BA Cougars cope with injury plague

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, September 2, 2008

AMITE, La. — Injuries are the things that every football teammust avoid to be able to maintain consistency and have a successfulseason. The injury has bitten the Brookhaven Academy Cougars forthree straight weeks.

The Cougars lost starting quarterback Ty Smith in a scrimmagegame against Parklane to a foot injury. In the season openeragainst Centreville, starting wide receiver Tripp Jolly was lostfor the season to a shoulder injury.

Friday night against Oak Forest, it was linebacker/running backKolby Byrd who went down with an injury. Byrd suffered anundisclosed shoulder injury in the first quarter and was forced tosit out much of the remainder of the game as the Cougars overcame asluggish offensive performance to edge Oak Forest’s Yellowjackets13-12 and earn their first win of the year. Brookhaven improved to1-1 on the year as Oak Forest fell to 0-2.

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Brookhaven took its opening drive and marched 63 yards beforeJennings Mills scored on a 1 yard run to give the Cougars a 6-0lead after the two point attempt failed.

Oak Forest responded at the 11:39 mark of the second quarterwhen quarterback Travis Thornton found Drew Misita from 12 yardsout. The extra point attempt failed, knotting things up at 6 goingto the locker rooms.

On the opening possession of the third quarter, Brookhaven drove68 yards in 12 plays, setting up the Cougar offense at the OakForest one yard line. Byrd came in for his only play of the secondhalf and scored on a one yard run, giving the Cougars a 13-6 leadwith 5:29 left in the third quarter after Nathaniel Sbravati addedthe extra point.

Oak Forest got its final score of the night with 3:10 left inthe third quarter as James Peterson found Phillip Ingraffia from 16yards out. Peterson tried to run in the two-point conversion butthe Cougar defense held, securing a 13-12 win.

“It was a tight game.” said Oak Forest coach Jason Brabham. “Wefelt like we had several chances late to score and take a lead. ButI feel like the play calling wasn’t what is should have been andthat’s my fault. Brookhaven stopped us several times when we hadchances to score late in the game. They’re a scrappy, physicalteam.”

Byrd led Brookhaven with 47 yards on 7 carries and a touchdown.Sbravati added 24 yards on 9 carries. Quarterback Chandler Rogerscompleted 8 of his 13 pass attempts for 40 yards. He wasintercepted once.

“I was proud of my kids for the way they gutted it out in thesecond half.” said BA coach Herbert Davis. “They responded wellafter we lost Kolby in the first half and did what they had to doin the second half to keep us ahead. It’s good for us to get a winbut now we have to work and prepare for next week.”

Travis Thornton led Oak Forest offensively, completing 7 of his22 pass attempts for 117 yards and a touchdown. He was interceptedtwice. James Peterson was 1 of 4 through the air for 16 yards and atouchdown.

On defense, Sbravati led Brookhaven with 7 tackles. AustinBarnett followed with 6 stops. Rogers and Mills each had aninterception.

Brookhaven travels to Gallman to face Copiah Academy in thefirst District 4-AA game of the year for both teams. Copiah fell toLeake Academy 29-8 and is 0-2 on the season. Kickoff is 7 p.m.