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10-0 BA Cougars rally past Columbia

COLUMBIA — Brookhaven Academy traveled to Columbia AcademyFriday night for a crucial District 4-AA game, with a playoff berthon the line. Brookhaven entered the game with a perfect 9-0 recordand Columbia sitting at 4-5.

It had all the makings of an ambush and Columbia looked asthough it had every intention of pulling a huge upset. Brookhavenfell behind 13-0 in the first quarter, but came alive offensivelyin the second and third quarters en route to a 45-20 trouncing ofColumbia.

Brookhaven improved to 10-0 overall and 3-0 in District 4-AAplay. Columbia dropped to 4-6 overall and 1-3 in district play.

“I thought we didn’t have much intensity to start the game,”said Brookhaven Academy head coach Herbert Davis. “But we kept ourcomposure after falling behind by two scores.”

Columbia took the opening kickoff and marched 50 yards in 10plays to take a 6-0 lead with 7:56 remaining in the opening quarteron a 1-yard run by Josh Broome. On the first play of the ensuingBrookhaven drive, Javan Porter picked off a deflected ChandlerRogers pass, giving the host Cougars a first and 10 at theBrookhaven 19-yard line. Three plays later, Broom added his secondscore of the night on a 17-yard run. Nick Sanders added the extrapoint for a 13-0 Columbia lead with 5:44 left in the first.

Brookhaven responded with a two-play, 60-yard drive that sawRogers find the end zone on a 37 yard run. The point after attemptfailed, cutting the Columbia lead to 13-6 with 5:13 left in thefirst.

Brookhaven got its second TD of the night with 9:25 left in thefirst half as Rogers scored on a 9-yard run. Tyler Trout added theextra point, knotting things up at 13-13 and capping a 5-play,60-yard drive.

Rogers hooked up with Tripp Jolly on the first play of the nextBrookhaven drive, completing a 79- yard pitch and catch, givingBrookhaven a 19-13 lead with 4:56 left in the first half.

After the Brookhaven defense held Columbia on fourth down, theCougars put together another 5 play, 60-yard drive that was cappedoff by a 16-yard pass from Rogers to Jennings Mills with 1:03 leftin the first half. The extra point attempt failed, givingBrookhaven a 25-13 lead at the half.

Rogers was able to connect with Mills again in the thirdquarter, this time on a 54-yard strike with 8:26 remaining in theperiod. The extra point attempt failed, pushing the Brookhaven leadto 31-13.

Columbia had an answer just one play later as Josh Hamiltonrumbled up the middle for a 52-yard run. Nick Sanders added theextra point, cutting the Brookhaven lead to 31-20 with 8:08 left inthe third quarter.

Brookhaven followed suit, answering the Columbia score in justone play as Rogers connected with Jolly for a 71-yard score. TylerTrout added the extra point for a 38-20 Brookhaven lead with 3:52remaining in the quarter.

Brookhaven got its last score as Rogers connected with BubbaKeene from 6 yards out with 31 seconds left in the third, givingthe visiting Cougars a 45-20 lead.

Rogers led the Brookhaven offense, completing 11 of his 19 passattempts for 352 yards and five touchdowns. On the ground, hepicked up 34 yards on 7 carries with two touchdowns.

“We made some plays and were able to put some points on theboard,” said Coach Davis. “We have a lot of work to do to get readyfor the playoffs.”

Jolly led all receivers with 4 catches for 198 yards with twotouchdowns. Mills followed with 4 catches for 121 yards and twoscores of his own.

Mills led the Brookhaven ground game, picking up 71 yards on 14carries.

Josh Broome led Columbia with 101 yards on 30 carries and twotouchdowns. Josh Hamilton added 77 yards on 7 carries and atouchdown.

On defense, linebacker Donovan Lorraine led Brookhaven with 18tackles. Mark Rushing followed with 13 stops, Will Gatlin and AlanMichael Allred each had 12 tackles. Jamison Powell had 11 stops andBailey Hodge added 10 tackles to anchor the Cougars. Powell andRushing each had an interception.

Brookhaven returns home Friday night for the final regularseason game of the year as they welcome the Bowling Green (La.)Buccaneers to R.M. “Red” Stuard Field for the District 4-AAchampionship game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.