Panthers chew up McComb

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, October 31, 2010

McCOMB – Playing their best overall game of the season Fridaynight, the Brookhaven Panthers overpowered the McComb Tigers 34-6in C.C. Moore Stadium. Senior offensive tackle Stone Underwoodechoed the sentiments of his BHS teammates as they boarded schoolbuses for the 30-mile journey home.

“It feels good to win a rivalry game, especially against McComb,”said Underwood. “We got off to a rocky start but then we gotgoing.”

Most importantly, the Panthers (5-4, 3-3) moved one step closer toclinching a Class 5A state playoff berth. McComb (4-6, 1-5) slippeddeeper into depression on Senior Night. Only four seniors werehonored in pregame ceremonies.

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Second-year McComb head coach Malcolm Jones complimented thePanthers on a chilly night. “Brookhaven came out and executed onoffense and defense and special teams for four quarters. I thinkthey’ll represent our district well in that fourth spot.”

The Panthers visit Forest Hill’s Patriots (5-5, 2-4) Friday nightin the regular season finale. West Jones (9-0, 6-0), Picayune (8-1,5-1) and Wayne County (8-2, 5-1) are expected to finish 1-2-3 inthe Region 3-5A race.

Devonte Stewart got the Panthers off to a roaring start. Stewartgathered in McComb’s game-opening kickoff and returned it 83 yardsfor a touchdown. Dewey Stailey kicked the extra point and thePanthers reeled off 34 unanswered points, leading 20-0 athalftime.

Ross Hill caught a 21-yard TD pass from quarterback Duwone Harrisand Travorius Showers scored touchdowns on runs of 3 and 7 yards,giving the Panthers a 27-0 lead with 2:25 left in the thirdquarter. Harris rushed 15 times for 118 yards and passed for 96more, giving him another 200-yard game.

Brook’s defense played exceptionally well as the Panthers limitedMcComb to just 176 yards total offense. The Tigers didn’t scoreuntil the final play of the game on a 1-yard TD pass from freshmanquarterback Alex Woodall to sophomore wide receiver KevontayDillon. A 49-yard completion to sophomore Quatavious Smith set upthe score against BHS reserves.

Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey said he was pleased with histeam’s performance. “This was out best game overall and our defenseplayed great. McComb has a talented team and we shut themdown.”

Senior defensive tackle Jawaun Merchant smiled and agreed withPeavey as he filed out of the dressing room and made his way to thebus. “Our defense played great. We need to do it again nextweek.”

Sophomore defensive lineman Jaboree Poole scored Brook’s final TDwhen he scooped up a fumble by McComb senior quarterback LamarvinAshley and rumbled 3 yards to the end zone. It highlighted anightmarish night for the Tigers.

The Panthers’ fans roared with approval as the team celebrated.They appeared to outnumber the McComb faithful who have enduredanother losing season.