Panthers ground Hill’s aerial attack

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 27, 2004

Cornerback Jerome Avery and his teammates in the Brookhavensecondary anticipated a high-powered aerial attack from quarterbackTony Hobson and the Jackson Jim Hill Tigers. Instead of diving forthe nearest bunker, Avery and the Panthers erected a tough airdefense system and manhandled the Tigers 37-6 Friday night on KingField.

A crowd estimated at 3,000-plus watched the No. 18-rankedPanthers improve their record to 4-1, winning a third straight gameand climbing to 2-0 in the Region 6-4A race. The Tigers, limited to80 yards rushing and 147 passing, didn’t score until just 1:38remained in the game.

Asked about the interception, Avery smiled and said, “I was indeep coverage when the quarterback (Hobson) threw it to hisreceiver. The pass was over his head and landed right in my hands.I was excited.”

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Avery’s theft was the first in 5 games for Brookhaven’ssecondary.

“We knew their quarterback was supposed to be one of the best,”said Avery, a 5-foot-7, 150-pound junior. “We let him know that theBrookhaven secondary in strong, too.”

Hobson, under a heavy rush from the Jessie Bowman-led defensivefront, had little time to set up and pass. He completed 11 of 32passes for the game. Five of those completions for 70 yards came inthe fourth quarter against Brookhaven reserves.

“We got good pressure on Hobson,” said BHS coach Tucker Peavey.”Our defense played well, with a lot of effort and heart.”

Offensively, the Panthers got another strong performance fromsenior running back Ronny McNulty. He carried the football 22 timesfor 157 yards and 3 touchdowns. He scored on runs of 39, 20 and 4yards in the first half, sparking Brookhaven to a 20-0 lead.

“Ronny ran well,” said Peavey. “He’s a warrior who plays with alot of heart.”

In the second half, quarterback Jimmy Johns joined the scoringparade with a 10-yard scramble. He also hooked up with widereceiver Bud Chatman on a 34-yard TD pass with 8:21 left in thegame.

Sophomore placekicker Will Thibodeaux kicked a 24-yard fieldgoal to start the second half scoring spree. He made 4 of 5 extrapoints in the game.

Peavey watched his offense amass 387 yards but he saw room forimprovement. “Our offense didn’t finish drives. In the first half,we left 17 points on the field. I would like to see us takeadvantage of every scoring opportunity we have.”

A fumble recovery by linebacker Eric Edwards at the Hill 20-yardline set up Brookhaven’s second TD. On first down, McNulty took apitchout around right end, got a big block from Johns, and dashedto the end zone.

“It was a hard-fought battle and Brookhaven played smartdefense,” said first-year Hill head coach Henry Blount. “They letus throw under them but we couldn’t’ connect deep. We missedopportunities on offense.”

Brookhaven hosts the McComb Tigers Friday night on King Field.McComb (1-4) won its first game Friday, beating Wingfield 10-6.