BA Cougars bag Bucs; land in AA state playoffs

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 12, 2001

There was cause for celebration at Brookhaven Academy Fridaynight. With their 38-14 victory over Bowling Green Academy, theCougars became the first team in school history to win 10 regularseason games.

Also with his 51 yards on the night, senior fullback Adam Smithwent over 1000 yards for the season. Most important was the victoryand district rival Oak Forest’s 34-7 win over WCCA. The Cougarsclinched their first playoff berth in three years. “It feels greatto finally be going back to the playoffs,” said Brookhaven seniorsafety Chad Lagrone.

At the start of the game it looked like all the Cougars winsmight be for naught as the Buccaneers from Bowling Green took only19 seconds to score. The TD came on a play-action pass byquarterback Cody Glenn that went to receiver Serge Dufren for 67yards. The Bucs lead was 7-0 as the Derrick Knight PAT wasgood.

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The Cougar offense responded to the Bowling Green score with a7-play scoring drive of their own. Senior quarterback Ben Davis gotthe Cougars on the board when he dove into the end zone behindsenior center Kelly Allred. Davis’ PAT try was no good and with9:05 left in the 1st quarter Bowling Green led 7-6.

On the next Buccaneer drive, the Cougar defense came up with abig stop on a 4th down conversion try when Jonathan Watts andJeffrey Waycaster burst through the line to stuff Bowling Green’sBenjie Pettiette. In turn BA faced a big 4th and 1 on their nextdrive but BA picked up the conversion when Smith broke off a 13yard gain.

Four plays later, Davis hit Ryan Nix with a 5-yard touchdownpass. The conversion attempt was no good and with 1:45 left in the1st quarter, BA led 12-7.

Bowling Green put together a nice drive on its next possessionhowever it stalled deep in BA territory. The Bucs attempt at a fakefield goal was turned back by the Cougar defense and BA took overon their own 10 yard line.

The Cougars next long drive would be highlighted by a big36-yard pass from Davis to senior receiver Paul Coker on a crucial3rd and 15. Five plays later Davis scored his 2nd rushing TD of thenight when he plowed in behind Allred from 1 yard out. Theconversion run was stopped and with 6:46 left, the Cougar lead was18-7.

Bowling Green drove deep into Cougar territory on their nextdrive but a spectacular interception by Lagrone on his own 3-yardline would kill the BG drive and allow the Cougars to head intohalftime with the 18-7 lead.

On the Bucs first drive of the second half Layne Morton steppedup and picked off Glenn’s pass and returned it to the Bowling Green29-yard line. Instead of capitalizing on the turnover, the Cougarswould give the ball right back on a fumble.

The Cougar defense held Bowling Green and forced a punt for thefirst time all night. Junior running back Will Rushing returnedBowling Green’s Derrick Knight’s punt 69 yards to the Bucs 1-yardline. On the next play Smith powered in for 6 points. Davis nailedthe PAT and with 4:48 left in the 3rd quarter BA led 24-7.

In the 4th quarter Glenn was picked off once more by Lagrone andby Coker. The Cougars would add two more scores in the 4th; thefirst when Davis kept the option himself and scored from 3 yardsout with 9:32 left in the game. The PAT was good.

Davis finished the night with 18 carries for 126 yards and 3rushing scores. Davis also went 3-5 passing for 52 yards and onescore through the air.

BA scored for the last time on the night when Waycaster dashedin from 28 yards out with 8:28 left in the game. Davis hit thePAT.

Bowling Green scored their final TD with just under a minute togo in the game when Matt Milton scored from 1 yard out.

“I’m excited for our kids because I know they’ve worked hardthis year,” said Cougar head coach Ray Ishee. “We’ve got a goodfootball team and we deserve to be in the playoffs,” Isheesaid.

Waycaster finished the night with 4 carries for 37 yards and Nixgained 49 yards on 8 carries and Smith carried 10 times for 51yards.

Blake Killingsworth led the Cougars defense with 11 tackles.Lagrone recorded 10 tackles to go along with his two interceptions.Rushing and Watts added 9 tackles apiece.

Brookhaven Academy (10-1) goes on the road for the first roundof the playoffs when they take on the Simpson Academy CougarsFriday night.

“This is the biggest game of the year for us so far and wereally need our fans to travel with us next week,” said Davis.