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Bowling Green nips BA Cougars

Brookhaven Academy fans crowded R.M. “Red” Stuard Field Fridaynight as the Cougars entertained the Bowling Green Buccaneers inthe first round of the MPSA Class AA State playoffs, hoping to seethe Cougars avenge a two-point overtime loss to the Bucs four weeksago. Brookhaven controlled the game until the fourth quarter, butjust like before, mistakes ended up costing the Cougars as BowlingGreen squeaked out a 29-27 victory.

Bowling Green advances to the quarterfinal round to faceCentreville Academy as they improved to 8-3 on the year.Brookhaven, making its third straight playoff appearance as theDistrict 4-AA champion, ends its season with an 8-4 mark.

Brookhaven started the scoring at the 30-second mark of the firstquarter as Kolby Byrd ran in from one yard out. Nathaniel Sbravatiadded the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

Bowling Green responded on the ensuing drive as Cash Cooley foundJosh Fauntleroy from 15 yards out for the score. The two pointconversion attempt failed, closing the Brookhaven lead to 7-6 with7:25 left in the first half.

The Cougars got their second score of the night with 3:20 left inthe half. Jennings Mills scored on a sweep from four yards out. Thetwo-point conversion attempt failed, giving the Cougars a 13-6lead.

Bowling Green answered just before halftime. Casey Cooley scored ona six yard run with 1:11 left in the half. Again the two pointconversion attempt failed for the Bucs, giving the Cougars a 13-12lead at the half.

Brookhaven seemed to have the game in hand as they took the firstscore of the second half. Byrd scored with 6:41 left in the thirdon a one yard run. Sbravati added the extra point for a 20-12Brookhaven lead.

Bowling Green again answered the Brookhaven score on the ensuingdrive. David Fulks scored on a 2-yard run with 3:04 left in thequarter. Cash Cooley added the two point conversion, knottingthings up at 20.

On the ensuing kickoff, a Brookhaven fumble gave Bowling Green theball at the Brookhaven 28 yard line. Cash Cooley found BlakeMcGeehee from 19 yards out with 1:01 left in the quarter, givingthe Bucs a 26-20 lead.

Bowling Green was able to add a 29-yard field goal from Chris Joneswith 4:47 left in the game to increase its lead to 29-20.

Brookhaven quickly responded. The Cougars marched 58 yards in lessthan a minute before Chandler Rogers found Ty Smith from 10 yardsout with 3:56 left. Sbravati added the extra point, closing theBuccaneer lead to 29-27.

Bowling Green did everything it needed to on the ensuing drive,picking up two first downs before they were forced to punt.Brookhaven received the punt with one second left on the gameclock.

“We made some mistakes defensively and offensively and they are agood team.” said Brookhaven head coach Herbert Davis. “We had achance to put them away in the second half and couldn’t and it cameback to bite us like it did the first time we played them.”

Rogers led the Brookhaven offense, completing 6 of his 10 passattempts for 120 yards with a touchdown. He rushed the football 7times for 27 yards. Ty Smith was the leading receiver with 3catches for 52 yards and a touchdown.

Byrd picked up 25 yards rushing on 9 carries with twotouchdowns.

Cash Cooley led Bowling Green, completing 19 of his 31 passattempts for 292 yards and a touchdown. Kasey Cooley picked up 105yards on 20 carries with a touchdown.

On defense, Byrd led Brookhaven with 12 tackles. Kyle Burt followedwith 8 stops. Austin Barnett, Mark Rushing, Nathaniel Sbravati, andCaleb Dorman each had 7 tackles. Clayton Reed blocked a punt.Jennings Mills recovered two fumbles.