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Panthers crack Stone Co. in 3 OTs

PERKINSTON — The Brookhaven Panthers won a thriller on the roadFriday night in hostile territory. They got in a hole early butrallied and stunned the Stone County Tomcats 43-40 in tripleovertime.

Trailing 40-37 in the third overtime, Ole Brook’s fans watchedtheir team give a heroic effort. Faced with a third down and 10yards to go for a touchdown, Duwone Harris ran a quarterback sweeparound the left side and scored as Semmie Smith threw a key blockthat cut down a Tomcat defender and pave the way to the end zone.For Harris, it was his fifth rushing TD of the game.

The Panthers raised their record to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in theRegion 3-5A race, keeping them alive in the battle for a stateplayoff berth. The Tomcats fell to 4-5 and 1-4. BHS returns home tohost McComb (3-6, 2-3) Friday on King Field.

“Give credit to the kids for keeping on playing,” said Ole Brookhead coach Tucker Peavey. “They didn’t give in and they didn’t giveup.”

Peavey watched his team fall behind 14-0 in the first quarterbefore mounting a comeback. When Harris scored his second TD on a9-yard, fourth-quarter run, the Panthers had pulled ahead24-14.

“In overtime, we battled and answered and made plays when weneeded to,” said Peavey. There were plenty of heroes on offense anddefense as Harris scored 3 TDs in overtime.

The Panthers had gone up 37-31 in the second overtime afterDewey Stailey’s PAT kick was blocked. The Tomcats got a 2-yard TDrun from quarterback Clint Hatten and appeared ready to take thelead but Jacoby Cooper broke up the middle and blocked CharlesJackson’s PAT TO preserve the deadlock at 37-37.

Jackson kicked a 26-yard field goal in the third extra sessionand the hosts led 40-37. That set the stage for Brook’s offense andthe winning dash by Harris.

“Duwone threw the ball well and made some plays when therewasn’t much there,” said Peavey.

“He had some interceptions (four) but one was a deflection off areceiver’s hands. Another was an interception, a Hail Mary, at theend of the game.”

Peavey said the Tomcats were filling the box, focused on haltingBrook’s rushing attack. “Defenses were overloading the line ofscrimmage. We were able to move the pocket and complete somepasses.”

“Early in the game we didn’t block very good. But then we pickedup the pace.”

Defensive tackle Jewaun Merchant put some pressure on Stone’squarterback. Greg Sims intercepted a pass in the second half forthe Panthers.

Hatten passed for 2 first-quarter scores. Stailey’s 26-yardfield goal got BHS on the scoreboard and Harris followed with a1-yard TD pass to Travois Showers, reducing the deficit to14-9.

In the third quarter, Harris ran 13 yards for a TD and Staileykicked a 30-yard field goal, giving BHS an 18-14 advantage.