MVP Johns does ‘Whatever it takes’

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 28, 2004

“Whatever it takes.”

Brookhaven quarterback Jimmy Johns followed that motto and ledthe Ole Brook Panthers to their first-ever Class 4A state footballchampionship in 2004. As a runner and a passer, Johns playedsuperbly, accounting for 2,184 yards passing and 1,415 yardsrushing. He had a hand in 44 touchdowns as the Panthers finished14-1.

For his accomplishments, Johns has been chosen The DAILYLEADER’s Mr. Football and Most Valuable Player on the 2004All-Lincoln County Team. He also punted in the South state finalsand played some linebacker in key games, including an overtime winover Wayne County, and the state title game versus Clarksdale.

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Also receiving special honors on the Dream Team are Ole Brooktackle Jessie Bowman, Best Defensive Player; and Brookhaven Academyquarterback Price Sessums, Best Offensive Player.

Joining Johns in the DL’s offensive backfield are teammate RonnyMcNulty, and running backs Terrell May of Enterprise and CoryWashington of Bogue Chitto.

The receiving corps includes Bud Chatman and Taurean Jones ofBrookhaven and Stewart Sessums of Brookhaven Academy. The tight endis Michael Thrasher of Brookhaven.

The offensive line is an all-Brookhaven unit, featuring GrantMcDonnieal at center, Tyler Gatlin and Aaron Moore at guards andZach Ray and Kody Perrett at tackles.

Will Thibodeaux of Brookhaven is the team’s placekicker. DarnellSampson of West Lincoln is the all-purpose player and DantaeRatcliff of Bogue Chitto is the return specialist.

On defense, Bowman is joined in the line by Richard Alvarado andVirgil Sanders of Brookhaven and Chris Falvey of BrookhavenAcademy.

The linebackers are Darius Perkins, Marlon Dixon and EricEdwards of Brookhaven and Michael Britt of Loyd Star.

The defensive secondary includes Anthony Caffie and Jerome Averyof Brookhaven and Cameron Achord of Brookhaven Academy.

The punter is Brandt Hinton of Brookhaven.

Johns (6-3, 225) often ran the football like a fullback. Heoften led the blocking on toss sweeps. As a passer, he steadilyimproved. In 5 state playoff games, he didn’t throw aninterception.

In the 29-23 state title game, Johns intercepted a Clarksdalepass on the final play to preserve the victory.

Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey recognized the steadyimprovement of Johns. “Jimmy has been our quarterback for threeyears. He has grown and gotten better every year. He has a brightfuture ahead of him. I look forward to seeing what he does in thefuture.

“Jimmy started to grow in confidence in turning the ball loose,”said Peavey. “He had confidence in his receivers. Those guys madesome serious catches down the stretch.”

Johns said his passing skills have improved this year. “I havesome great receivers, some big targets to throw to. I also have agreat offensive line that protects me and gives me time to pass. Ihad my highest completion ratio and most touchdowns.”

As a senior, Johns passed for 2,184 yards and 24 touchdowns. Asa junior he passed for 1,443 yards and 18 TDs. As a sophomore, hehad 14 touchdown passes and 1,282 yards through the air.

Looking to the future, Johns said he has narrowed his choice ofcolleges to Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama. “State is No.1 on my list right now.”

Price Sessums (5-9, 150, soph.) provided BACougar fans with numerous spectacular plays, helping lead Coach RayIshee’s Cougars to a 9-2 record. Sessums completed 106 of 201passes for 2,232 yards and 23 TDs. He rushed the football for 699yards and 14 TDs.

“My passing really improved since last summer,” said Sessums. “Iworked hard to get better.”

Ronny McNulty (5-7, 175, sr.) rushed for 1,159yards and 17 touchdowns this season despite missing five games dueto an ankle injury. He caught 14 passes for 157 yards, including afourth-quarter, 47-yard TD pass against Clarksdale.

Terrell May (6-1, 189, jr.) was a bright spotin Enterprise’s campaign. He rushed for 1,218 yards and 14 TD’s inCoach Mac Bezet’s first year at the helm.

Cory Washington (5-11, 185, jr.) helped getCoach Gareth Sartin’s Bogue Chitto Bobcats in the playoffs. Herushed for 1,394 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Bud Chatman (6-4, 230, sr.) was a big-playreceiver for the Panthers. He caught 44 passes for 859 yards and 11TDs.

Taurean Jones (6-1, 170, sr.) provided severalspectacular catches for Brookhaven. He caught 22 passes for 428yards and 4 touchdowns.

Stewart Sessums (5-10, 155, sr.) caught 35passes for 718 yards and 9 TDS for the Cougars.

Michael Thrasher (6-3, 250, sr.) is a strongblocker and a sure-handed receiver. He caught 20 passes for 306yards and 2 TDs.

Grant McDonnieal (6-1, 248, sr.) anchored OleBrook’s line. “Grant was a mainstay for us his whole career,” saidPeavey. “He moves his feet well.”

Aaron Moore (5-11, 194, sr.) “was the smallestguy on our line but he gave a great effort,” said Peavey.

Tyler Gatlin (6-1, 262, sr.) was a 3-yearstarter for the Panthers. “Tyler blocks well and he overcame aserious ankle injury,” said Peavey.

Zach Ray (6-3, 305, sr.) was recognized as thesmartest player on Brookhaven’s offensive line. “Zach has size andstrength and he tries hard on every play,” said Peavey.

Kody Perrett (6-2, 268, sr.) “overcame aserious knee injury and worked his way into becoming a strongplayer for us,” said Peavey.

Will Thibodeaux (5-10, 140, soph.) was theleading scorer among Class 4A kickers. He made 60 of 65 extra pointkicks and 4 of 7 field goals, giving him a total of 72 points.

Darnell Sampson (5-10, 195, fr.) provided 1,510rushing yards for Coach Brooks Burns and the West Lincoln Bears. Healso scored 15 touchdowns and made 15 tackles as a defensiveback.

Dantae Ratcliff (5-10, 165, soph.) often workedat quarterback for the Bobcats. He passed for 615 yards and rushedfor 783 yards. He also returned 3 kickoffs for touchdowns.

Jessie Bowman (6-1, 308, sr.) accounted for 102tackles and 15 quarterback sacks this season. Recognized for hisspeed, strength and quickness, Bowman said he improved his reads onblockers this season.

Richard Alvarado (5-11, 183, sr.) collected 71tackles and 8 sacks for the Panthers.

Virgil Sanders (5-8, 244, soph.) made hispresence felt in the line for Brookhaven, making many big plays ondefense.

Chris Falvey (5-11, 210, sr.) worked at noseguard and linebacker for the Cougars. He made 83 tackles.

Eric Edwards (5-10, 205, sr.) served asdefensive captain for the Panthers. He made 63 tackles thisseason.

Darius Perkins (6-3, 242, sr.) accounted for 88tackles as a BHS linebacker and had 2 pass interceptions.

Marlon Dixon (5-10, 180, jr.) was a leader ondefense for the Panthers.

Michael Britt (6-0, 192, jr.) led Coach WadeHenderson’s Loyd Star Hornets with 109 tackles, plus 2interceptions.

Anthony Caffie (5-7, 155, jr.) provided manyspectacular plays for the Panthers. He accounted for 2interceptions and several returns on punts and kickoffs.

Jerome Avery (5-7, 150, jr.) intercepted 2passes for the Panthers.

Cameron Achord (5-10, 165, sr.) led LincolnCounty in pass thefts with 6 interceptions. He also made 60 tacklesfor the Cougars.

Brandt Hinton (6-3, 180, jr.) averaged 30 yardsper punt this season for Brookhaven.


Bogue Chitto: Lyvanda Carmichael, Lange Porter,Richard Williams, Eric Allen, Robert Bullock, Steven Snow.

Brookhaven: Charles Wilson, Bart Sias,Orlandous Chapman, Montral Smith, Larry Winters.

Brookhaven Academy: Dusty Bratton, Paul Davis,Cole Hodges, Bradley Allred, Wesley Taylor.

Enterprise: Wayne Nations, Chris Moak, BlakeMcKee, Trey Herrington, Vincent Smith, Antonio Sanders, JustinVincent.

Loyd Star: Garry Johnson, Jared Rogers, DonaldShorter.

West Lincoln: Mark Case, Casey Roberts, PhillipJarancik, Aaron McCaffery, Kyle Lofton.