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Brookhaven Panthers football sits on top in 5A Region 3

The Brookhaven Panthers sit atop the 5A Region 3 standings heading into Friday’s matchup with Forest Hill.

They are joined by West Jones, which also boasts a 2-0 district record.

Forest Hill is at the bottom of the region at 1-5 overall and 0-2 in region play. It’s a game that should be a win for the Panthers, at least from a statistical standpoint.

Brookhaven is tops in the region is several categories. Damarrell Leggett leads with rushing yards (779), total points (84) and total touchdowns (13). Jaquarius Edwards is a strong third place in rushing yards with 651. Sevante Quinn also sits at third in passing yards with 684.

Brookhaven owns the top three spots in total points, with Leggett at 84, kicker Tyler Mixon at 45 and Edwards at 42. Edwards is also second in total TDs with seven.

Forest Hill doesn’t crack the top 5 in any category.

Defensively, Brookhaven has also been dominant. Byrion Robinson is fourth in the region in tackles. He also had a big interception return Friday against Laurel. Jeffery Johnson is right behind him in the category. Dahauntre Hill is third in the region in sacks with three. Wesley Calcote is tied for third in the region in interceptions with two.

Forest Hill opened the season with 31-6 loss to St. Martin, then followed that with a 13-8 win over Jim Hill. The Patriots then lost 47-0 to Harrison Central, 12-6 to Lanier, 26-0 to West Jones and 52-36 to South Jones.

Brookhaven’s only blemish came at the hands of powerhouse Pearl the first week of the season. The Pirates are 7-0 overall and the No. 2 ranked team in the state. The Panthers made easy work of Lawrence County, South Pike, McComb and North Pike in the following weeks. They won last week’s game against Laurel 42-35.

Quinn completed 11-of-20 passes for 140 yards and three touchdowns against the Tornadoes on Friday. It was the most completions in a game this season for the junior quarterback. He also ran the ball nine times for 40 yards.

Leggett carried the ball 17 times for 148 yards and two scores Friday. He also caught two passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.  Edwards rushed 14 times for 107 yards and a score.

Receiver John Hilbert had a big game with a touchdown pass and a touchdown catch.

The defense stood strong on a 4th-and-goal at the 8-yard line, sealing the win over Laurel.

“I’m proud of our defense for standing tall inside the 10-yard line on their last drive,” said head coach Tommy Clopton. “I’m proud of all of our guys, this was a team win.”