Clinton hosts Ole Brook Panthers
Clinton’s Arrows (1-1) are aiming for their second win of theseason Friday night when they host the Brookhaven Panthers (1-1) onRoy Burkett Field. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Clinton was a 7-0 winner over Brandon last week while thePanthers fell at Vicksburg, bowing 19-13 in overtime. The lossknocked Brookhaven out of the Associated Press Prep Poll’s Top 10,dropping the Panthers from fourth to No. 16.
Brookhaven head coach Tucker Peavey said his Panthers mustbecome more consistent on offense. Putting points on the scoreboardis critical to their future success this season.
“We need more production out of our offense,” said Peavey. “Wehave to finish drives and get the ball across the goal line. Itdoesn’t do much good to rack up a bunch of yards and not get anypoints out of it.”
The big bright spot on Brookhaven’s offense has been seniorrunning back Ronny McNulty who scored both touchdowns againstVicksburg. For the season, McNulty has 371 yards rushing and 4TDs.
All-state quarterback Jimmy Johns sat out the first half of theVicksburg game for disciplinary reasons. Johns got the call in thesecond half and helped the Panthers erase a 13-0 deficit, forcingovertime.
“Jimmy came in for the second half and ran the offense,” saidPeavey. “We had a lot of dropped balls on offense and defense.”
Peavey said senior offensive guard Tyler Gatlin is expected toplay Friday night after missing the first two games with a sprainedankle. “We’ll have to see how it goes in practice.”
On defense, the Panthers have played well, led by all-statedefensive tackle Jessie Bowman. Against Vicksburg, the Pantherswere led by Orlandas Chapman and Bowman with 5 solo tackles and 2assists apiece. Bowman also had a quarterback sack and Chapman madea fumble recovery.
Support came from Anthony Caffie, Eric Edwards, Virgil Sandersand Darius Perkins who each had 4 tackles. Caffie also had 2 passbreakups.
Peavey said the Panthers must continue to improve all areas ofspecial teams. “We missed an extra point. We have to be consistent.We were okay in other phases of the kicking game.”
Asked about Clinton, Peavey said, “They are a much better teamthan last year. They have improved. They have quite a few peopleback on defense.
“They are more diverse on offense this year,” Peavey continued.”They have a real good kicker and punter. What they do is verysound. They are a well-coached football team.
Hurt Coaching Clinton
The Arrows use the I-formation, split back and shotgunformations on offense. They are under the direction of third-yearhead coach Pete Hurt.
Working at quarterback for Clinton is Brandon Boone (6-0, 180,sr.). Sophomore Amonte Harper (5-10, 175) starts at tailback andDeric Hearn (5-11, 195, sr.) works at fullback.
“We have a real young offensive line,” said Hurt. “We startedout against a good Meridian team and we couldn’t run the ball. Thepast week we did a better job running the football against Brandon.That was an improvement.
“We did a pretty good job throwing the ball against Meridian.Our quarterback and receivers are seniors.”
Hurt said his Arrows have improved on defense since the opening41-14 loss to now No. 3-ranked Meridian. “On defense, we didn’tstop the run very well against Meridian but we did a better jobagainst Brandon. Our front seven on defense are mostly seniors.They need to play well.”
Hurt feels good about his team’s kicking game. The field goalkicker in senior Sam Cole, a 3-year starter. The punter is seniorBarrett Cobb who gives Clinton good field position.
After watching Brookhaven on film, Hurt said, “They areobviously a very good football team. They missed some opportunitiesto get it in the end zone against Vicksburg.
“Last year they were probably the best team we played,” Hurtpointed out. “They have a great quarterback in Johns. Jessie Bowmanis an outstanding player on defense for them, one of the best inthe state.
“We’ll have to play well to have a chance.”
Panther Paws: Last year the Panthers beatClinton 20-0 as Dominique Smith rushed for 51 yards and a 1touchdown and caught an 8-yard TD pass from Johns. Bowman had 10tackles, helping hold Clinton to 152 yards total offense.