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Four BA Cougars earn AA All-State Honors

The MAIS recently released its 2018 AA All-State football team and four members of the 9-3 Brookhaven Academy Cougars were selected for the team. Dawson Flowers, Cade Brown, Gunar Brister, and Keegan Smith added all-state honors after helping lead the Cougars to the AA state semifinals.

A senior quarterback, Flowers was tabbed as an All-State selection after throwing for 1,708 yards on 91-of-161 attempts for 20 touchdowns. Flowers also rushed for 265 yards and five scores and completed 60 percent of his passes.

“Dawson has meant a lot to our program as a two-year starter at quarterback,” said BA head coach Ron Rushing. “He’s a leader on and off the field and has always been great at understanding what we want from him as coaches.”

Flowers has signed a baseball scholarship with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Fifty-six of Flower’s passes in 2018 were caught by fellow All-State selection Brown. A senior wide receiver, Brown piled up 1,216 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns for the Cougars. He averaged 21.7 yards per catch and had a long catch of 80 yards. Brown also rushed 10 times for 123 yards and returned four kickoffs for touchdowns.

“Cade stepped up big time for us this season,” said Rushing. “Even with teams keying in to stop him from getting the ball, he still helped carry a big part of our offense.”

The Cougar defense was led in tackles by the junior Brister. A linebacker, Brister finished with a team high 124 tackles in 2018. He made six tackles for a loss, one sack, one fumble recovery, and once interception. Brister had a season high 15 tackles against Amite School Center.

“Gunar has a nose for the ball,” said Rushing. “He does a great job of reading the offense and flowing to the ball carrier. He never backs down from contact.”

Smith was another stalwart of the Cougar defense as he operated on the back line as a defensive back. Smith made 51 tackles including five tackles for a loss. Smith also grabbed four interceptions and broke up four passes as well.

“Keegan is like Cade in that he was with us as a sophomore when we didn’t win a game,” said Rushing. “It’s special to see him get this honor after all the hard work he and his classmates put in to reestablish our program. He was a real leader for our defense.”

The Cougars will have to replace a 10-man senior class in 2019.