Ole Brook survives homecoming scare

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Following the pregame crowning of the Brookhaven High homecomingqueen Swayze Black, the host Panthers got down to business. Despitesome turnovers, Brookhaven held off the Forest Hill Rebels for a31-26 Region 6-4A win Friday night at King Field.

“It’s always good to win,” said Brookhaven head football coachTucker Peavey after the game. “We didn’t play very well. We playedpoorly. We had too many mistakes. We weren’t ready to playtonight.”

Brookhaven improved to 6-1 on the season and 4-0 in region play.Forest Hill, coached by Mario Lane, fell to 1-2 in the region and2-5 overall.

Sophomore running back Semmie Smith directed the Panther rushinggame with 28 carries for 217 yards. Senior quarterback Charles(Bobo) Rancifer rushed 14 times for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns.Rancifer completed 6 of 11 passes for 72 yards and was interceptedonce.

Panther junior kicker Chris Lowman was a perfect 4-4 on extrapoints and nailed a 21-yard field goal.

After stopping Forest Hill on its first drive, Brookhaven ranoff 2 plays and fumbled near the 5-yard line where Rebel defenderLaSteven Jackson returned the turnover for a 5-yard touchdown. Theextra point kick failed and Forest Hill led Brookhaven 6-0 at the8:48 mark.

The Panthers came back and scored on their next possession.Their first TD came on a 6-play, 70-yard drive that set up a 1-yardplunge by Rancifer with 5:47 remaining for a 7-6 lead.

The second score came on 6-play, 55 yards drive that resulted ina 14-yard pass-play from Rancifer to senior wide receiver SimmieYarborough for the touchdown and a 14-6 edge over Forest Hill with1:57 left in the first quarter.

At the 9:10 mark in the second quarter, Lowman’s field goalpushed the Panthers lead to 21-6 over the Rebels.

Brookhaven scored its fourth TD of the game with 1:47 remainingin the first half on a 14-yard burst by Yarborough, capping a9-play, 53-yard march. The hosts pushed their lead to 24-6.

Forest Hill got a break when it recovered a Brookhaven fumble atitws own 49-yard line with less than 30 seconds left to play. Apair of big passes from quarterback Jason Johnson to Dylan Davisfor 17 yards and a 32-yard pass to Emmanuel Jefferies Jr. put theRebels at the Panther 2. An illegal procedure penalty moved ForestHill back to the 9 where Davis caught a 9-yard pass from Johnsonfor the second Rebel TD of the game. The try for 2 points failed asBrookhaven carried a 24-12 lead at the half.

Ole Brook took the opening kickoff of the second half andmarched 61 yards in 8 plays to score its final TD of the game on a18-yard run by Rancifer to push the lead to 31-12 with 8:52 left inthe third quarter.

Forest Hill punched in a pair of touchdowns in the fourthquarter to cut the deficit to 31-26. The first TD was a3-yard-pass-play from Johnson to Jonathan McLendon, capping an8-play, 87-yard march with 6:02 left on the clock. Johnsonconnected with Terrence Bennett for the 2-point conversionplay.

A Panther turnover helped set up the final score by Forest Hill.The Rebels took over at their own 18 with 3:43 left. Eleven playslater, Johnson connected with Bennett on 26-yard touchdown pass.The PAT kick failed with 2:08 left in the game.

The Rebels held the Panthers to 6 plays and forced them to puntwith 52 seconds left to play. Forest Hill picked up 2 first downsand drove to the Brookhaven 48 where the Panther defense shut downthe Forest Hill passing game for the win.

Johnson completed 24 of 45 passes for 377 yards for Forest Hill.Davis led the receivers with 14 catches for 221 yards. EmanuelJefferson Jr. followed with 5 grabs for 85 yards. Bennett followedwith 84 yards on 3 catches.