Panthers fighting tough cold virus

Published 6:00 am Thursday, November 6, 2003

Reads like a catchy headline, doesn’t it?

In reality, Brookhaven head coach Tucker Peaveyand several of his players are battling head/chest cold virus thisweek. It must be contagious.

After last Friday’s game at Monticello, this grizzled sportseditor began feeling a little weary.

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Was it a lack of sleep?

Was it the long football season?

Was it a cold virus?

Was it the flu?

By Monday afternoon we were running a temperature, coping withchills and wishing we felt better. Even the calf muscles wereaching. Not a good sign.

Peavey hopes his Panthers find a miracle cure before Fridaynight. That’s when the Pearl River Central Blue Devils invadeBrookhaven for a first round game of the Class 4A state playoffs.Excitement and, pardon the expression, football fever, is high.

“Tickets have been selling like hotcakes,” said Peavey betweensniffs. “We should have another big crowd.”

Peavey has been wrestling with the head cold for nearly threeweeks. It’s no fun.

Physicians say it’s a tough virus which doesn’t go away easily.DAILY LEADER employees will receive flu shots next week as aprecautionary measure.

Usually, those gymnasium germs will throw me for a loop at leastonce during the basketball season. Most of the time we’ve been ableto avoid the germs during the gridiron wars.

Yes, you could call them wars. Even the photographers andwriters covering the games from the sidelines are in danger. Theymust be on their tippy toes, ready to backpedal in a hurry if somequarterback, running back, blocker or tackler comes crashing out ofbounds.

Writer/photographer Marty Albright absorbed the hardest hit thisyear during the North Pike/Franklin County game. As the playersmaking the tackle crashed out of bounds, Albright absorbed a helmetto his left thigh. Showing plenty of mental toughness, he continuedto shoot the game and limped into the office for the Saturday nightmarathon, a.k.a., putting out the Sunday paper.

Yes, covering football games can be hazardous to yourhealth!

When last seen, Professor Hoopla, B.S., was modeling the lateststyle of football helmet and flak jacket. He dropped off his weeklylist of football predictions Wednesday afternoon.

Last week he predicted the winners of 23 games and got 16 right.Special congratulations to the spawners of upset specials,especially the Wesson Cobras, Alcorn State Braves, Millsaps Majorsand Belhaven Blazers.

Hoopla begins this week’s forecast with a Thursday nightspecial.

Mize at West Lincoln: The powerful Bulldogs tune up for thestate playoffs. Bears are no match. Mize 43-14.

Pearl River Central at Brookhaven: Panthers produce plenty ofoffense on King Field. Brookhaven 31-12.

Heidelberg at Loyd Star: The Oilers are capable of springing bigoffensive plays but the Hornets can do the same. Loyd Star29-16.

Bogue Chitto at Enterprise: The lights went out early last yearwhen the Yellow Jackets ended a long losing streak at Bogue Chitto.This time the Bobcats get some revenge. Bogue Chitto 28-12.

Wesson at Taylorsville: The Cobras had to pull a major upset toreach the playoffs and they accomplished that task. But beating theTartars on their home turf is almost impossible. Taylorsville28-9.

Richland at Franklin County: Red-hot Bulldogs appear to be on aroll. Franklin County 26-6.

Lawrence County at Laurel: Cougars come within a whisker ofauthoring an upset. Laurel 24-21.

Petal at South Pike: Fred Jones and the Eagles light it up onthe Panthers. South Pike 41-10.

McComb at George County: The Tigers wrecked the Rebels’homecoming celebration four weeks ago in Lucedale. It won’t happenagain. George County 21-12.

Prentiss at Hazlehurst: High-octane Indians encounter a strongdefense but they’ve still got enough juice. Hazlehurst 22-12.

North Pike at Collins: The Jaguars can smile with satisfactionand say they made the playoffs. They also lost to the 2-time,defending Class 3A state champions. Collins 42-10.

In other games, Jackson Prep should overpower Copiah Academy45-6 and Parklane should clip Central Private 17-14.

Saturday’s collegiate scene features community college stateplayoff games plus a full menu of senior colleges.

Pearl River at Northwest: Powerful Wildcats author a mild upsetin Batesville. Pearl River 31-21.

Mississippi Delta at Hinds: J. Mike Smith and the Eagles areenjoying a prosperous season. Hinds 26-14.

Ole Miss at Auburn: Tigers have Eli Manning on the top of theirhit list. Auburn 35-21.

Alabama at Mississippi State: After a restful open date, theBulldogs pull an ambush in Starkville. State 28-19.

Southern Miss at Houston: Can the Golden Eagles maintain theirstepped up level on offense? Southern Miss 27-17.

Valley State at Alcorn State: Braves author an ambush on thescalpin’ grounds. Alcorn State 28-11.

In other Magnolia State games, Delta State should sack OuachitaBaptist 37-10, Alabama A&M should pinch Jackson State 28-18,Mississippi College should dump Louisiana College 25-10, Belhavencould clip Union 17-14 and Rhodes should nip Millsaps 14-12.

Sports Editor Tom Goetz can be written to at P.O. BOX 551,Brookhaven, MS 39602 or by e-mail,