• 73°

BA eludes Centreville

The last time Brookhaven Academy met Centreville Academy was thesecond round of the MAIS AA playoffs last November. Anyone who wasin attendance that night is unlikely to forget the 57-56 shoot-outthat Brookhaven won en route to the AA State Championship. The twoteams met again Friday night as Brookhaven celebrated homecoming atR.M. “Red” Stuard Field, and while this match up lacked theoffensive firepower from last season, the two defenses made surefans had plenty of excitement.

Brookhaven squeaked by Centreville 14-13 in a non-district matchupto improve to 7-0 on the season and keep the state’s longestwinning streak alive at 22 games. Centreville, which began theirseason with three tough losses, broke a three game win streak andfell to 3-4.

“We came out flat tonight.” said Brookhaven Academy head coachHerbert Davis. “We made a lot of mistakes and had a ton ofpenalties. Centreville’s a good team, regardless of what theirrecord says. We knew coming in they would bring their best gameagainst us and that’s what we got.

Early on, it appeared that it would be a typical night forBrookhaven’s offense. After their defense forced a Centrevillepunt, Chandler Rogers and company put together an 8 play, 77 yarddrive that was culminated with a 3 yard pass from Rogers to BubbaKeene. Tyler Trout added the extra point for a 7-0 Brookhaven leadwith 5:51 remaining in the first quarter.

From that point on, it was a defensive struggle for both teams.Centreville managed its only touchdown of the night at the 7:31mark of the first half that capped a 16 play, 72-yard drive, withRandy Bell scoring on a 1-yard run. Cliff Hurst added the extrapoint, knotting things up 7-7 at halftime.

The defensive struggle continued throughout the second half as bothteams fought mental mistakes, penalties and turnovers. Centrevillewas able to add a 30 -yard field goal from Hurst as time expired inthe third quarter to take a 10-7 lead. Hurst added a 37-yard fieldgoal with 4:40 remaining in the game to increase the Tiger lead to13-7 and put tons of pressure on the Brookhaven offense.

Brookhaven took over at their own 20-yard line and actually reachedmidfield in two plays, but three personal foul calls pushedBrookhaven back inside their own 20 with three minutes to go andthe Cougars facing a first down and 45. The Cougars were able torespond, gaining the lost yardage back and being faced with afourth and 11 at their own 48 yard line. Rogers connected withKeene for 12 yards and a first down to keep the Cougars hopesalive. Two plays later, Rogers connected with Keene on a 44-yardscreen pass that saw Keene outrace defenders down the sideline andsend the large Brookhaven crowd into a frenzy. Trout added theextra point for the 14-13 Brookhaven lead with 2:45remaining.

Centreville’s attempt for late-game heroics ended as Hurst’s passfell to the turf on fourth down as time expired.

“I hope this game really serves as a wake-up call.” added CoachDavis. “We’ve been used to going into games and scoring 40 and 50points and just blowing people out, but we’ve got to understandthat isn’t going to happen every week. Teams are going to bringtheir A game against us and the teams are only going to get tougheras we go along. We’ve got to come out focused and ready to playevery week from now on or we’ll be in trouble in some games.”

Chandler Rogers led the Brookhaven offense, completing 14 of his 27pass attempts for 251 yards and two touchdowns. He was interceptedthree times. On the ground, he picked up 36 yards on 12carries.

BA senior Jennings Mills was the leading receiver with 6 catchesfor 106 yards. Keene had 6 receptions for 95 yards and 2touchdowns.

Colton Terrell led Centreville with 7 carries for 71 yards. CliffHurst picked up 54 yards on 13 attempts. Randy Bell added 42 yardson 15 carries with a touchdown.

On defense, Jeff Rushing led the Brookhaven defense with 18tackles. Bailey Hodge followed with 14 stops. Gage Posey added 13tackles, Alan Michael Allred chipped in 12 stops and HunterFranklin and C.J. Duckworth each had 10 tackles.

Brookhaven hosts Trinity Episcopal of Natchez Friday night in anon-district showdown of top-ranked, undefeated teams. Kickoff atR.M. “Red” Stuard Field is set for 7 p.m.