Ole Brook wants one more victory

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 6, 2004

Brookhaven’s Panthers are delighted to be in their first-everClass 4A state championship game. All they want is one morewin.

Brookhaven (13-1) meets Clarksdale (11-3) Saturday night for the4A state championship. Kickoff is 8 p.m. in Jackson’s MississippiVeterans Memorial Stadium.

“We’re here. Now we just have to get the job done and bring homea championship,” said BHS senior quarterback Jimmy Johns. “Focusfor the game won’t be a problem. We will be prepared.”

Ole Brook senior center Grant McDonnieal agreed. “Being in thestate championship game has been our goal. This is what we practicefor. We had to get through Wayne County and West Jones,” to win theSouth State title.

Senior defensive tackle Jessie Bowman said the Panthers need astrong, overall effort to beat Clarksdale. “It’s good to be herebut we need a team effort to beat Clarksdale.”

Ole Brook’s effort has been the best in the rugged Southplayoffs. The Panthers beat defending state champion Wayne County27-21 in overtime and defeated West Jones 28-14 on the road lastweek for the South crown.

Johns has been the catalyst in Brookhaven’s offense. He hasscored 41 touchdowns, completing 116 of 211 passes for 1,921 yardsand 21 TDs. He has rushed for 1,313 yards and 20 TDs.

Senior wide receiver Bud Chatman is Brookhaven’s top receiver.Chatman has 41 passes for 788 yards and 10 TDs. Tight end MichaelThrasher is next with 20 catches for 306 yards and 2 TDs. TaureanJones (17/331/4) and Montral Smith (12/250/3) trail Thrasher.

Following Johns is senior running back Ronny McNulty who hasrushed for 1,094 yards and 16 touchdowns. Sophomore Charles Wilsonhas accounted for 832 rushing yards and 8 TDs.

The Panthers are averaging 35 points per game.

Defensively, the Panthers allow 10.7 ppg. Opponents average 183yards total offense, 114.9 of it rushing.

Bowman tops the tackle charts with 95 stops and 13 sacks.Linebacker Darius Perkins is next with 84 tackles. Virgil Sandershas 71, followed by Marlon Dixon and Eric Edwards at 58 apiece andOrlandas Chapman with 52. Anthony Caffie has 49 tackles and 5interceptions. R.J. Jenkins has 4 pass thefts.

Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey spent 8 hours Sunday lookingat game films of Clarksdale. He was impressed with their speed andathletic ability.

“They are very athletic,” said Peavey. “They have a good groupof receivers and defensive backs.”

Peavey said Clarksdale’s offensive line gives quarterbackBrandon Strong time to set up and complete passes to a stable ofspeedy receivers. “Up front offensively, their linemen do a goodjob giving their quarterback a chance to throw the ball. Thequarterback makes them go on offense. Their receivers do a realgood job of catching the football.”

According to Peavey, Clarksdale’s defense uses a variety offormations. “Defensively, they give you a lot of different looksand blitzes. They have a real good package.”

What will it take to beat Clarksdale?

“One of the keys is not giving up big plays,” answered Peavey.”Don’t give their offense 10 or 12 plays on offense. We’ve got ourwork cut out for us.”