Nettles gives boost to Brookhaven Academy ground attack

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brookhaven Academy coach Tripp McCarty wasconcerned about his team’s meager rushing attack in recent games.McCarty got the offensive injection he was looking for in lastFriday night’s game at Wayne Academy.

    Sophomore running back Landon Nettles broke loose for 243 rushingyards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, working behind a patched upoffensive line. It resulted in a 38-28 Cougar victory over theWayne Jaguars.

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    That performance has earned Nettles The DAILY LEADER’s OffensivePlayer of the Week honors. He wears jersey No. 33.

    “We needed a big game from our rushing attack,” said McCarty.”Landon is strong and he’s deceptively fast. He finished his runshard and he got his shoulder pads down.”

    McCarty said Cody Thornhill’s performance at center in place ofsenior Hunter Franklin (kidney stones) was a key to his team’ssuccess. “Cody did a great job stepping in for Hunter.”

    Nettles (5-10, 185) is the 15-year-old son of Michael and DeniseNettles. He has an older sister, Katie, who is a student atCopiah-Lincoln Community College; and a younger brother, Trent, afreshman at BA.

    “I like running the football up the middle and I wouldn’t makethose yards without the help of my offensive line,” said Nettles.”Cody Thornhill really did a good job filling in for Hunter.”

    Also working in BA’s offensive line are left guard ColbyCulbertson, left tackle Drew Philipp, right guard Ken Britt andright tackle Garrett Pace.

    The Cougars are off to a 4-1 start this season and face animportant non-district test Friday night at  Centreville.

    “We have a lot of work to do before the Centreville game,” saidNettles. “We need to work on a lot of things to get better. We canbe a state championship team.”

    The Cougars have a state championship tradition. They won the ClassAA crown in 2009 and were South State finalists last season, losingto eventual state champion River Oaks.

    Asked about his new head coach, Nettles said, “Coach McCarty is thebest coach I’ve ever had. He knows a lot of football and he hastaught me a lot.”

    Nettles is a standout catcher in baseball. As an eighth grader, hestarted behind the plate when the Cougars  won the AA state title.

    In his free time, Nettles enjoys pulling for the Mississippi State Bulldogs and watching theIndianapolis Colts on TV. Quarterback Peyton Manning is hisfavorite NFL player.