Rogers sparks BA Cougar in debut

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Quarterback Chandler Rogers received his hardest tacklecompliments of a sideline bench Friday night. Rogers recovered fromthe jolting, first-quarter collision and directed the BrookhavenAcademy Cougars to a rain-soaked 34-20 victory over the SillimanInstitute Wildcats on R.M. “Red” Stuard Field in the season openerfor both schools.

Rogers, a junior signal-caller, later raced 43 yards for atouchdown and passed 39 yards to Donovan Lorraine for another scoreas the game started nearly 2 hours late, due to lingeringthunderstorms in Lincoln County. He completed 9 of 17 passes for130 yards and rushed 4 time for 38 yards, at times visiblylimping.

Rogers was near midfield when Silliman’s 6-foot-3, 240-poundsenior linebacker Cody Donze smashed Rogers out of bounds in frontof the BA bench. Rogers bruised his hip and lower left ribs when heslid into the large bench.

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He returned after missing 1 series. On their next possession,the Cougars produced several key blocks and Rogers scrambled aroundhis left side for 43 yards and a TD, cutting back across themiddle.

“It was a designated play,” said Rogers. “I got some good blocksfrom my offensive line and the receivers.”

Teammate Jennings Mills scored 2 touchdowns on runs of 21 and 10yards, the second score putting BA up 34-7with 9:24 left in thegame. Jacob Philipp rumbled 13 yards for a TD, breaking severaltackles.

BA coach Herbert Davis was pleased with his team’s performanceon a rain-soaked field. They executed on offense and lost only 1fumble.

“I was proud of our kids,” said Davis. “They got some rhythm inthe second quarter and scored some touchdowns,” leading 13-0 athalftime.

“We kicked off twice because we figured we could pin (Silliman)deep and make them drive 80 yards in tough weather,” Daviscontinued. “We played field position.”

Asked about Rogers, Davis said, “Chandler showed a lot of gutsand determination. Our pass protection improved tonight. If we dothat, we have an opportunity to score some points.”

The Cougars got 135 rushing yards from Mills, who was convertedfrom wide receiver to running back.

Newcomer Tyler Trout provided the Cougars with 4 extra points.He was just short on a 52-yard field goal attempt as the first halfexpired.

On defense, the Cougars were led by Jamison Powell and Lorrainewith 11 tackles apiece. Eli Gatlin and Jeff Rushing each made 6tackles. Myles Melancon intercepted a pass. Gatlin and Rushingrecovered fumbles.

Silliman, coached y Joe Moock, got 2 late touchdowns. Donze tooka screen pass from Jason Palermo 47 yards to paydirt. Donze rushedfor 101 yards and made 8 tackles on defense.