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Panthers shut out South Jones

ELLISVILLE — In football on any given day, the team thatcontrols both sides of the line of scrimmage and handles adverseweather conditions wins the game.

Even though the field conditions at South Jones High werenoticeably wet, Ole Brook was not intimidated. The Panthers used aBrahma bull ground game and a smothering defense; shutting out theBraves 34-0 in the second round of the Class 4A South Stateplayoffs.

The Panther host 2-time defending state champion Wayne County,for a 7 p.m. King Field kickoff Friday night. The War Eagles, whobeat Laurel 28-0 Friday, eliminated Ole Brook from last year’splayoff race.

The Panthers (11-1) went right to work in their secondpossession of the game, scoring the first of 5 touchdowns on theground.

An 8-play, 62-yard drive culminated when senior quarterbackJimmy Johns called his own number from the Braves’ 1. WillThibodeaux tacked on the PAT kick for a 7-0 lead. Key plays in themarch were a 16-yard run by Charles Wilson and an 18-run burst byJohns.

In the second quarter, Ole Brook mustered a pair of scores fromJohns and Wilson. Johns hit paydirt with 6:59 left in the firsthalf. Thibodeaux’s kick was good for a 14-0 Panther lead, cappingoff an 8-play, 74-yard series that used 3:39 off the clock.

Wilson knifed his way through the Braves defense for amesmerizing 36-yard run on second down, which put the football deepinto South Jones territory. Johns, in the same drive, completed apair of over-the-shoulder catches of 31 and 17 yards to wideoutTaurean Johns. Johns also had 101 yards on 15 carries in thegame.

Wilson’s 8-yard touchdown run with 1:10 left in the secondquarter and Thibodeaux’s subsequent PAT kick gave Ole Brook a 21-0lead at intermission. Wilson had gained 115 of his game-high 204yards on 12 carries, by the halftime break.

“We knew coming in that the field conditions were adverse,” saidPanther head coach Tucker Peavey. “We had to take care of thefootball. We ran well tonight.”

South Jones (6-6), facing a brick-wall Panther defense all nightlong, gained 70 of their 90 yards of total offense in the firsthalf. The Braves’ deepest penetration into Ole Brook territory wasto the Panther 27, on the opening series of the second quarter.

“We ran into a great team tonight,” said Braves head coach DavidHopper. “We’ve had to overcome a lot of things to get this far inthe season. Our kids played hard.”

Even Dandy Dozen defensive linesman Jessie “Bookie” Bowman gotin on the scoring act, in the third quarter. With Ole Brook runningout of the Power-I formation; Bowman, a 6-foot-3 senior terror todefenses throughout the season, capped off a 7-play, 43-yard drivewith a 3-yard rampage to the goal line from the fullback position.The PAT kick failed and Ole Brook held a 34-0 advantage, enteringthe final period.

“We were looking for a chance to run Jessie on offense,” addedPeavey.

Wilson capped off the scoring with 6:39 left in the game, on a26-yard scoring burst around right end.

About the only thing that went wrong for the Panthers was thepassing game, as Johns completed only 3-of-12 attempts for 52yards.

“We did not throw the ball well,” said Peavey.”

Hopper praised the Panthers following the game.

“Brookhaven has a superior team,” said Hopper. “They have greatathletes and good coaches too.”

Ole Brook amassed 371 yards of total offense.

Defensively, Ole Brook didn’t allow South Jones to crossmidfield in the second half and allowed only 20 yards ofoffense.

Panther linebacker Eric Edwards led the charge with 7 stops (5assisted). Bowman, Orlandus Chapman and Marlon Dixon each were inon 5 tackles. Dixon and Richard Alvarado combined for a sack.

“This was our third shutout in a row,” said defensivecoordinator Rod Henderson. “This is what we shoot for everygame.”