Panthers rock Chaws
Running back Semmie Smith and his Brookhaven teammates would notbe denied Friday night on King Field. Smith rushed for 227 yardsand 3 touchdowns, sparking Ole Brook to a 42-27 victory over theSt. Stanislaus Rock-A-Chaws in the opening round of the Class 4Astate playoffs.
Smith, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior, broke open a close gamewith lightning TD runs of 65 and 72 yards in the second half.Defensively, the Panthers rose to the occasion, making big playsand slowing down St. Stan’s high-powered passing game that wasdirected by quarterback Dylan Favre.
“We came out here to win,” said Smith. “Our line blocked realwell.”
The Panthers (7-2) advance to the second round and play at WestJones Friday night. West Jones eliminated Gautier 20-13. St. Stanfinishes 8-3.
Panther defenders Chris Seals and Isaiah Williams intercepted Favrein the second quarter. Williams returned his theft to the Rocks’29-yard line, setting up quarterback Bud Britt’s 5-yard TD run.Chris Lowman’s PAT put the Panthers ahead 21-14.
A fumbled kickoff return, recovered by Clayton Winston at St.Stan’s 36, gave BHS another opportunity. On first down, Britt hittight end Nick Peavey with a 33-yard completion to the 3-yard line.Peavey made a leaping sideline catch and then took a 2-yard TD passfrom Britt between 2 defenders, making it 28-14 with 19 secondsleft in the first half.
“Our receivers stepped up tonight,” said Britt. “We’ve been workingon our passing game. Nick has good hands.”
Britt said his team’s ability to make big plays “when we neededthem and put some drives together,” were decisive.
Britt hooked up with E.J. Henderson on a 70-yard scoring pass off ashort post pattern, gaining a 14-14 deadlock in the secondquarter.
Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey said he was pleased with histeam’s performance. “We had a great plan on defense. We scored alot of points on offense and we played pretty good on specialteams, too.”
Favre (6-0, 185, jr.), who set a new state record for touchdownpasses in one season last week against Poplarville, threw 2 TDsagainst BHS, giving him 45. He completed 29 of 40 passes for 278yards.
Seals said the Panthers were prepared for the aerial assault. “Thecoaches had us ready.”
Asked about his interception, Seals said, “They tried to disguise(route) but I knew what they were going to do.”
Favre, who passed for over 3,500 yards this season, caught one ofhis own passes late in the fourth quarter. BHS linebacker ChavonMiddleton tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage and was caught byFavre and resulted in a 14-yard loss.
St. Stan first-year head coach Forrest Williams was disappointed bythe defeat but he praised the Panthers. “Hats off to Brookhaven butI’m very disappointed with the way we played, especially in thefirst half. This is the playoffs and you have to play well.”
Williams, a Hattiesburg native who grew up in West Point, was awide receiver at Mississippi State and lettered in 2000. He said hewas aware of Smith’s explosive speed.
“We knew No. 2 was good. We had trouble stopping him.”
Williams, who moved to Bay St. Louis from Waco, Texas, loses 6starters to graduation.