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BA soaks Amite School Center

DAILY LEADER / SHERYLYN EVANS / Brookhaven Academy running back Jacob Thurman (8) eludes ASC defender Steven Shelton (1) Friday night at RM "Red" Stuard Field.

DAILY LEADER / SHERYLYN EVANS / Brookhaven Academy running back Jacob Thurman (8) eludes ASC defender Steven Shelton (1) Friday night at RM “Red” Stuard Field.

With the potential for heavy downpours in the forecast, Coach Tripp McCarty knew his Brookhaven Academy Cougars would have to take extra care of the football if faced with bad field conditions.

McCarty commented prior to the game, “We have to protect the ball, eliminate the turnovers and get off to a fast start, especially if we have wet weather tonight.” He continued, “This has been our best week of practice this entire year and I feel we’re ready to take a huge step forward and get the bitter taste from last week out of our mouth.”

As forecasted, the wet weather did come and as hoped, the Cougars got off to a blazing start scoring more first quarter touchdowns than BA public address announcer Dr. Ed Moak could say Cougariffic.

Behind the running of junior tailback Connor Dorman, who posted his highest offensive output of the season with 138 yards and two touchdowns on just six carries, the Cougars posted a 43-8 victory over the Amite School Center Rebels.

The Cougars started their first possession at their own 21-yard line, and on the first play from scrimmage, Dorman took the run off right tackle, broke the first line of defenders and would not be touched for a 79 yard touchdown jaunt. Caleb Brown would run in the two-point conversion try and put the Cougars up 8-0 just :14 seconds into the game.

After forcing a quick three and out behind a solid defensive effort, the Cougars took over at their own 48-yard line. On Dorman’s third touch of the night, he broke around left end and outran the Rebel defenders for a 40-yard touchdown run. Parker Myrick added the PAT and the Cougars were cruising 15-0 at the 8:58 mark of the first quarter.

Again the BA defense held ASC to three plays and a punt, but the Cougars coughed up the ball near midfield and the Rebels recovered to take over hoping to get something going on offense. The wet field conditions and the stout Cougar defense was just too much for the Rebels to overcome, and they could not take advantage of the turnover and punted the ball back to the Cougars.

Taking over at their own 13-yard line, BA quarterback Heath Hickman ripped off a 14-yard run to set up his next attempt that turned into a 73-yard touchdown gallop giving the Cougars their third touchdown of the 1st quarter. Myrick added the PAT and set the Cougars comfortably at 22-0 with 3:53 to play still in the first.

The Rebels took over the next possession at their own 30-yard line. Looking to change their attack and hoping to catch the Cougars off guard, ASC quarterback Aaron McKay went to the air for his first pass attempt of the night only to be picked off at midfield by senior defensive back Bailey Warren and put BA back on offense.

Behind three runs by Warren, who was inserted at tailback, the Cougars were knocking at the door again. Warren would then take the read-option handoff from Hickman and skirt through the Rebel defense for a 12-yard touchdown run. Freshman kicker Clayton Brown added the PAT and gave the Cougars a 29-0 lead to wrap up the first-quarter scoring.

The second quarter started with much of the same behind a tough BA defense, giving the offense great field position to work with. Pushing the ball back into ASC territory, the Cougars were poised to put more points on the board and they did just that as Hickman hit wide out Ethan Harris on a quick slant as Harris did the rest for a 31-yard catch and run. Brown added the PAT and put the Cougars out front 36-0.

The Cougars got a great field position at the Rebel 27-yard line after a blocked punt by Harris. Tailback Parker Myrick found the end zone for his first score of the evening from eight yards out. Brown added the point after giving BA a 43-0 lead and closed the book on scoring for the Cougars with 37 seconds remaining in the half.

Hard running by Josh Jackson put the Rebels on the scoreboard with an 8-yard touchdown run with 2:28 to play in the fourth quarter. Jake Haygood completed the conversion run and took the game to the final horn with the Cougars capturing a 43-8 victory over the Rebels.

A waterlogged but pleased Tripp McCarty commented after the game.

“I’m really proud of our kids’ effort tonight,” he said, “and now we’ll go back and look at the tape and see if the score is a true indicator of how well I think we played this game. I think our offensive line did a good job opening some lanes, allowing running backs to make some big plays.”

McCarty concluded, “Getting a lead early gave our defense the opportunity to loosen up and fly to the football, so we’ll build on this because we have some real good teams coming in here over the next few weeks and we have to be ready to play.”

Offensively, the Cougars were led by tailback Connor Dorman who had 138 yards on six carries and two touchdowns. Heath Hickman had 87 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground. Hickman also had a 31-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Harris. Parker Myrick and Bailey Warren chalked up 57 and 43 yards respectively, both with a touchdown run to their credit.

Josh Jackson had 64 yards on the ground for the Rebels and their lone touchdown of the game.

Defensively, the Cougars were lead by Michael Fiorella who recorded six tackles on the night. Hunter Sasser had five stops for the Cougars and Tramel Shedd added four and half tackles to the total. Warren had an interception and Harris blocked a punt on the evening.

The Cougars will hold their 2013 homecoming festivities on R.M. “Red” Stuard Field next Friday night and face the East Rankin Patriots for a 7 p.m. kickoff with the homecoming court presentation prior to the game.