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Cougars’ Case kicks Centreville

Freshman kicker Corey Case coolly stepped up and knocked through a 19-yard field goal with 18 seconds left to give the Brookhaven Academy a dramatic 23-22 victory over the Centreville Tigers Friday night.

The ball was perfectly snapped from long-snapper Tate Rushing to freshman holder Tyler Fortenberry.

The Cougars came roaring back after being down 22-7 with 3:22 left in the third quarter. That’s when Centreville took advantage of a short field off of a blocked punt to extend their lead. Tiger quarterback Tyler Thomassie hit Devon Parish on a 28-yard touchdown pass and it felt like all the joy had been sucked out of the BA homecoming festivities.

Centreville led 14-7 at halftime.

BA would take just two minutes to answer the score with their first touchdown of the second half when quarterback Dawson Flowers hit Cade Brown on a slant from five yards out to cut the score to 22-14.

Flowers followed that up with another big play, this one coming on defense as the senior quarterback was routinely subbed in and out at safety all game long. Flowers picked off a Thomassie pass in the end zone that gave the Cougars the ball back with 10:57 remaining in the game.

The ensuing drive went 80 yards and featured a BA fourth down conversion on a play in which they needed four yards. Flowers found Brown on a 22-yard pitch and catch that cut the Centreville lead to 22-20. As he did all night, Brown went up over the Tiger cornerback to make an acrobatic, jumping catch.

Flowers finished 19-of-27 for 280 yards and three touchdowns, all to Brown. Brown caught 18 passes for 242 yards with a long-catch of 33 yards.

Flowers wasn’t planning on throwing to Brown exclusively, but when the Tigers gave him single coverage on his favorite target, he took advantage of it.

“I know he’s always going to make a play on it so I kept trusting him and he kept catching it,” said Flowers.

The Cougar attempt to tie the game with the post score two-point conversion was stopped, and Centreville got the ball back with six minutes remaining in the game.

The Cougar defense would stonewall the next Centreville drive and force a Tiger punt. Centreville uses a Wing-T formation on offense and the Cougars gave up little inside the tackles all night. It was when Centreville ran outside on sweeps that BA had their hardest time stopping their opponent.

Gunar Brister led the Cougar defense with 12 tackles. Collin Waldrop and Sawyer Bowlin each recovered a fumble for the Cougars in the second half.

With three minutes remaining and trailing by two points, the Cougars moved all the way down to the Tiger three-yard line before eventually settling for the short Case field goal.

“I wanted to kick it to win it,” said Case.

Rushing knew his young kicker would have no problem nailing the game-winner. His main concern on the previous plays was not turning the ball over.

“We got down there close, but we didn’t want to hand it off and possibly lose a fumble,” said Rushing. “We let Dawson run it a couple times, but I was confident that Corey would come in and nail it.”

The win moves BA to 2-0 in district play with only a game at Amite School Center remaining in their division schedule.

Down 14-7 at halftime, Rushing knew his team was a few plays away from being up two scores instead of down one.

“We talked all week about not hurting ourselves and in the first half we didn’t do a good enough job of doing that,” said Rushing. “We had to take advantage of making big plays when the opportunity presented itself and in the second half we did that.”