BA Cougars visit Simpson Co.

Published 6:00 am Thursday, November 15, 2001

It will be Cougar vs. Cougar Friday night in Mendenhall whenSimpson County Academy hosts Brookhaven Academy in the openinground of the State AA football playoffs.

Brookhaven Academy (10-1) is the District 4 runner-up andSimpson County (9-2) is the District 3 champ. The game kicks off at7:00 p.m.

Last Friday, Brookhaven Academy defeated Bowling Green 38-14 ina game that gave the Cougars their best-ever regular season record.A 34-7 win by Oak Forest over Wilkinson County Christian Academyhelped keep Brookhaven Academy in the playoffs.

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“Anytime you go 10-1 in this league you are always pleased,”said Brookhaven Academy first-year head coach Ray Ishee.

The record this year’s Cougar team broke was held by the 1993Brookhaven Academy squad coached by Herbert Davis Jr. The ’93Cougar football team was 6-4 in regular season play and finished9-4 with a state AA football championship. Brookhaven Academy beatGreenville Christian 21-18 in the title game.

Simpson should provide a very tough challenge on their hometurf.

“Simpson likes to run the football,” said Ishee who is defensivecoordinator. “They are big and strong. They have power runners.They don’t throw it unless they have too. They are capable to doboth.

“Defensively, they are big and strong and they run to the ball.They’re big and tough. The play inspired defense.”

Lyle Stewart directs Simpson County with 17 touchdowns.Quarterback Lance Sasser has thrown for 10 touchdowns.

In the victory over Bowling Green, BA senior fullback Adam Smithrushed for 51 yards on 10 carries, pushing him over 1,000 yards forthe season. Smith has rushed for 12 touchdowns.

Cougar senior quarterback Ben Davis rushed 18 times for 126yards and three touchdowns against Bowling Green. On the season,Davis has rushed for 11 TDs. He completed 3 of 5 passes for 52yards and a touchdown, making his total six TDs on the season.

On defense, Brookhaven Academy got 11 tackles from seniorlinebacker Blake Killingsworth. Senior strong safety Chad Lagrone,Daily Leader Defensive Player of the Week, finished with 11 tacklesand intercepted two passes.

There are a few things Brookhaven Academy needs to do wellFriday night against Simpson County. “We have to play betterdefense against the run,” stated Ishee. “We have to give ouroffense more opportunities. We have to get Simpson in third andlong situations and make them throw the ball.”

Paul Anderson joined the Cougar coaching staff last summer andmade an immediate impact as offensive coordinator. He installed ano-huddle offense and it has worked for the Cougars.

“Coach Anderson is an excellent offensive coach,” said Ishee.”He’s taken our talent and provided us with what we have. Theno-huddle puts added pressure on defenses.

Other members of the coaching staff include Neal King, BarryGray and Ron Rushing.

Ishee praised the improvement junior running back Ryan Nix hasshown. “For the last two weeks, Ryan played his best games allyear. He is becoming a more all-around football player.”

Ishee is pleased with how his team has handled themselves on andoff the football field. “I’m proud of them,” added Ishee. “I amproud of the way they conduct themselves.”