Panthers entertain Clinton

Published 5:00 am Friday, September 12, 2003

“How’s Jimmy?”

Brookhaven head coach Tucker Peavey has answered that questionnumerous times this week. People were asking about juniorquarterback Jimmy Johns who sustained a deep thigh bruise on hisright leg in the Vicksburg game.

“Jimmy’s a little sore but he’ll be okay,” answered Peavey. He’sbeen practicing this week,” and should be ready for Friday night’shome game against Clinton. Kickoff is 7:30 on King Field.

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Peavey’s Panthers (1-1) will encounter a strong Class 5A ClintonArrow squad with loads of state playoff tradition. The Panthershope to rebound from an epic 55-47, triple-overtime loss toVicksburg last Friday night on King Field.

Peavey anticipates another difficult test for his Panthers.”We’ll need all our bullets for Clinton,” said Peavey.

Johns sustained his injury in the first half against Vicksburg.He was replaced by sophomore Brandt Hinton but managed to returnfor the second half, showing a distinct limp.

Linebacker Eric Edwards injured his right ankle in the Vicksburggame and is doubtful. Running back Darius Perkins could see a lotmore action at linebacker.

“Clinton is a good, solid football team,” said Peavey. “Theyhave a really good running back. We don’t need to miss him. We needto make the tackle.”

Against Vicksburg, defensive back Tyrone Jones led the Pantherswith 8 tackles. Lineman Jessie Bowman had 6 tackles and 1quarterback sack. Free safety Jarvis Wilson had 6 tackles. AnthonyCaffie and Jason Dixon each had 5 stops. Strong safety T.J. Quallsintercepted his second pass of the season.

“Clinton makes the plays and plays solid football,” said Peavey.”They have played two good teams in Meridian and Brandon.”

Brookhaven’s defense gave up 524 yards as Vicksburg rallied totie the game 33-33 at the end of regulation. Quarterback JamesJackson passed for 418 yards as the Gators scored twice in thefourth quarter to erase a 33-21 deficit.

Offensively, the Panthers accounted for 220 yards, 189 on theground. Perkins rushed 17 times for 95 yards. Johns completed 6 of17 passes for 31 yards and 2 touchdowns.

“We did some things good against Vicksburg,” said Peavey. “If wewould have made routine plays, we would have kept it out ofovertime. Our kids played hard against Vicksburg. They put forth agood effort.”

Coach Pete Hurt, in second year at the controls of the ClintonArrows. They are 1-1, beating Meridian 14-7 in their season openerand losing to Brandon 14-7 last week.

Hurt said youth dominates his squad. “We are very young. We onlyhave six seniors on our football team. We start a lot of youngkids.”

Looking at his team’s season opener, Hurt said, “We were able togain momentum and make a few plays to beat Meridian in the secondhalf. Against Brandon we had the same opportunities but we didn’tmake the plays. It was 7-7 at the half.”

The Arrows start Brandon Moon (6-1, 180, jr.) at quarterback.Moon has a good arm.

At running back, the senior starters are fullback Lee Dyson(5-9, 200) and tailback Paul Cavett (5-11, 185). Cavett has scored2 touchdowns and was the leading rusher in Class 5A last year. Herushed for 128 yards against Meridian and 125 against Brandon.

“He’s (Cavett) a good durable back,” said Hurt.

On defense, strong safety Derrick Jenkins (5-11, 175, sr.) leadsthe Arrows. “He has played real well for us,” said Hurt.

At linebacker, Maurice Woods (5-11, 190, jr.) is one of leadingtacklers on the squad.

Placekicker Sam Cole (5-10, 175) a junior, kicked for the Arrowslast year. Cole also punts.

Reviewing game film of the Panthers, Hurt made this observation.”I think Brookhaven has a great football team. They could be thebest football team we’ve played so far. They have a very athleticteam. Their quarterback is a great player.”

Looking at Brookhaven’s defensive unit, Hurt said, “Their frontfour on defense is tremendous. I thought they were Ole Miss when Ilooked at them. I think Tucker has some of the Ole Miss players,too.”

Hurt is in his second year at Clinton. He played football atMississippi College and started out coaching at Clinton in1979-80.

Hurt coached in college for 20 years, including stints at NorthTexas State, Baylor, Lamar, Rice, and two years in World FootballLeague in Birmingham. He was head coach at Samford (Al.) Universityseven years before coming to Clinton.

Panther Paws: This is the first time forBrookhaven to play Clinton since the 1994 season when Coach RustyFunk’s Panthers lost 31-27 at Clinton.