Keyes rides Mustangs through Brookhaven

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, October 7, 2012

To say that Trey Keyes is on a roll, is an understatement. The West Jones senior ran like a scalded stallion Friday night on King Field, sparking the Mustangs to a 27-17 victory over the Brookhaven Panthers.

     Keyes scored touchdowns on runs of 67,  41 and 56 yards during the first half, giving his team 177 yards and a 21-10 lead. He finished with 14 carries for 207 yards.

     “I just ran hard and got some good blocking,” said Keyes, his face dripping with perspiration. The 5-foot-8, 185-pounder said it wasn’t his best game. “I scored five touchdowns against South Jones.”

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     Nonetheless, it was plenty to keep the Mustangs (6-0, 3-0) undefeated and in a tie for the top rung in the Region 3-5A race.

     Brookhaven (2-4, 1-2) started the Homecoming 2012 game with a bang. The Panthers impressively marched to paydirt on the game-opening drive. They were ignited by Jonathan “J.J.” Stepney’s 44-yard kickoff return to the 48.

     Nine plays later, senior quarterback Zach Smith scrambled the final 8 yards to paydirt. Noah Allen’s PAT kick put the hosts up 7-0 with 7:56 showing. The large partisan crowd could sense an upset in the making.

     Keyes, however, quickly brought the Mustangs back. On first down at his 33, Keys broke through the middle of the line and outraced Brook’s secondary 67 yards to the end zone. Ethan Buckley’s PAT gained a 7-7 deadlock.

     West Jones coach Scott Pierson praised the performance by Keyes. “Number One (Keyes) was the best player on the field tonight. He’s quick and he makes people miss. He’s playing way above his head but I’m not going to tell him that.”

     The Mustangs asserted themselves and marched 99 yards to paydirt in 7 plays. Keyes went 56 yards up the middle of the field for the TD. It was 14-7 with 10:56 left in the first half.

     Brookhaven responded with a 23-yard field goal from Allen, making it 14-10. The Mustangs quickly responded. Quarterback Ladorean Oliver faked a dive play, pitched out to Keyes and he went around right end, breaking and shedding tacklers on the 41-yard TD jaunt.

     “Keyes is a very good player,” said Ole Brook first-year coach Tommy Clopton. “His offensive line gave him some good blocking.

     “We did a good job executing on that first series,” Clopton noted. “We had some more opportunities.”

     The Panthers recovered an onside kickoff to start the second half. Billy Thomas fell on the football at the BHS 48. Eight plays later they reached WJ’s 8-yard line but were forced to settle for a 22-yard field goal attempt. Allen’s kick hit the right upright.

     A fumble, 1 of 3 BHS turnovers, set up the Mustangs’ final score. Trevillion was tackled after a pass reception and separated from the ball. Deionte Keyes recovered at Brook’s 39.

     Nine plays later, Oliver faked a handoff and scored on a 1-yard dash around left end, giving the Mustangs a 27-10 lead just 5 seconds into the fourth quarter.

     The Panthers went 55 yards for their final score in 4 plays. Smith hit Trevillion with a rainbow toss to the end zone covering 12 yards. BHS trailed 27-17 with 6:37 left.

     Smith was under heavy pressure most of the night. He was sacked 5 times, as 6-foot-6, 230-pound senior defensive end Xavier Thigpen led the pass rush. Smith completed 17 of 25 passes for 172 yards and was intercepted once.

     Trevillion caught 10 balls for 94 yards. Blue rushed 15 times for 158 yards.

     All-state defensive end JaBoree Poole was among the disappointed players in the somber BHS dressing room. He had 10 tackles and a sack. Asked about the game, Poole said, “West Jones has a good team. We made too many mistakes.”

     The Panthers face another region foe Friday night at Pearl. It will be televised on WUFX 35.