Panthers defense Raymond Rangers

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 23, 2002

That was the theme for the night as Brookhaven and Raymond metin their initial 2002 Region 6-4A encounter Friday night. ThePanther offense sputted at times but managed to find the end zonethree times to author a 24-8 win over the Rangers.

Brookhaven (2-2, 1-0) finally comes home after a 3-game roadtrip, to host the Port Gibson Blue Wave Friday for homecoming. ThisRegion 6-4A gala is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. on King Field.Raymond (0-4, 0-1) travels to McComb.

Both teams neutralized the other on their opening possessions.Brookhaven received the ball at the Ranger 47, after a 19-yard puntby Raymond. The Panthers found the end zone in 2 plays and 36seconds eclipsing off the clock, with senior runningback JoshAnderson scoring from 17 yards out. Dominick DiPaolo’sfirst-of-three PAT kicks was good and Brookhaven jumped out to anearly 7-0 lead with 8:54 remaining in the opening quarter. Keyplays in the drive were 2 5-yard encroachment penalties by Raymondand a 20-yard scamper by Anderson.

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Neither team would mount a long offensive series. Most of thedrives during the game were of the three downs-and-puntvariety.

Raymond received the ball at the 5:04 mark of the second periodand proceeded to mount a long, sustained march to the goal line. Onfourth and 14 from their own 16, the Rangers punted to midfield.Brookhaven was set for the return, when the Panther punt returnermishandled the punt.

The Rangers recovered at the Brookhaven 48, continuing theirdrive. Coach Wes Slay’s ballclub could only muster a negative 16yards, turning the ball over on downs at their own 36 with 10seconds left in the first half.

The Panthers wasted little time in finding the end zone assophomore quarterback Jimmy Johns found split end John Bud Chatmanwith a 36-yard scoring strike. The play took only 6 seconds tocomplete and Brookhaven entertained a 14-0 lead at theintermission.

“We didn’t play well on offense,” said Brookhaven first-yearhead coach Tucker Peavey. “We were in position to make plays and wedidn’t make them.” Peavey was commenting on the lack of executionby the Panther offense.

The Rangers would get their only score of the night late in thethird quarter. Beginning at their own 22, Raymond would march 78yards in 3 plays. Junior quarterback Josh Neal, a 6-foot-1 juniorfrom Utica, found wideout Charlie Lawson with a 17-yard touchdownpass. Neal passed to Ellis Hogan for the 2-point conversion and theRangers trailed 14-8 with 3:30 left in the third. Key play in thedrive was a 58-yard pass from Neal to tailback Antoine Clay fromtheir own 25 to the Brookhaven 17.

“If you look at the teams that play in Jackson every year, youwill find that they play outstanding defense,” said Raymondfirst-year head coach Wes Slay. “Coach Peavey knows what he isdoing. Both teams stopped the run and the pass,” added Slay.

Brookhaven added a 32-yard field goal by DiPaolo at the 5:12mark of the final stanza. DiPaolo’s kick capped off a 9-play,43-yard, 5-minute drive.

The Panthers scored the final touchdown on a 4-yard run bysophomore Darius Perkins with 58 seconds left in the game. Perkinscarried 3 times for 9 yards on the series. The Rangers werepenalized 4 times for 44 yards on the touchdown run and ensuingextra point.

Brookhaven held Raymond to 139 yards of total offense. TheRangers managed only 17 yards on the ground. The Panthers gained172 yards, with 82 coming through the air. Brookhaven had 9 firstdowns to Raymond’s 7.

Brookhaven was led by Anderson with 49 yards on 11 carries.Perkins carried 10 times for 30 yards. Chatman was the leadingreceiver with 1 reception for 36 yards and a touchdown. KendellNickelson had 2 catches for 27 yards. Johns was 6-for-15 for 84yards and a touchdown.

Clay paced the Rangers with 2 catches for 68 yards and 13carries for 20 yards.

Defensively, linebacker Lakendrick Maxwell had11 tackles. Defensive tackle Jesse Bowman and linebacker JamesDixon had 10 tackles apiece. Julius Lloyd, Julius Brown and PhillipTobias had sacks. Tobias and Belma Cager had fumble recoveries.

“We played extremely well on defense,” said Peavey. “Ourdefensive coaches prepared a good game plan for them.” Peavey wasreferring to defensive coordinator Rod Henderson, secondary coachPatrick Hardy and Jaymie Palmer.