibson hostsLawrence County.

“We are young, inexperienced and made too many mistakes,” saidWright. “Brookhaven has a very good football and they capitalizedon our turnovers.”

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In a game that saw many drives end via penalty or turnover,Brookhaven was able to capitalize on several Port Gibsonerrors.

The Panthers (4-1, 2-0) took advantage of a Blue Wave miscue, totake a 2-0 lead with 6:43 remaining in the opening period. WithPort Gibson facing fourth-and-22 from its own 16, the Blue Waveprepared to punt. Port Gibson’s longsnapper sailed the ball throughthe back of the end zone, resulting in a safety.

Brookhaven junior defensive back Abe Blue picked off a Blue Wavepass to set up the Panthers first touchdown. His return of 23 yardsto the Port Gibson 4, gave his teammates first-and-goal. Threeplays later, runningback Cornelius Allen scored the first of his 3touchdowns on the night with 3:14 left in the first. Daniel Gates’first-of-three PAT kicks was good and the Panthers increased theirlead to 9-0.

Allen finished the game with 315 yards of total offense,including 117 yards on 6 punt returns and 194 yards on 25 rushes.Allen also had a 4-yard reception. The Panthers outgained the BlueWave offensively 309 to 169 and held Port Gibson to only 3 firstdowns.

Port Gibson (3-1, 1-1) took advantage of 2 Brookhaven fumbles toscore touchdowns. The first came with 9:31 left in the first half,as defensive back Delraton Turner returned a Panther fumble 55yards for a touchdown. The PAT kick failed and Wright’s ballclubreduced their deficit to 9-6.

Allen’s second touchdown came from 2 yards out with 23 secondsleft until halftime. The Panthers held a 16-6 lead at theintermission.

“Brookhaven just whipped us up front all night,” said Wright.”They had the better team tonight.” Wright was referring toBrookhaven’s dominance on the offensive and defensive line.

Port Gibson runningback Joseph Rogers capped off a 5-play,45-yard drive with 3:50 left in the third. Rogers’ touchdownbrought the Blue Wave within 4 points, 16-12, as the conversionpass failed.

Allen’s third score came at the 8:06 mark of the final stanza,darting 28 yards to paydirt. Quarterback Billy Williams wasinstrumental in this drive as he ran for 2 first downs and passedfor another to keep the 68-yard, 8-play drive alive. Williams alsoconverted the 2-point try, making it 24-12.

Williams took to the air, connecting with junior wideout KendellNickelson on a 12-yard scoring strike. With Gates’ PAT kick, thePanthers had obtained a 31-12 lead with 4:15 left in the game.

Port Gibson capped off the scoring with 27 seconds left on theclock. Blue Wave linebacker Frederick Russell recovered aBrookhaven fumble and returned it 27 yards to the end zone.Quarterback Ocie Brown, a 4-year starter, was successful on the2-point conversion run.

“Any time, you can go 2-0 in district, it’s good,” saidBrookhaven head coach Andrew Hickman following the ballgame. “Itwasn’t pretty. We have got to cut down on the mistakes.”



First Downs 3 14

Rushes-Yards 21-95 45-255

Passing Yards 74 54

Total Yards 169 309

Passes 5-18-2 6-13-1

Punts-Avg. 6-37.3 3-38.3

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 4-2

Penalties-Yards 5-35 7-50

Time Possession 13-26:03 13-21:57

BROOKHAVEN 9 7 0 15 – 31

PORT GIBSON 0 6 6 8 – 20


Brookhaven, Safety, 6:43.

Brookhaven, Allen 1 run (Gates kick), 3:14.


Port Gibson, Turner 55 fumble return (kick failed),9:31.

Brookhaven, Allen 2 run (Gates kick), :23.


Port Gibson, Rogers 32 run (pass failed), 3:50.


Brookhaven, Allen 28 run (Williams run),8:06.

Brookhaven, Nickelson 12 pass from Williams,4:15.

Port Gibson, Russell 27 fumble return (Brown run),:27.


RUSHING: Brookhaven, Allen 25-194, Williams 8-42,McArthur 6-14, Parker 1-4, Dixon 1-3, Cager 2-1, Jackson 2-(-3).Port Gibson, M. Ellis 13-39, Rogers 1-32, Brown 4-25, Yates 1-7,Team 1-0, R. Ellis 1-(-8).

PASSING: Brookhaven, Williams 6-13-1, 54. Port Gibson,Brown 5-18-2, 74.

RECEIVING: Brookhaven, Tobias 1-18, Nickelson 1-12,Maxwell 1-11, Downs 1-5, Allen 1-4, Patrick 1-4. Port Gibson,Russell 1-37, Gibson 3-34, M. Ellis 1-3.