BA Cougars pin loss on Copiah

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 25, 2006

GALLMAN — Brookhaven Academy fans knew at the beginning of thefootball season that the Sept. 22 matchup with Copiah Academy wouldbe the determining factor in just how successful the Cougars wouldbe. After Friday night, Cougar fans have a lot to look forward toas the season goes on.

Brookhaven took control early and held off a big charge late totop the home-standing Copiah Academy Colonels 30-23 in District6-AA action. Unbeaten Brookhaven improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 onthe season. The Cougars took over the top spot in the districtrace. Copiah fell to 2-3 and 1-1.

Brookhaven took the opening kickoff and wasted little timegetting things started as the Cougars marched down the field withseemingly little resistance. When Brookhaven found itself in athird down and long situation, Cougar quarterback Price Sessums hitCorey Dickerson on a 44 yard pass play, giving the visitors a firstdown and goal at the Colonel 5 yard line. On the next play, thespeedy Sessums darted in, giving Brookhaven a 7-0 lead with 9:00remaining in the first quarter.

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“We got beat by a good team.” said Copiah coach Mitch Mitchell.”They played great in the first half and well enough to win in thesecond half. We knew we would have our hands full with Sessums.Anytime he gets the ball in his hands he’s a threat.”

Sessums lead the Brookhaven offense with 218 yards on 27 carrieswith 2 touchdowns. He was 2 of 7 through the air for 85 yards and atouchdown. He was intercepted twice. Dickerson followed with fourcarries for 37 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for85 yards and a touchdown.

On the ensuing drive, Brookhaven relied on its defense. Afterpinning the Colonels deep in their own territory on the kickoff,Cougar linebacker Kolby Byrd picked off a Daniel Sims pass, settingup Brookhaven at the Colonel 26-yard line. The Cougars were unableto put it in the end zone, but Dickerson booted a 43-yard fieldgoal with 3:52 remaining, give the Cougars a 10-0 lead.

Copiah was able to get things going late in the first quarter,as Sims hit Hunter Greer on a 49-yard pass play with 59 secondsleft, closing the Brookhaven lead to 10-7.

The Cougars were able to add two more scores in the secondquarter. Sessums scored his second touchdown of the night as hedove in from 1 yard out with 8:09 remaining in the half. TheCougars missed the PAT, pushing their lead to 16-7. After theensuing Copiah drive ended in a punt, Sessums found Dickerson on a41 yard pass play with 2:37 remaining in the half, givingBrookhaven a 23-7 lead at intermission.

The second half proved to be a nerve-wracking one as Copiahbuilt momentum and put together a time consuming drive that endedwith Ben Stevens scoring on a 2 yard run with 6:51 remaining in thethird quarter, reducing Brookhaven’s lead to 23-13.

Brookhaven’s offense put together a drive, but Hunter Greerpicked off a Sessums pass at the Colonel 19-yard line. Copiahresponded again, driving down the field and setting up a 33-yardfield goal by Richie Henley with 11:01 remaining in the game. Itclosed the Brookhaven lead to 23-16.

Brookhaven added its final score with 7:08 remaining in the gameas Dickerson took the handoff and evaded tacklers before darting infrom 7 yards out, pushing the Brookhaven lead to 30-16.

Copiah added its final score of the night with 2:19 remaining inthe game on a 2-yard run by Stevens, closing the Cougar lead to30-23. Copiah attempted an onside kick but Brookhaven recovered andlooked to have the game under control.

But BA was unable to pick up a first down and punted to ballback to the Colonels with 34 seconds remaining. Copiah attemptedthe hook-and-ladder but the ball fell to the ground as timeexpired, giving Brookhaven the victory.

“This win is huge for us.” said Brookhaven Academy head coach BoMilton. “The winner of this game is in the driver’s seat in thedistrict.

“We knew it would be tough coming to Copiah but we did what wehad to do and took care of business,” said Milton. “Our defensereally played well late in the game. They (Copiah) came back in thesecond half, but our defense did a tremendous job of keeping themout of the end zone late. It’s a big win.”

Jake Guess led the Copiah offense with 70 yards on 14 carries.Sims followed with 69 yards on 14 attempts. He was 10 of 15 passingfor 114 yards and a touchdown.

On defense, Kolby Byrd led Brookhaven with 13tackles and an interception. Aaron Douglas and Steven Wattsfollowed with 9 tackles. Bradley Allred, Sawyer Smith and CalebCovington each recovered a fumble.

Brookhaven returns to Cougar Field Friday night as the Cougarshost Prentiss Christian in a District 6-AA contest. Kickoff is setfor 7 p.m.

Copiah has an open date.