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Panthers travel to Picayune

The Region 3-5A road is long, difficult and winding, completewith bumps and potholes. Brookhaven’s Panthers face their secondlong road trip of the season Friday when they visit the PicayuneMaroon Tide for a region test. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

The Panthers (3-3, 1-2) are fresh from a 41-12 homecomingvictory over region foe Pearl River Central. Picayune (4-2, 3-0) iscoming off a 23-14 region win at Stone County (4-3, 1-2).

In other Region 3-5A action tomorrow, McComb (1-6, 0-3) is atPearl River Central (0-7, 0-3), Forest Hill (4-3, 1-2) is at WayneCounty (6-1, 3-0) and Stone is at West Jones (6-0, 3-0).

“They are like the Picayune teams that I remember through theyears,” said Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey, a 1980 BHSgraduate who played against Tide teams. “They are physical runningthe ball and very athletic on defense. They got after Stone Countyon defense.

“Obviously, they are getting better every week,” added Peavey.”They started 0-2 but they’ve won four in a row.”

Peavey said quarterback Jacob Kennedy (5-9, 150, sr.) “operatestheir offense very well. Their tailback (Jamar Hall), No. 2, is ahard, physical runner with a lot of speed. He gets a lot ofcarries.”

Hall (5-8, 185, jr.) presents a major challenge for the BHSdefense.

Jonathon Moore (6-0, 170, sr.) is a primary PHS receiver whoalso plays defensive back.

Peavey said he was impressed by Picayune’s swarming defense,especially linebacker Troy Egana (5-8, 135, soph.). “Number 8(Egana) is small but he’s all over the field. Their front linecharges hard and they run to the football.”

Dodd Lee is a 14-year coaching veteran with the Maroon Tide. Hecoached the South all-stars to victory in last summer’s MississippiHigh School All-Star Football Game.

Brook’s three losses: Clinton, West Jones and Wayne County; havebeen to ranked teams. West Jones and Wayne Co. are ranked 1-2 inthe Associated Press 5A Prep Poll and Clinton is ranked 5th inClass 6A.

Peavey said senior running back Semmie Smith won’t play Friday.The team’s leading rusher was suspended for last week’s homecominggame as a disciplinary measure. Smith missed practice thisweek.

Sophomore Travorius Showers and senior Isaiah White worked inthe offensive backfield last Friday night as quarterback DuwoneHarris rushed for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns. Showers rushed 9times for 83 yards and 2 TDs. White also scored a TD and Greg Simsreturned the game-opening kickoff 62 yards for a TD.

In Brook’s offensive line, Stone Underwood starts at righttackle. Sam Ballard is at right guard, Mitch Case at center, TameasHooker at left guard and Derrick Henderson at left tackle. NickPeavey is the tight end.

Brook’s Players of the Week for the Pearl River Central gamewere tackle Malcolm Stewart on defense, quarterback Duwone Harrison offense and Kalen Calcote on special teams.

Defensive Leaders in the PRC game were Stewart and JawaunMerchant with 7 tackles apiece. Cordai Henderson had 5 solo stops,1 assist and a fumble recovery.

Panther Paws: BHS last met Picayune in the 2005 Class 4A stateplayoffs at Picayune and lost 13-10.