West Jones outlasts Brookhaven
West Jones (9-2) played senior night spoiler Friday as they outlasted the Brookhaven High Panthers (7-4) in a close 24-20 win on King Field.
Brookhaven and West Jones were evenly matched throughout the game. Despite the West Jones Mustangs jumping out to an early lead, the Panthers were able to take the lead but were never able to separate themselves from West Jones. The Mustangs took the lead late in the fourth and survived the Panther defense to pick up the win.
“It was a game where both teams fought and played hard,” said Panthers coach Tucker Peavey. “West Jones made more plays then we did down the stretch. I thought our kids played hard and fought with passion and played aggressive. This might have been the best game we played all year.”
“The seniors have had a good career,” said Peavey. “As a new coach that hasn’t been around them before this season, I’m going to miss them and wish I had the opportunity to coach them their entire careers.”
Brookhaven’s first offensive possession of the game stalled as West Jones forced the Panthers to punt the ball away.
Taking over at the 46-yard line, West Jones got some help from the Panthers on a third and six when Brookhaven roughed the Mustang’s quarterback.
Staying on the ground, West Jones started marching down the field. Facing a third and long, Mustang’s quarterback — sophomore Alan Follis — connected with junior running back Micheal Neal for a 26-yard touchdown, to take a 6-0 lead.
Brookhaven got some help from the Mustangs after their second possession seemed to stall with a fourth and long.
West Jones roughed up the punter to give the Panthers a new set of downs. Mixing passing and rushing, Brookhaven started to march down the field.
The first quarter would come to an end with the Panthers, trailing 6-0, on the West Jones four-yard line.
Panthers senior quarter back Sevante Quinn connected with junior tight end Kadarius Wells for a four-yard touchdown to start the second quarter.
West Jones attempted a 32-yard field goal on their next possession, but the Panthers defense blocked the kick and senior Isaiah Wall ran the ball all the way back for the Panthers second touchdown of the game.
Brookhaven was up 14-6 with over nine minutes left before halftime.
The Mustangs relied on their ground game to move down the field but saw their offense stall as they had to settle for a 47-yard field goal.
West Jones scored the last points of the first half on a 33-yard field goal.
The Panthers took a 14-12 lead into halftime.
Even though the third quarter opened up with each team causing a fumble, neither team was able to score off the fumbles.
Halfway through the third, the Panthers scored their third touchdown of the game as Quinn connected with senior wide receiver Dorian German for an 86-yard touchdown.
Brookhaven went for two-point conversion but were unable to convert. The Panthers led 20-12.
West Jones took to the air as they worked their way down the field, but once again had to settle for a field goal, to bring themselves within two points, 20-18.
With time ticking away in the fourth, the Mustangs had the chance to take the lead as they forced the Panthers to punt the ball away on a fourth and long.
Going back to the air, West Jones once again marched down the field and scored on a one-yard run to take a 24-20 lead after failing to convert the two-point conversion.
The West Jones defense pushed the Panthers back on their final drive and sealed their win when they intercepted a fourth and long pass.
Brookhaven finishes in fourth place in Region 3-5A and will travel next week to Hattiesburg High School for a first-round matchup with the unbeaten (11-0) Tigers.
Story by Dave Linton