Porters Chapel eliminates Brookhaven Academy

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 17, 2006

Eight teams in Academy AA football around the state battled inthe second round of the state playoffs Thursday night trying toreach the state championship at Mississippi College. Unfortunatelyfor Brookhaven Academy, they’ll be forced to watch the rest of theway.

Brookhaven fell to Porters Chapel 33-21 in the second-round gameat Cougar Field. Hayden Hales threw for 230 yards and fourtouchdowns to lead the Eagles to the victory.

Price Sessums picked up 285 yards on 25 attempts and twotouchdowns for Brookhaven, but it wasn’t enough as Porters Chapeldominated the second half to advance to next week’s AA South Statechampionship game.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Early on, it looked as though Brookhaven was in typical form,relying on a determined defense and a speedy Sessums. The Cougarstook the opening kickoff, but were unable to gain a first down,punting the ball to the Eagles. Porters Chapel responded with atime consuming drive that reached the Brookhaven 22 yard linebefore the Cougars force a fourth down situation.

Michael Busby was successful on the 39-yard field goal attempt,but Brookhaven was called for a roughing the kicker penalty,setting up the Eagles with a first and goal at the Cougar 7 yardline.

Brookhaven’s defense responded, pushing the Eagles back to theCougar 27-yard line, resulting in another fourth down situation forPorters Chapel. This time, Busby’s kick sailed wide left, givingthe ball to the Cougars on their own 20- yard line.

It took just one play for Sessums to dart up the middle and go80 yards for the score. Corey Dickerson added the extra point for a7-0 Brookhaven lead with 19 seconds remaining in the openingquarter.

Porters Chapel took possession and responded with a 9-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a 2-yard run from Busby. Busbythen kicked the extra point, knotting things up at 7 with 9:46remaining in the first half.

Brookhaven responded to the Eagle score with a 9-play, 80-yarddrive of their own, with Sessums scoring on a 3-yard run with 4:52remaining. Dickerson added the extra point for a 14-7 lead.

Brookhaven’s defense appeared to have the Eagles stopped on theensuing drive, but Hales found Cole Smith from 20 yards out for thescore, capping a 9-play, 64-yard drive with 1:30 remaining in thefirst half. The extra point attempt failed, allowing Brookhaven tokeep a slim 14-13 lead.

It took the Cougars just 65 seconds off the game clock torespond, as Sessums found Ty Smith from 17 yards out, putting theexclamation point on a 5 play, 72 yard drive. Dickerson added theextra point for a 21-13 Brookhaven lead.

Then came the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. Onthe ensuing drive and what was thought to the final play of thefirst half, Kolby Byrd picked off Hales’ pass as time expired, buta penalty flag meant bad news for the Cougars. The half cannot endof a defensive penalty, so Porters Chapel was given one play beforeboth teams headed to the locker rooms. That’s when Hales foundSmith again, this time from 52 yards out, cutting the Brookhavenlead to 21-19 and taking every bid of momentum away fromBrookhaven. The Eagles tried for the two point conversion attempt,but Hales pass fell incomplete, allowing the Cougars to carry a twopoint lead in to the break.

Brookhaven appeared to take some of the lost momentum back onthe opening drive of the third quarter, forcing Porters Chapel into a three and out, but the Eagle punt pinned Brookhaven deep intheir own territory at the 7-yard line. The Cougars were unable togain a first down and had to punt the ball back to thevisitors.

On the next drive, Hales found Robbie Sims from 23 yards out,giving the Eagles a 27-21 lead after Hales ran in the two pointconversion with 5:42 remaining in the third quarter.

The only other score of the night came with 45 seconds left inthe third as Hales found Busby from 9 yards out, giving the Eaglesa 33-21 lead.

The Eagles were able to limit Sessums to just 70 yards in thesecond half, after he had collected 215 in the opening twoquarters.

“Mistakes hurt you this time of year.” said Brookhaven coach BoMilton. “I don’t think that play at the end of the first half costus the game. We still had a lead going in to half time, but we justnever could get in any kind of rhythm in the second half. PortersChapel had a lot to do with that. They’re a good footballteam.”

Hales also rushed the football 23 times for 111 yards.

Sessums ends his career with just over 8,500 total yards and 111touchdowns. For the season, he carried the ball 218 times for 2,244yards and 31 touchdowns. He totaled 3,304 total offensive yards and47 touchdowns.

Porters Chapel improved to 10-3 on the year and will host CopiahAcademy next Friday night in the AA South State Championship game.Copiah advanced by defeating Bowling Green, La 3-0. Brookhavenended its season at 11-2.

On defense, Byrd led the Cougars with 20 tackles. Aaron Douglas,Keith Franklin, Brandon Smith, Bradley Allred and Daniel Loftonfollowed with seven tackles apiece. Price Sessums and Matt Rushinghad eight each.