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Rogers directs BA over Cenla Lions

Brookhaven Academy welcomed playoff newcomer Cenla ChristianAcademy into R.M. “Red” Stuard Field Friday night for the secondround of the MAIS Class AA State playoffs. The Lions fromPineville, La. had every intention of authoring the upset of theyear in the MAIS, but Brookhaven Academy quarterback ChandlerRogers proved to be too much for the Lions to handle. Rogersproduced his best career performance in the game while leading theCougars to a 50-18 victory.

BA, the District 4-AA champion, improved to 12-1 on the season andadvances to the AA South State Championship game Friday night.Cenla Christian, which qualified for the playoffs as No. 2 seedfrom District 6, ends its season win an 8-4 mark.

Brookhaven will host River Oaks, La. for the AA South Statechampionship in a rematch of the south title game from a year ago.Brookhaven won that meeting 17-7 en route to the AA StateChampionship.

River Oaks advanced with a 21-13 win over Centreville Academy.Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

“I think we played OK offensively,” said BA head coach HerbertDavis. “We didn’t run the ball well, but they (Cenla) were puttingeight or nine guys in the box to stop our running game so we wentto our passing game and Chandler had a big night for us.

“We’re a balanced team, even with our reputation of throwing theball so much, but we have some guys that can get the job done onthe ground, too.”

Rogers torched the Lion secondary in limited action in the game,completing 15 of his 24 pass attempts for 386 yards and fourtouchdowns on the night. He added another score on the ground.Rogers performance also moved him into second place in the recordbooks for the state of Mississippi.

Rogers has accounted for 129 touchdowns during his career, secondonly to St. Stanislaus quarterback Dylan Favre. Rogers passedformer Shannon High School and Ole Miss standout quarterback RomaroMiller, who holds third place with 127 scores.

Early on it looked as though Cenla had everything going its way.After being forced into a punting situation on its first drive,Cenla capitalized on a Brookhaven substitution penalty that gavethe Lions a first down. Quarterback Graham Kelly connected withwide receiver Raegan Lane from 45 yards out. The two pointconversion attempt failed, giving the visitors a 6-0 lead with 8:47left in the first quarter.

Brookhaven looked to be in more trouble as the Lions executed asuccessful onside kick attempt, giving them the ball at the BA 44yard line. Brookhaven’s defense stood tall, forcing a punt from theLions, but the punt took a Cenla roll and was downed inside theBrookhaven 1-yard line. Pinned against their own end zone with noroom for error, Brookhaven responded with an eight play, 99-yarddrive that ended with Rogers connecting with Sidney Chaffin from 31yards out. Tyler Trout added the extra point for a 7-6 Brookhavenlead with 2:30 remaining in the first quarter.

Brookhaven’s defense again forced a punt from Cenla on the ensuingdrive, and return man Bubba Keene took the punt at the BA 41-yardline, leaped over defenders and raced to the Cenla 19 yard line. Onthe next play, Rogers connected with Jennings Mills for the 19 yardscore. Trout added the extra point for a 14-6 lead at the 10 secondmark of the first.

Rogers and company dominated the second quarter of play as theCougar offense was able to put three more scores on the boardbefore the break. Rogers connected with Chaffin from 29 yards outat the 8:59 mark of the second. Rogers found the end zone on hisown with 5:24 remaining and then connected with Mills from 31 yardsout at the 2:47 mark of the half, pushing the Brookhaven lead to36-6 at the break.

Cenla took the opening possession of the second half andorchestrated a 10 play, 70-yard drive that ate of six minutes ofthe game clock before Andy Brossett scored on a 1-yard run with6:05 remaining in the third. The extra point attempt failed,closing the Brookhaven lead to 36-12.

Brookhaven was able to answer at the 1:49 mark of the third assophomore Gage Posey took a Cenla punt and raced 45 yards for thescore. Trout added the extra point for a 43-12 Brookhavenlead.

Cenla was able to add a 6-yard touchdown pass from Kelly to DavidMarler with 5:10 left in the game, cutting the Brookhaven lead to43-18.

The Cougars got their final score of the night as Posey connectedwith Jeff Rushing on a 14 yard pass. Trout added the extra point,ending the scoring at 50-18.

“We didn’t do a very good job defensively.” added Davis. “We letthem break a lot of tackles and gave up a few big plays. If we makethose mistakes next week, we’re going to be in trouble.”

Mills was the leading receiver for Brookhaven, catching 6 passesfor 140 yards with two scores. Keene caught 3 passes for 99 yardsand Chaffin added two receptions for 60 yards and two touchdowns.Landon Nettles picked up 65 yards on 7 carries to lead the Cougarsrushing attack.

Graham Kelly led Cenla, completing 16 of his 26 pass attempts for215 yards with two scores. Raegan Lane caught 5 passes for 110yards and a touchdown, and David Marler caught 3 passes for 50yards with another touchdown.

On defense, Alan Michael Allred led Brookhaven with 16 tackles anda fumble recovery. Jeff Rushing followed with 11 tackles and C.J.Duckworth added 10 stops in support.

Brookhaven hosts River Oaks, La. Friday night for the AA SouthState championship game.