Panthers entertain Hill Tigers

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 23, 2004

Two of the top high school senior quarterbacks in Mississippicompare skills Friday night on King Field. Brookhaven,quarterbacked by Jimmy Johns, hosts the Jim Hill Tigers who are ledby Tony Hopson. Kickoff is 7 p.m. for the Region 6-4A contest.

The Ole Brook Panthers (3-1, 1-0) are fresh from a 49-12 triumphover the Wingfield Falcons. The Jim Hill Tigers (2-2, 0-1) arecoming off a 31-22 loss to the Terry Bulldogs.

“Jim Hill is a good football team,” said Brookhaven head coachTucker Peavey. “They are similar to last year. They have a reallygood quarterback who can throw and run the ball. He’s a run-passthreat.”

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Last year at Hughes Field in Jackson, the Panthers escaped witha 29-22 victory. Hill’s Tigers (5-4, 3-3) were the hard-luck storyof 2003, losing to McComb and Lawrence County by a total of 7points and missing a berth in the state playoffs, despite a 41-34upset win at South Pike.

Hill head coach Daryl Jones accepted an assistant coachingposition at Jackson State University after last season. HenryBlount, an assistant coach and biology teacher at Hill, replacedJones at the helm.

“We were lucky to win last year,” said Peavey. ” I think we hadfive turnovers.”

Recognized as Brookhaven’s Players of the Week for the Wingfieldgame were wide receiver Bud Chatman on offense and Marlon Dixon ondefense. Chatman, a 6-foot-5 senior, caught touchdown passes of 11,21 and 26 yards from Johns.

Dixon had 3 solo tackles and 2 quarterback sacks.

Senior running back Ronny McNulty directed Brookhaven’s runninggame with 3 touchdowns. He rushed for 2 TDs of 4 yards and returneda punt 52 yards for another.

“Hopson is one of Hill’s several outstanding skill players,”said Peavey. “They are a solid football team on offense anddefense.”

Peavey said two of his starters on offense are recovering fromankle injuries. Offensive guard Tyler Gatlin aggravated an ankleinjury against Wingfield but “he’s been at practice thisweek.”

Junior punter/wide receiver Brandt Hinton missed the Wingfieldgame because of a sprained ankle. Brookhaven didn’t have to puntagainst Wingfield.

Brookhaven piled up 413 yards on offense against Wingfield.Johns completed 10 of 14 passes for 147 yards. He only played oneoffensive series in the second half as Peavey insertedreserves.

The Panthers gave up a 78-yard kickoff return in the secondquarter and that concerns Peavey. They also were penalized 12 timesfor 145 yards.

“We must eliminate penalties and cover kicks better,” saidPeavey. “We let the guy get outside (on kickoff). It’s a matter ofcontainment.”

The Panthers, ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press Prep Poll,have played 4 games but the defense has yet to make aninterception. “We need to score some points on defense,” saidPeavey. “We finally got some big plays on special teams.”

The Region 6-4A race is heating up. No. 7 South Pike (4-0, 0-0)is at Lawrence County (3-1, 1-0) Friday night for a big showdown inMonticello. McComb (0-4, 0-1) visits Wingfield (0-4, 0-1) in abattle of winless teams and Terry (3-1, 1-0) hosts Wesson in anon-region game.

“Jim Hill is our next region game and you need to win all ofthem,” said Peavey.

Panther Paws: After three straight road games,a large crowd is anticipated tomorrow night. Brookhaven’s seasonopener against Hazlehurst drew a paid attendance of 3,500.