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BA Cougars hand Copiah first defeat

The Brookhaven Academy Cougars knew if they cut out themistakes, they would be all right. Friday night was the right timeas the host Cougars knocked off the defending Class AA statefootball champ Copiah Academy Colonels 21-7 before a rain-soakedcrowd.

The win ended a 2-game losing streak for Brookhaven and alsostopped Copiah’s 2-game win streak. The Cougars are 1-2 and theColonels are 2-1.

Brookhaven travels to Prentiss Christian School and Copiah is atOak Forrest, La. Friday night.

The big news was the Cougars committed no turnovers in the gamedespite a wet playing field.

Running back Kolby Byrd helped the Cougars on both sides of thefootball. The 6-foot, 215-pound junior rushed the football 17 timesfor 74 yards and a touchdown. At linebacker, Byrd made 7 tackles,intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble.

“It gives me a real boost of confidence,” said Byrd after thewin. “I played all right. I’ve got to get in better shape. I thinkour defense stepped it it up tonight. Our offense cut out a lot ofmistakes.”

Cougar head football coach Bo Milton echoed some of Byrd’scomments.

“It was a good game for us all the way around,” said Miltonafter the game. “We cut out our mistakes.

Brookhaven collected 13 first downs and Copiah made 4. TheCougars rushed the football 40 times for 166 yards. The Brookhavenair attack accounted for 99 yards.

“(Quarterback) Daniel (Lofton) played a great game,” continuedMelton. “Kolby got the ball up the middle. We were balanced withthose two. Trip Jolly made a great catch to set up atouchdown.”

The Cougars scored their first touchdown of the game at the 8:51mark in the first quarter. Lofton connected to Jeremy James for a39-yard score. Corey Dickerson kicked his first of 3 extra pointsto put the hosts up 7-0.

In second-quarter action, Dickerson scored Brookhaven’s secondTD on a 1-yard plunge followed by his PAT kick to push the Cougarslead to 14-0.

Brookhaven’s third and final score of the game came at the 4:16mark in the third quarter. Byrd went over the middle for the 1-yardtouchdown and Dickerson nailed his third PAT kick. The Cougars tooka 21-0 lead over Colonels.

Copiah never quit and put together its best drive of the nightwith a 7-play, 84-yard march, highlighted by a 67-yard screen passfrom quarterback Daniel Sims to Bryce Guess. Sims connected toHunter Greer in the end zone for the 6-yard TD. Richard Henley’sPAT kick was good as the Colonels cut the Cougars’ lead to 21-7with 3:05 left to play.

“Brookhaven has a very good football team,” said Copiah Academyhead football coach Scotty Cline. “We weren’t ready to play. We aregoing to have to get better for Oak Forest this week.”

Offensively, Lofton completed 4 of 7 passes for 99 yards for theCougars. Jeremy James caught 1 pass for 39 yards. Jonathan Whitehad 1 catch for 31 yards. Jolly’s reception was 1 for 27.

Following Byrd in the Brookhaven rushing department was Loftonwith 69 yards on 16 carries. Dickerson rushed 3 times for 29 yards.Nathanael Sbravati rushed twice for 5 yards.

On defense, Nathanael Sbravati led with 8tackles, a pass interception , a fumble recovery and a quarterbacksack. Jeremy James collected 7 tackles and a quarterback sack.