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Brookhaven Panthers shut down West Jones 26-0

The only drama for the Brookhaven Panthers Friday night was if they would pitch a shutout.

West Jones drove deep into Panthers’ territory late in the fourth quarter, but Dusty Cook was intercepted in the end zone by Brookhaven’s Byrion Robinson to secure a 26-0, Region 3-5A-clinching victory at Mustang Stadium.

The win propels the Panthers (10-1, 7-0) into the Class 5A South State playoffs on Friday night against Wayne County in Brookhaven. West Jones, the No. 2 seed, suffered its first region loss of the year and will host Stone County on Friday night.

Brookhaven used a stifling defense that kept West Jones from getting a first down until the 10:30 mark of the second quarter. By that time, the Panthers held a 9-0 lead and were well on their way.

Brookhaven recorded a safety when it tackled West Jones running back Austin Land in the end zone less than four minutes into the game for a 2-0 lead. The Panthers extended the lead to 9-0 on a 12-yard TD run by quarterback Sevante Quinn.

Damarrell Leggett scored on a 2-yard run with 3:48 to play in the first half to up the lead to 16-0.

West Jones (8-3, 6-1), which entered the game on a seven-game winning streak, started strong in the second half, driving to the Brookhaven 26 yard line on its first possession. But Land was stopped on a fourth-down.

West’s best shot at scoring came with 3:45 to play when it punted and Brookhaven fumbled at its own 2-yard line. However, an illegal procedure play negated the fortuitous field position and Quinn made the Mustangs pay.

The Panthers drove 79 yards, highlighted by a 50-yard Quinn quarterback keeper that saw him leap over a Mustang defender, and capped the drive with a 5-yard scoring pass to tight end Kadarius Wells.

Tyler Mixon, who was perfect on extra points, nailed a 42-yard field goal with 6:19 to play in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.

— The Laurel Leader-Call