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Mendenhall’s speed too much for Brookhaven

MENDENHALL – Mendenhall runningback Corey Rhodes jetted for 142yards on 24 carries, to lead the Tigers in a 21-7 win over theBrookhaven Panther Friday night. The Tigers amassed 348 yardsoffense, using their speed to overwhelm Brookhaven.

Brookhaven (1-2) travels to Hinds County Friday, to meet theRaymond Rangers in the Panthers’ initial 2002 Region 6-4A test.Mendenhall (2-1) travels to Soso to take on West Jones in theirfirst Region 5-4A game of the season. Game times are set for 7:30p.m.

Both teams mounted outstanding defensive efforts in the opening12 minutes, entering the second period with a scorelessdeadlock.

Mendenhall, coming off of a 35-12 loss to No. 1- ranked WayneCounty, opened the scoring at the 2:47 mark of the second quarter.Tiger fullback Bruce Johnson capped off a 9-play, 80-yard drivewith a 1-yard plunge into the endzone. Chad Garretson kicked thePAT and the Tigers held a 7-0 lead at the intermission.

“We have got to get more consistent in what we are doing,” saidBroookhaven head coach Tucker Peavey. “I still feel pretty goodabout this team.”

The Tigers, coached by Charlie Dampeer, dialed long distance toclaim a 14-0 lead with 10:07 left in the third. Rhodes (5-9, 168)darted 66 yards for a touchdown, capping off a 4-play, 78-yarddrive. Garretson’s PAT kick was successful.

Brookhaven’s only score of the game came at the 4:42 mark of thethird quarter, off of a Mendenhall turnover.

The Tigers had a second-and-seven from their own 9. Dampeerhanded off to Julius Roberson on a speed play around left end. AsRoberson attempted to turn the corner, Panther defensive tacklePhillip Tobias grabbed Roberson’s jersey and stripped the ball.Brookhaven’s Jesse Bowman recovered the ball in the endzone for atouchdown. Domenick DiPaolo tacked on the PAT and the Panthersdeficit was reduced to 14-7, heading into the final stanza.

Mendenhall’s defense virtually shut down the Panthers all nightlong, according to Coach Dampeer. “Our game plan was to put 5, 6, 7or more men in the box,” said Dampeer. “We wanted Brookhaven to runup the middle. I feel like our run defense is pretty good.

“We felt like we had to shut down Johns and that No. 84, theirgo-to receiver,” added Dampeer. Dampeer was referring to sophomorereceiver John Bud Chatman, who had 4 catches for 95 yards last weekagainst Vicksburg. Chatman was held to 1 reception for a minus-4yards.

Mendenhall closed the scoring via the airways. Tiger quarterbackBrooks Dampeer, the coach’s son, found split end B. J. Womack witha 49-yard scoring strike. Garretson’s third PAT kick on the nightwas good. The 6-play, 58-yard drive took 3:20 to complete.

Brookhaven was held to 122 yards of total offense. Seniorrunningback Josh Anderson led the Panthers with 49 yards on 10rushes. Quarterback Jimmy Johns had 21 yards on 7 carries. Widereceiver Kendell Nickelson had 3 receptions for 26 yards.

Mendenhall amassed 348 yards of offense. The Tigers had 176yards through the air. Womack led all receivers with 109 yards on 4catches.

Defensively, senior linebacker LaKendrickMaxwell paced the Panthers with 9 tackles (4 solos). LinebackerEmmanuel Perkins had 8 tackles, including 7 solo stops. Jason Dixonand Julius Lloyd had 6 tackles apiece. Tobias caused a fumble andbroke up a pass. Bowman and Belma Cager each recovered afumble.

“I was pleased with the defensive effort tonight, except for thebig plays,” said Peavey.