Panthers entertain Florence

Published 5:00 am Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday is Senior Night for the Brookhaven Panthers and they wantto make it a victorious farewell. They host the high-flyingFlorence Eagles in the regular-season finale on King Field. Kickoffis 7 p.m.

Brookhaven (7-1, 5-0) already assured of first place in theRegion 6-4A standings, faces a potent passing team in the Eagles(7-2, 3-2). Florence, under the direction of Dennis Thompson, hasshown marked improvement this season. The Eagles are anchored bysenior quarterback Hunter Thompson (6-0, 165), one of 18 seniors onthe squad.

Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey said the Eagles are a solidfootball team. “Florence is pretty good at running and throwing thefootball. They are a totally different team this year. Theirquarterback is playing well and making things happen.”

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Florence lost a 23-21 heart-breaker to the McComb Tigers lastFriday night. A last-minute, 32-yard field goal fell short of thecross bar allowing McComb (6-3, 3-2) to secure third place in theregion standings. McComb erased a 21-9 halftime deficit.

Due to an open date, Peavey and his staff witnessed the gamelast Friday at Florence. Thompson has a number of receivers tochoose from. He also has a hard-running teammate, Justin Mayers(6-0, 165, jr.) in the backfield.

“Number 13 (Mayers) runs the ball hard,” said Peavey. “He hasspeed and quickness.”

On defense, Peavey said the Eagles are solid. “They don’t take alot of chances. They have a lot of seniors who play for them andthey don’t give up big plays.”

The Panthers had problems with Forest Hill’s passing attackthree weeks ago. Forest Hill pulled within a touchdown in theclosing minutes before falling 31-26.

“We have been working on defense,” said Peavey. “We need to playthe ball, once it is in the air. A big part of pass defense isgetting a big rush, from the defensive line.”

On defense, linebacker Jarvis Wilbert leads the Panthers with 71tackles. Chavon Middleton has 66 tackles and an interception.Cordae Henderson has 62 tackles and 5 sacks. Keyondray Powell hasintercepted 3 passes.

Offensively, the Panthers are led by sophomore running backSemmie Smith who has amassed 1,197 rushing yards and scored 10touchdowns. Senior quarterback Charles (Bobo) Rancifer has rushedfor 584 yards and 5 TDs. Clayton Winston has rushed for 226 yardsand 4 TDs.

On the season, Rancifer has completed 39 of 70 passes and 4 TDs.Bud Britt is 9 of 18 passing and 1 TD.

Senior Simmie Yarborough leads the receiving corps with 20catches for 199 yards and 3 TDs. Britt has caught 8 passes for 89yards. Marcus McGee has 7 receptions for 95 yards and 1 TD.

Rancifer sustained a pulled hamstring in the Forest Hill gameand played just one series at Port Gibson. Last week’s open datehelped Rancifer and other players heal their injuries.

Peavey said Rancifer is making a strong recovery from the pulledhamstring. “He’s in good shape and has been practicing thisweek.”

Peavey said the Senior Night ceremony starts about 6:30 Fridaynight. Eighteen BHS seniors will be honored.

Panther Paws: Last year at Florence, Ole Brookwhipped the Eagles 42-0 as Charles Wilson rushed for 185 yards and4 TDs.