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BA Cougars host Silliman in opener

Football returns to Lincoln County Friday night with theBrookhaven Academy Cougars hosting the Silliman (La.) InstituteWildcats. Kickoff for the 2009 season opener is 7 p.m. on R.M.”Red” Stuard Field.

In other area Mississippi Association of Independent Schoolsaction Friday night, Copiah Academy hosts Riverfield (La.) andMcComb Parklane Academy travels to Jackson Academy.

According to their coaches, Brookhaven Academy and Silliman areboth in a rebuilding mode this season. However, both teams havesome game-breakers on offense.

BA Coach Herbert Davis said his young team is anxious to startthe season. “We are excited. I hope our kids are ready toplay.”

Davis revealed the starting lineup for Friday night’s game. Onoffense, he’ll got with four wide receivers: Christian (Bubba)Keene, Logan Pace, Tripp Jolly and Donovan Lorraine.

Strong-armed junior Chandler Rogers will quarterback the team.Jennings Mills is at tailback.

Working in the offensive line: left tackle is Alan MichaelAllred, left guard is Clint Stewart, center is Hunter Franklin,right guards are Caleb Dunaway and Hunter McCullough. Right tacklesare Cameron Berry, Prentiss Smith and Bailey Hodge.

On defense, the ends are Hodge and Jamison Powell, and ColbyKent. At tackle are Franklin and Stewart, McCullough and Berry.Smith is a nose guard.

The linebackers are Allred, Lorraine and Mills. The secondaryincludes Jolly and Keene, along with Myles Melancon and Logan Pace.At safety are Jeff Rushing, Mark Rushing and Jacob Phillip.

Placekicking is Tyler Trout. Keene will handle the punting.

Asked about Friday’s opponent, Davis said, “Silliman is big upfront.”

The Wildcats count on linemen Derek Braun (5-10, 278, sr.),Ruston Lee (5-8, 287, soph.) and Robby Davidson (6-2, 310, sr.) toplow the way for the running backs.

Davis said his team’s experience in preseason scrimmages againstClass AAA powers Jackson Academy and McComb Parklane should benefitthem this season. “We need to be more disciplined in our secondary.We’ve given up too many deep balls the last two weeks.”

Asked about Silliman’s offense, Davis said, “They have a bigfullback, No. 45 (Cody Donze (6-3, 240, sr.). Their tailback, No15, (Nick Ohlinger (5-11, 135, jr.) is pretty quick.”

Quarterbacking the Wildcats is Trent Hornsby (5-10, 157, jr.).Jason Palermo (5-9, 125, soph.) and Josh DeLee (5-9, 134, soph.)also share time at quarterback.

“We have a large number of smurfs on our team,” said Sillimanhead coach Joe Mooch, referring to his team’s small physical sizeat several positions. Mooch is in his third year as head coach. HisWildcats were 4-6 last season.

Mooch said the Cougars looked strong on game film taken duringthe Parklane jamboree.

“We have film of the jamboree,” said Mooch. “Brookhaven lookspretty good. They have some good skill people. They look big andaggressive.”

The Cougars are 3-time defending District 4-AA champions. Theyfinished 8-4 last year, losing to Bowling Green in the openinground of the state playoffs.