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Copiah Academy holds off BA

DAILY LEADER / SHERYLYN EVANS / Brookhaven Academy's Trent Nettles (20) come in from behind to tackle Copiah Academy's Kyle Drew (2) Friday night.

DAILY LEADER / SHERYLYN EVANS / Brookhaven Academy’s Trent Nettles (20) come in from behind to tackle Copiah Academy’s Kyle Drew (2) Friday night.

After a first half defensive struggle that saw the Colonels of Copiah take a 7 – 0 lead into the locker room at halftime, Coach Blake Purvis and the Brookhaven Academy Cougars mounted a late 4th quarter flurry only to come up short falling to their neighbors from the north 21 – 15.

A Heath Hickman to Carter Culbertson touchdown pass with 4:35 to play in the 4th quarter brought the Cougars within six points and swung the momentum to the home team. Copiah’s sophomore running back Landon Murphy provided the quick answer to the Cougar score with a 47-yard scamper to pay dirt stretching the lead back to 13.

Needing to strike quickly, the Cougars marched deep into Colonel territory and found the end zone on a 5-yard Hickman to Caleb Brown connection with 1:00 showing on the clock. Trent Cannon added the PAT cutting the Copiah advantage to 21 – 15.

The ensuing onside kick skirted along the BA sideline and was initially recovered by the Cougars only to be overturned. The ball’s last bounce clipped the out of bounds stripe by a sliver and gave the possession to the Colonels. The Colonols then were able to take a knee on consecutive snaps and run out the remaining seconds of the game clock.

Offensively, Hickman directed the Cougars’ air attack and went 31 for 50 passing. They racked up 270 yards and two touchdowns. Brown led the Cougar receiving corps with 10 catches for 71 yards and one touchdown. William King had nine catches for 92 yards, Madison Smith recorded seven catches for 58 yards and Culbertson added three catches plus a score to the BA ledger. Senior Connor Dorman had 48 yards rushing on 14 carries.

Defensively, Garrett Pace and JT Cline led the Cougars as they each recorded six tackles during their night of work. Cline added a fumble recovery, a sack, one tackle for a loss and two quarterback hurries to his totals. Joey Rushing and Michael Fiorella also chipped in 5.5 and 5 tackles respectively.

Coach Purvis commentented after the game and said, “We left some opportunities to put points on the board out there tonight.” He continued, “We’re still in the playoff hunt with one game to play and I expect our guys to work hard this week and be ready to compete next Friday night.”

The Cougars travel to Natchez Friday with playoff opportunities laying in the balance, to take on the Adams County Christian School Rebels. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.