Rancifer hurls 4 TD passes
Brookhaven quarterback Charles (Bobo) Rancifer considered histeam’s 42-35 Friday night victory over the Clinton Arrows just onemore step toward the state playoffs. The junior signal-callerpassed for 4 touchdowns and ran for another in a wild offensiveshow, witnessed by an estimated crowd of 3,500 on King Field.
“We could have put up more points at the end,” said Rancifer. Hehad taken a knee at Clinton’s 2-yard line as the final secondsticked off the Monsterboard. He completed 8 of 10 passes for 117yards, throwing 3 TD strikes to wide receiver Simmie Yarborough andanother to tight end Chase McIntyre.
“Clinton was blitzing and Simmie was open,” said Rancifer. “Itwas just an old-fashioned bootleg pass.
“I think we can make it to the state playoffs and make it to theBig House,” meaning Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium inJackson, site of the state championship games. The Panthers won theClass 4A title in 2004 when Rancifer was a freshman, watching JimmyJohns quarterback Ole Brook to a 13-1 record.
Rancifer (6-1, 190), who was bothered by a sore right shoulder,drew high praise from Clinton coach Scott Brown. “Rancifer is sofreaking big. He’s big and strong like a fullback but he doesn’trun like one.
“Our defense got whipped by their offensive line,” Brown pointedout. “Offensively, they did what they wanted to do. We are not verygood defensively.”
Clinton’s main weapon was running back Amonte Harper who rushed28 times for 195 yards and 4 touchdowns. Scrambling quarterbackWesley Mounger was pressured hard by the Panthers’ defense butmanaged to complete 12 of 19 passes for 139 yards and 1 TD.
Mounger was intercepted twice. BHS Linebacker Aaron Ayersspeared a Mounger pass and returned it 18 yards for a secondquarter touchdown. R.J. Jenkins also made an interception.
BHS defensive end Larry Winters was happy to get a win over apreviously unbeaten Class 5A opponent. He had collared Moungeraround the neck when Ayers made the interception.
“Clinton has a good team but we came out on top,” said Winters.”Our defense played together.”
Ole Brook senior running back Charles Wilson kept the Panthersgoing on the ground. He rushed 22 times for 148 yards.
“My offensive line got it done for me,” said Wilson. “We are ona roll. We beat a good 5A school.”
Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey was happy to see his teamprevail against a tough opponent. The Panthers had sacked Moungerat his 16-yard line on fourth down, with 1:34 left to play.
“We did a great job on offense and blocking up front,” saidPeavey. “When it counted, we had to step up and get the jobdone.”
In a wild second quarter, 5 touchdowns were put on thescoreboard. Rancifer raced 35 yards for a TD, tying the score at14-14 on Will Thibodeaux’s PAT kick. Rancifer’s TD pass to McIntyreput the Panthers up 28-21 at halftime.
In the third frame, Brook marched 61 yards to paydirt in 6plays. Yarborough took a pass over the middle from Rancifer andwent 25 yards to the end zone. A 33-yard kickoff return byKayondrae Powell ignited the drive. The Panthers led 35-21 at the9:17 mark.
Yarborough caught his final TD pass when Rancifer rolled to hisleft and flipped a short pass, covering 9 yards. Thibodeaux nailedhis 7th extra point and the Panthers led 42-28 with 6:58 left inthe game.
Mounger brought the Arrows back to within a touchdown as hepassed 12 yards to wide receiver Phillip Blackman for a score and4:05 left in the game. Blackman caught 6 passes for 88 yards.
“I knew Clinton was very potent on offense,” said Peavey.”Anytime you have a guy back there like Mounger, you can score in ahurry.”
Clinton had taken an early 7-0 lead after Rancifer’s first passwas intercepted and returned 24 yards by defensive back LionelGraham to the BHS 8-yard line. Two plays later, Harper had hisfirst TD on a 6-yard plunge. Left-footed Joe Cole kicked thePAT.
Yarborough’s 17-yard TD pass reception from Rancifer gained a7-7 deadlock 3 minutes later.
The Panthers (2-1) play their first Region 6-4A game Fridaynight at McComb.
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