BA Cougars jolt unbeaten Simpson in OT

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 29, 2008

Brookhaven Academy entered Friday night’s game with SimpsonAcademy in a must-win situation. A win would keep the Cougars’playoff hopes alive, but a loss would drastically decrease theirchances of seeing postseason play.

Simpson boasted a perfect 5-0 record and carried the state’s No.3 ranking, the second time Brookhaven has faced an undefeated,third-ranked team in as many weeks.

Thankfully for Brookhaven coach Herbert Davis and the Cougars,the outcome was just as sweet this time as it was the first goaround. Brookhaven defeated Simpson 20-14 in overtime at SimpsonAcademy-a place where the number of visiting teams who have won inthe past could probably be counted on one hand.

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Brookhaven improved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in District 4-AAplay. Simpson fell to 5-1 overall and 1-1 in district.

Brookhaven started things off in the game at the 29-second markof the first quarter as sophomore quarterback Chandler Rogers foundfellow sophomore Jennings Mills from 23 yards out. NathanielSbravati added the extra point for a 7-0 Brookhaven advantage.

The teams traded possessions the remainder of the first half,allowing Brookhaven to carry the 7-0 lead to the locker room. TheCougars limited Simpson to just one first down and 31 yards oftotal offense in the first 24 minutes.

Simpson opened the scoring of the second half with 9:15 left inthe third on a 68-yard run by Casey Hunt. Justin Griffin added theextra point, knotting the game up at 7. After the ensuing kickoffpinned Brookhaven insider its own 10-yard line, it looked as thoughSimpson had turned the tide and was preparing to take the gameover.

Brookhaven answered two plays later as Rogers found ScottiePeavey on a 91-yard bomb that put Brookhaven back in the lead with8:25 remaining in the quarter. Sbravati added the extra point for a14-7 Brookhaven lead.

Simpson answered on the ensuing drive less than two minuteslater as Jacob Busby dashed up the middle for a 41-yard run.Griffin added the extra point for Simpson, knotting the game uponce again.

Neither team could muster a score in the final frame, sendingthe game into overtime with a 14-14 deadlock. Brookhaven won thetoss to start the overtime and chose to go on defense first,allowing Simpson four plays from the 10-yard line.

Brookhaven snuffed out the Simpson offense the first two plays,stopping Hunt for no gain on both attempts. On the third down try,quarterback Kyle Munn’s toss went behind Hunt on the pitch attempt,and the loose ball was covered by Simpson at the 30 yard line,forcing a fourth down and goal from 30 yards away, but moreimportantly, pushing Simpson out of field goal range. The Cougarsfrom Mendenhall attempted their only pass of the game on the fourthdown try but Munn’s pass fell harmlessly to the turf, allowingBrookhaven to take over possession of the ball.

Coach Herbert Davis Jr. put the game in the hands of Kolby Byrdin the overtime period, giving the big senior running back bothcarries for Brookhaven. Byrd picked up 6 yards on the firstattempt, setting up the Cougars with a second down and goal fromthe 4-yard line. On the next play, Byrd powered over the Simpsondefense and across the goal line, setting off a loud celebrationamong the Brookhaven supports.

“We got a big character check tonight.” said Davis. “We playedwell in the first half but they came out and put the pressure on usin the second half.

“Our guys responded. They got after it late in the game and didwhat they had to do to win. It was a must-win game for us and ourguys worked hard for it. I’m proud of them.”

Rogers led the Brookhaven offense, completing 14 of his 32 passattempts for 240 yards and two touchdowns. He was interceptedonce.

Byrd led Brookhaven on the ground, picking up 63 yards on 9carries with a touchdown. Peavey was the leading receiver with 2catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. Caleb Dorman caught 4 passesfor 57 yards. Mills had two receptions for 30 yards, with atouchdown.

Casey Hunt led Simpson with 34 carries for 195 yards.

On defense, Byrd led Brookhaven with 14 tackles. Sbravatifollowed with 13 stops. Alan Michael Allred and Kyle Burt each made12 tackles. Austin Barnett had 11 tackles. Allred recovered afumble.

Brookhaven returns home Friday night to host Riverfield, La. forHomecoming. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.