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Panthers turn over N. Pike

SUMMIT — The Ole Brook Panthers used a pair of kickoff returnsfor touchdowns by Charles (Bobo) Rancifer and Keyondray Powell,plus a fumble return by Powell to turn back the North Pike Jaguars37-6 Friday night in the season-opener for both schools. North Pikeaccumulated more total offense than Ole Brook but was derailed byfive fumbles.

“Our defense played well but we gave up 24 points on specialteams and turnovers,” said first-year North Pike head coach ChrisSmith. “We shot ourselves in the foot. We are young and we will getbetter.”

North Pike, just 12 students shy of joining the Class 4A ranksthis year, plays its home games at North Pike Middle School onHighway 44. The Jaguars are at Lawrence County Friday night fortheir second game.

Ole Brook (1-0), rebounded from a dismal showing in its jamboreea week earlier. Rancifer provided the Panthers with an offensivespark on a hot, humid night.

The Panthers had taken a 10-0 lead on a 4-yard touchdown run bySemmie Smith and a 27-yard field goal by Chris Lowman. After NP’sKerion Robinson scored on a 4-yard run, the lead was reduced to10-6 with 4:20 left in the first half.

On the ensuing kickoff, Rancifer fielded the ball at his 16-yardline and raced 84 yards for a TD. Lowman’s PAT made it 17-6.

“It feels real good to win the first one. That was our goal,”said Rancifer. Asked about his first kickoff return for a TD,Rancifer said, “It was all good blocking.”

In the third quarter, Powell joined the kickoff parade with an86 yard return. Still in the third frame, Powell scooped up afumble after a pass completion and returned it 31 yards to paydirt.The Panthers led 30-6 with 6:18 showing.

“I enjoyed those returns,” said Powell. “I liked the kickoffreturn the best.”

Recalling the fumble return, Powell said, “We were in zonecoverage and I was deep. Our linebacker forced the fumble. I justscooped it up and saw the end zone in front of me.”

Powell said the BHS defense wanted to make amends for thejamboree performance. “We had a bad showing in the jamboree, so wewanted to come out and make a stand tonight.”

The Jaguars had 40 rushes for 161 yards but they weresidetracked by turnovers. LeDerrick Turner, a junior running back,carried 10 times for 102 yards.

“LT (Turner) has been banged up since the first day of practicewith a sprained ankle,” said Coach Smith. “Tonight was the besthe’s run so far.”

The Panthers countered with Semmie Smith, a hard-nosed sophomorewho gained 101 yards on 14 rushes.

BHS head coach Tucker Peavey said he saw improvement from lastweek but was concerned about his team’s execution on offense.”Defensively, we played well and forced some turnovers. Wechallenged our defense.

“But we had some problems on offense with ball security,” Peaveynoted. “We must secure the ball and our seniors are having troublewith that. We must fix that problem in practice.”

Peavey said Smith ran the ball well. “Semmie is a very strongrunner and he’s still learning.”

Kendrell Brown, running with Brook’s second-team offense, scoredhis team’s final touchdown on a 2-yard plunge with 59 seconds leftto play.

On defense, BHS linemen LeTerrius Williams andDemarcus Grace had quarterback sacks. Williams and Jake Williamsalso had a fumble recovery.

North Pike got an interception from Quadarius Matthews.

The Panthers host South Pike Friday night on King Field. TheEagles lost 6-0 to McComb at Magnolia in their season opener.