PRC spoil Ole Brook’s postseason hopes
The Brookhaven Panthers saw their season come to a disappointing end Friday night. The Pearl River Central Blue Devils came out with revenge on their minds and spoiled Ole Brook’s Senior Night with a 42-12 victory on King Field.
“We did not make the plays we needed to win the game,” said BHS coach Tommy Clopton. “Pearl River Central has a good team and they played physical against us throughout the game on both sides of the ball. Overall, I am still very pleased with my guys’ effort. They did a great job fighting through adversity to make it to this point to have a shot at the playoffs. I cannot say enough on how proud I am of them.”
Ole Brook’s friends and families gathered to show their support in recognizing their senior Panthers. Senior members from the football teams, cheerleading squad and band were recognized along with their families on King Field.
Ole Brook also paid tribute to their fallen seniors Shaquan Richardson and Javontae Dickey’s family as they received autograph footballs from the team. At the end of the ceremony, Coach Clopton released some heated balloons in the air with Richardson’s No. 4, Dickey’s No. 54 and Loyd Star’s senior Peyton Flowers’ No. 42 on the them.
Brookhaven also had Flowers’ No 42 in the corner of the home endzone along with No. 4 and No. 54.
Before the start of the contest, the football seniors marched out for the coin toss with Richardson, Dickey and Flowers jersey.
In the opening quarter of action, the Blue Devils came out on fire as they returned the opening kickoff to the Brookhaven’s nine yard to start their first offensive possession with a first down and goal. On the third play of action, PRC’s Michael Tatman scored on a one-yard run with 11:08 remaining. Hunter Holifield was successful on the extra-point attempt and finished the night perfect hitting six-of-six PAT’s.
Brookhaven quickly bounced back to answered PRC challenge with 8:21 left in the first quarter as Jon-Mark Mathis connected with Ken Boyd for a four-yard touchdown strike. Tyler Mixon was unsuccessful on the extra-point try as the Blue Devils’ special teams exploded through the line to block the attempt. After one quarter of action PRC lead Ole Brook 7-6.
In the second quarter, the rivalry continued to heat up offensively and defensively. Pearl River managed to break up the slugfest early as Terek Whitehead pulled off a fake handoff to scored on a wide open 11-yard touchdown run on the other side of the field with 10:55 left.
PRC continued to play aggressive defensively against the Panthers as they held Brookhaven from scoring on their next possession to get the ball back. With 4:27 remaining, the Blue Devils added to lead with a 11-yard run by Tatmun.
Ole Brook fought back to cut into PRC’s lead with a 61-yard sprint by Boyd with 3:29 left. The Panthers elected to go for the two-point conversion but were unsuccessful on the pass attempt.
At the end of the first half, Pearl River Central commanded a 21-12 lead at halftime.
In the second half of action, the Blue Devils completely controlled the flow of the contest as they scored 21-unanswered points and held the Panthers scoreless throughout the rest of the contest.
Whitehead scored a one-yard touchdown plunge in the third quarter to give the Blue Devils a 28-12 lead.
In the final quarter of action, PRC would score two more touchdowns to increase their lead to 42-12 for the win.
Tatum scored twice on runs of two and four yards to end the game.
Tatum was the offensive leader on the field for the Blue Devils with 19 rushes for 157 yards. Hunter Holifield contributed to the ground attack with 13 carries for 85 yards. Christian Roberts had 15 rushes for 127 yards. The Blue Devils amassed 47 rushes for 369 yards,
Ken Boyd led Ole Brook’s offense with six carries for 89 yards. Thomas Poole contributed 31 yards on three rushes. Tre McDaniel had 15 rushes for 24 yards.
Mathis completed five-of-seven passes for 35 yards. McDaniel completed one pass for 57 yards. Maliak Powell was the top receiver with two catches for 39 yards. Ben Robinson caught a pass for 37 yards.
Defensively, Darius O’Quinn and Dedric Smith recovered fumbles for the Panthers. Robinson intercepted a pass.
The Blue Devils (6-4, 5-2) punched their ticket for the playoffs as the No. 4 seed out Region 3-5A. PRC is projected to visit Picayune next week in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs.
The Panthers concluded their emotional season with a 6-5 overall record while posting a 3-4 record in Region 3-5A action.