Victory over West Jones gives BHS South State title

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 29, 2004

LAUREL – Brookhaven High School head football coach TuckerPeavey shivered slightly as he shared his thoughts on the Panthers’latest achievement, the Class 4A South State championship.

On a chilly Friday night in Mustang Stadium, Peavey had receivedthe traditional ice water-soaking from his players who werecelebrating the 28-14 victory over West Jones. Peavey held theSouth State trophy in his right hand, stared at it for a moment andtalked to the media.

“This is not the trophy we are after,” he said.

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His team’s goal is the state championship trophy which will beawarded Saturday night, Dec. 4, in Jackson’s Mississippi VeteransMemorial Stadium.

The Panthers (13-1) play Clarksdale (11-3) for the state title.Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

An overflow crowd, estimated at 8,500, packed the stadium andstood shoulder-to-shoulder outside the chain-link fence whichsurrounded the gridiron Friday night. Tailgaters began arrivingFriday morning for the epic game.

Peavey said he and his players appreciated the support providedby the 3,000 or more Ole Brook fans who made the drive to JonesCounty.

Panther cornerback Jerome Avery smiled and echoed Peavey’ssentiments in the subdued but happy dressing room after thegame.

“This was beautiful. The fans were great,” Avery said. “We getto do something that no other Brookhaven team has ever done.

“We are taking the whole community to another level. It feelsgreat.”

Senior offensive tackle Zack Ray helped the Panthers plowthrough Jones County for 385 yards total offense.

“They (Mustangs) had a fast defense but we were able to handlethem,” Ray said.

Ray and his teammates have state championship ambitions.

“We haven’t accomplished our main goal yet, and that’s to winstate,” he said.

Senior quarterback Jimmy Johns directed Ole Brook’s attack,rushing for 125 yards and passing for 231. He threw touchdownpasses of 83 yards to Taurean Jones, 15 yards to Montral Smith and20 yards to Bud Chatman.

“We’ve still got one more game to go,” said Johns, acceptingcongratulations from family and friends.

Brookhaven’s powerful defense limited West Jones to 185 yardspassing and a minus-13 yards rushing.

Senior linebacker Eric Edwards said it was a team effort.

“We played relentless and we played as one,” Edwards said.

Edwards and his teammates have one more game to win beforeclaiming Brookhaven’s first state football championship.