BA Cougars bag first win

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 22, 2003

The terms “snake bit”, “shot in the foot”, and “that’s the waythe ball bounces”, were all discarded Friday night at Cougar Fieldas the Brookhaven Academy Cougars (1-4) tasted victory for thefirst time this year, winning 14-13 over the Academy Class Apowerhouse Prentiss Christian Saints (2-3) in heroic fashion.

The Cougars used everything in their arsenal to wrestle avictory from the Saints while putting up 335 total yards in abalanced offensive attack. The formula consisted of solid andsteady defense, big-play passing and a thunder-and-lightningrushing attack.

“It’s about dadgum’ time,”exclaimed a happy senior JonathanWatts concerning the victory. “It’s about time we got one.”

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The war began right out of the blocks as neither team seemedinterested in the end zone while the clock melted away quickly. Thedefenses of both teams held tight and forced punts. The Cougarscame the closest to etching a score in the first quarter, but theBruce Brady field goal attempt missed right with 28.4 secondsremaining.

The second quarter saw Prentiss reach paydirt first as theSaints rushed down the field in a little over two minutes, cappedby wingback Corey Parrish’s 4-yard sweep with 5:20 remaining in thesecond to put the Saints up 6-0. Brandon McNease kicked the PAT tolet the score stand at 7-0.

The Cougars returned fire by marching down the field to theSaints 13-yard line but stalled. Cougar quarterback Collins Casemisfired 3 times to turn the ball over on downs with 2:07 leftbefore half, leaving the Cougars trailing 7-0.

The third quarter could have been painted blue and silver as theCougars owned the line of scrimmage and punished the Saint’sdefense for 2 scores. The Cougar’s could not score without someexcitement attached as Case took the quarterback sweep 13 yards andleft his feet to score when the ball squirted out into the endzonebefore crossing the goal line.

Disaster was averted when wideout Cameron Achord pounced on theball for the first Cougar score to cut the Saint’s lead to 7-6 with8:02 left in the third quarter. The score remained the same as theBrady PAT sailed right once again.

The Cougars were not through. In the third quarter, and 7minutes later on the second possession, Case again took it himself,this time from 7 yards out, and scored. Fullback Dusty Bratton dovein from 1-yard out on the two-point try after an offsides penaltyon the Saints to pull the score to 14-7 with 1:18 left in thethird.

The fourth quarter was a dangerous time for the Cougars aspenalties and fumbles threatened the win time and time again.

A Saints drive continued after a pass interference penalty. Onthird down, a botched snap cause Case to fumble as the Cougars feltthe momentum shifting. The Saints did just that capitalizing on thefumble.

Two players later , PC quarterback Simon Martin took the end andraced 16 yards to score and cut the BA lead to 14-13 with 4:46 leftin the game. After a timeout, the Saints took a leap of faith asthey tried to end the night early by going for two. Thequestionable call turned ugly as the Cougars turned back tailbackScott Polk on the six-inch line. The Cougars kept the lead14-13.

After a Cougar punt, the last gasp for Prentiss was snuffed outas cornerback Stewart Sessums intercepted a Martin pass with 2:29left to seal the deal for the Cougars first win.

“The monkey is off our back,” stated a relieved BA head coachRay Ishee. ” You keep looking at it and we fought back and stoppedthem for two.”

The Cougar offense was scorching all night as Case and Sessumsput on a throwing and receiving clinic, taking advantage of presscoverage by the Saints. Case hit Sessums 5 times for 121 yardswhile Case tallied 8-15 passing with 157 total yards.

“We prepared for that. We knew they were rolling the dice by notgiving the cornerback help,” explained Ishee.

The rushing game was excellent as well with the thunder ofBratton and fullback Jonathan Watts and lightning of Case andtailback Cole Hodges carrying the load all evening. Bratton rushed15 times for 95 yards, with Hodges carrying 18 times for 53yards.

The Cougar defense was phenomenal all evening stopping theSaints in crucial situations time and time again. They were led byWatts who recorded 11 tackles on the evening. Linebackers Brattonand Eric Terry finished with 7 tackles each.

The Saints were led by Martin who rushed 7 times for 40 yardsand was 5 of 13 passing for 57 yards.

The senior Cougars were overjoyed with their performance butstill hungry for more.

“I wish it would have come sooner but we’ve got to step it upthe next few weeks,” explained Terry. “This meant nothing. We’vegot to get ready for district play.”

The Cougars host Oak Forest, La., next Friday evening. Thekickoff is at 7:00.