Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

August 24, 2013

Brooks County Trojans beat Clinch County Panthers 26-14

HOMERVILLE — For the second straight year, the Brooks County Trojans opened their football season Friday with a win over the Clinch County Panthers at Donald Tison Field.

After heavy rains and a slight delay due to lightning, the Trojans played to a 26-14 victory over the Panthers in “The Boneyard.”     

While the final score leaned in favor of the Trojans, the game was much more competitive than a season ago.  Last season, Brooks County opened their 12-1 campaign with a 43-3 victory over the Panthers in Quitman.

In a highly-contested game, the Panthers came out on a tear and led 14-13 after the first quarter, despite the injury and exit of junior quarterback Octavis Johnson.  

At the half, the Trojans took a 19-14 lead to the locker room, bolstered by their standout senior Malcolm Parrish.

Parrish spent time on both sides of the ball, seeing action at quarterback as well as safety.

“(The University of) Georgia can do what they want with (Parrish) next year up there,” Freeman said.  “While he’s here, he’s our safety.  We needed him every second that he was out there tonight.”

On the opposing side, the Panthers capitalized on tremendous play from their defense and special teams.

On Clinch County’s second possession of the game, Kenny LaShore returned a Trojan kickoff for 80 yards and a touchdown.  Following a successful two-point conversion by Brandon Grady, the Panthers took an early 8-7 lead.

The Panthers defense picked up where their special teams left off. Leading the way was sophomore defensive end Chauncey Manac, who recorded two sacks and a blocked punt in the first half.

After a competitive third quarter, the Trojans added the finishing touches with a rushing touchdown from their star quarterback to seal the deal for the visitors from Brooks County.  

Putting on a show for Brooks County, Parrish finished with 84 yards, completing 10 of 22 attempts.  He also added 21 rushing attempts for a total of 51 yards and one 20-yard reception.

“The weather played a huge part in this game, and we can attribute that to many of the chances that we had to make,” Brooks County Head Coach Maurice Freeman said.  “We like to pass the ball much more, about 70 percent of the time. We had to make adjustments for that after the rain.”

The game felt an overcast of emotion, as this marked the first time that the Trojans took the field after a tragic car accident took the lives of three of their teammates in July.

 “It was definitely hard, playing without them,” Freeman said.  “Many of the problems that we had tonight, those guys could have prevented or fixed. Things just won’t be the same without them.”

Shortly before the start of the second half, the stadium observed a moment of silence and prayer for the Brooks community and the friends and family of the three young men that have come to be known as the “BC3.”

Sophomore Devon Wimms added 33 yards on nine carries for the Trojans, who finished with 200 total yards of offense.

The Trojans hold the edge in the head-to-head matchup with Clinch County, having now won nine of 15 games against the Panthers.

Brooks County (1-0) will travel to Albany to square off against the Tornadoes of Monroe High School.  Clinch (0-1) will see their next action on the road in Camilla, where they will face off against the Eagles of Mitchell County.

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