Thompson stops Brook

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, September 5, 2010

Clinton running back Akiko Thompson didn’t have a large “S” onthe front of his jersey and he didn’t wear a red cape. Thompsonoften looked like Superman Friday night, scoring five touchdowns asthe Arrows held off Brookhaven’s Panthers 34-21 on KingField.

Thompson, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior; wowed the crowd of3,000-plus with touchdown runs of 2, 3, 60, 40 and 58 yards. Hisswift kickoff return of 60 yards chilled a third-quarter Brookhavencomeback.

“I run sprints and work hard all week,” said Thompson. “When I’mpumped up, there’s no telling how fast I can run. It feels good towin.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Clinton (1-2), considered to be among the powers in Class 6A thisseason, had lost its first two games of the season, falling toBrandon 6-3 in triple overtime and to Ridgeland 15-10 last week.Leading Brookhaven (1-1) 14-0 at halftime, Clinton coach ScottBrown put Thompson at quarterback and most of the snaps were out ofthe Wildcat formation. The Arrows didn’t attempt at pass in thesecond half.

“It’s always a battle when we play Brookhaven,” said Brown. “Kiko(Thompson) is the heart and soul of our football team. He had thewhole team on his shoulders. He excels under pressure.”

By contrast, Ole Brook was forced to find a new quarterback when2-year starter Duwone Harris suffered a separated right shoulderearly in the second quarter. Senior defensive back Devonte Stewartstepped up and took control of the offense. Improving with eachseries, Stewart (5-11, 165) ran and passed his team intocontention. He rushed for 125 yards and completed 9 of 19 passesfor 131 yards.

“Devonte gave us a chance to win,” said BHS head coach TuckerPeavey. “He went out there and competed. I don’t know when I’veseen a better effort. Our whole team kept on playing hard.”

Slowed by three first-half turnovers, the Panthers regrouped athalftime and scored on their second possession of the thirdquarter. Stewart directed the 6-play, 70-yard drive and hit RossHill with a 38-yard touchdown pass. Hill made a leaping catch andfell backward into the end zone.

Dewey Stailey’s extra point kick was blocked by Clinton’s HerbertHarris and the Arrows held a 14-6 lead. A 15-yard penalty forexcessive celebration was marked off against the Panthers on thekickoff.

Thompson fielded the high kickoff and sped 60 yards to the endzone. On the next series, Stewart was intercepted and the ball wasreturned to Brook’s 40. On first down, Thompson took the directsnap and rambled 40 yards to paydirt. Clinton had scored twice in62 seconds and led 28-6.

The Panthers responded with a 10-play, 67-yard march. Stewartscored on a 1-yard sneak and then ran his right end on the 2-pointconversion, reducing Clinton’s lead to 28-14.

BHS cut its deficit to 28-21 with 4:15 left in the game. Stewarthit wide receiver Trent “Batman” Powell with a 19-yard TD pass overthe middle and Stailey kicked the extra point.

After BHS defensive back Chris Seals recovered a Keonte’ Harperfumble at Brook’s 23 with 3:37 left to play, the Panthers appearedon the verge of achieving a remarkable comeback. They drove toClinton’s 23 before the Arrows stopped them on a pass to the endzone.

Thompson, flashing a burst of speed, galloped 58 yards to paydirton the next series to cement the victory.

“Thompson is a good football player,” said Peavey. “(Arrows)struggled throwing the ball so they went to Thompson.”

The Panthers host Lawrence County Friday and Clinton entertainsProvine.