• 82°

Panthers advance to postseason play

PICAYUNE ITEM / JEREMY PITTARI / Brookhaven running back Jermone Kelly (1) tries to regain his footing to gain additional yards as Pearl River Central defender David Saiser (43) hustles in to make the play Friday night.

PICAYUNE ITEM / JEREMY PITTARI / Brookhaven running back Jermone Kelly (1) tries to regain his footing to gain additional yards as Pearl River Central defender David Saiser (43) hustles in to make the play Friday night.

CARRIERE – The Brookhaven Panthers managed to run the tables in the last four games of the season to claim the final spot for the Class 5A playoffs by clipping the Pearl River Central Blue Devils 25-20 Friday night in Region 3-5A football action.

“I could not be more proud of our players and coaches for putting together a great game plan and executing it,” said BHS coach Tommy Clopton.

“We had to fight for four quarters, but when we needed a big play, our offense and defense stepped up and made them. It was a great win for Ole Brook.”

In the first quarter, Brookhaven came out strong and set the tone of the contest when senior quarterback Fred Trevillion rushed in a 15-yard touchdown. Jonathan Martinez kicked the extra point to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead.

In the second quarter, both schools continued to fight hard in the winner-take-all series.

The Blue Devils finally got on the board as senior kicker Javon Detto nailed a 28-yard field goal to cut into the Panthers’ 7-3 lead.

Brookhaven answered Pearl River Central’s challenge and increased their lead to 13-3 on the Panthers’ next drive as senior receiver Shuntez Smith caught a 12-yard pass from Trevillion.

Pearl River Central battled back but failed to break through Ole Brook’s tough defense for a touchdown and had to rely on their strong leg, senior kicker Detto, to hit a 42-yard field goal.

The Blue Devils did manage to break through Brookhaven’s defense to tie the game at 13-13 before halftime, when senior running back Bryson Penton caught a 12-yard pass from Dylan Spiers for a touchdown, Detto finished a perfect two-of-two on the extra points kicks for the night.

In the second half, the battle intensified as Brookhaven and Pearl River Central traded touchdowns in the third quarter.

The Blue Devils (4-7, 3-4) claimed their first lead of the game in the third quarter at 20-13, when senior quarterback Dylan Spiers plowed through for a three-yard touchdown run.

Ole Brook, refusing to let the Blue Devils take over the game, fought back and nearly tied the game when Trevillion broke loose and scored a 20-yard rushing touchdown but failed to kick in the extra point. After three quarters of intense action Pearl River Central held a slim 20-19 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Brookhaven’s defense turned up the heat on the Blue Devils and managed to hold them scoreless for the remainder of the game.

On offense, the Panthers fought hard and recaptured the lead from Pearl River Central as Trevillion continued to showcase his talents and sprinted 89 yards to pay dirt to give BHS a 25-20 lead and win.

Fred Trevillion’s offensive spark directed the Panthers’ charge as he rushed for 241 yards on 13 carries. He also completed six of 10 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.

Tre McDaniel contributed to the Panthers’ ground attack with 58 yards rushing on 16 carries. Javonte Trevillion was the top receiver with two catches for 64 yards.

Senior running back Garrett Duplechain paced the Blue Devils’ offense with 22 rushes for 117 yards. Penton was the second leading rusher with 101 yards on 12 carries.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to play at Pascagoula next week,” continued Clopton. “We know it will be another tough ball game, but so will they. Our players are playing with a lot of confidence right now and that is a good feeling going into the playoffs.”

Brookhaven (8-3, 4-3) enters the first round of the Class 5A playoffs as the No. 4 seed out of the Region 3-5 race and visits Pascagoula for a battle of the Panthers. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.