Ole Brook in homecoming test

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 6, 2005

It’s homecoming on King Field for the Ole Brook Panthers. It’salso a must-win situation for the Panthers who host the FlorenceEagles for a Region 6-4A test. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Ole Brook (1-3, 1-1), fresh from a 31-14 region loss atMendenhall, is the reigning state champion and 2-time defendingregion champ. Florence is winless in 5 games.

Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey gave this assessment of theEagles. “They are obviously a team that has been struggling, basedon their record.

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“They have a quarterback who can throw the ball around,” saidPeavey. Calling signals for the Eagles are Donald Garrett (6-2,205, jr.) and Hunter Thompson (6-1, 165, jr.). They often alternateon each series.

Peavey said the Eagles have a wide-open offense. “They run fourwideouts and a shotgun. Then they run two tight ends. They changeformations a lot.

“Defensively, they’re not afraid to put pressure on thequarterback and cause the offense to make mistakes,” Peavey pointedout.

After the disappointing loss at Mendenhall, Peavey said his teamneeds to improve in all aspects of the game. “We will have to playa lot better on offense and defense. I hope homecoming helps usplay well. It’s good to be at home.”

Against Mendenhall, the Panthers fell behind 14-0 and neverrecovered. Mendenhall’s aggressive defense limited the Panthers to213 yards total offense. They lost 2 fumbles.

Charles Wilson led Ole Brook’s 129-yard rushing attack with 17carries for 79 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Charles Ranciferrushed for 43 yards and passed for 50. Rancifer ran 31 yards for athird-quarter TD.

Ole Brook defensive coordinator Rod Henderson said tackle VirgilSanders led the Panthers with 8 tackles against Mendenhall. T.J.Qualls made 5 tackles. Marlon Dixon and Orlandas Chapman each had 4stops.

Peavey said wide receiver Montral Smith is sidelined by a soreshoulder. His status for Friday is questionable at best.

Asked about his team’s previous loss, Peavey said, “Mendenhallis a good football team and we didn’t play exceptionally well.”

Eagles Picking Up Pieces

Coach Dennis Thompson’s Eagles (0-5, 0-2) are coming off alopsided 49-18 loss to the McComb Tigers. This is their first yearin Region 6-4A.

“We are young,” explained Thompson. “We start a lot of juniors,sophomores and ninth graders. We have 10 seniors on the team.”

Cory Wells (6-0, 185, jr.) is the main rusher for theEagles.

On defense, the Eagles are led by Orin Shorter (5-11, 170, sr.)at linebacker. Thompson also stars at free safety.

Garrett handles the punting and kickoffs.

Coach Thompson and his staff have watched the Panthers on filmthis week. He anticipates a difficult test for his squad.

“Brookhaven is very good,” said Thompson. “They have someathletes. Their quarterback throws and runs the ball well. They aregood offensively and defensively.”

Asked about his team’s loss to McComb, Thompson said, “McComb isbig and strong up front. They made some mistakes and led us 14-0 athalftime.”

Panther Paws: The loss to Mendenhall was OleBrook’s first region loss since the 2002 season when the Panthersfell 28-14 at South Pike on Oct. 18. They rebounded to shut out theEagles 2-0 in the second round of the state playoffs.