QUITMAN -- Brooks County's Jaboa Dixon needed nine games to score his first touchdown of the season, but it took him less than six seconds to score his next one.
The junior linebacker helped the Trojans launch a blitzkrieg that didn't let up in the first half as they coasted to a 47-13 win over Region 1-AA foe Berrien Friday night at Veterans Stadium.
The victory assured the Trojans (5-4 overall, 3-2 in 1-AA) of a berth in the Class AA playoffs, which they will enter as a No. 3 seed and face the No. 2 seed from Region 3.
When the Brooks County defense pinned the Rebels (4-6, 1-5) on their own 35-yard line in the game's first offensive series, Dixon blocked Jordan Stokes' punt and returned it 25 yards, untouched, for a score.
On the first play of the Rebels' next possession, Dixon stepped inside of the line of fire of Stokes, who was lined up at quarterback, intercepted his pass and dashed 33 yards to the end zone.
"I read his eyes," Dixon said. "This game will help me out a lot. I couldn't make reads that good before, but now I think I can do it a lot better. It was good. (Brooks County head coach Ryan Branch) told us to come out and play hard, and that's what we did."
When the Trojans' offense finally made it onto the field, they didn't waste time either.
They needed just two plays to set up a 35-yard touchdown run by fullback Marcus Stroud on their first series, then used four plays to cover 56 yards on the next possession, capped by another 35-yard score from Stroud.
Donnell Golden added a 34-yard touchdown run with 43 seconds left in the first quarter, and the Trojans carried a 34-0 lead into the second.
Brooks County's hot start was a good sign for Branch.
"We preached all week that we can be our own worst enemy in these last two games," he said. "I wanted them to come out with the same intensity they came out with against everybody that we played in good games this season. They did that."
Malcom Jackson turned the longest run of the night, a 61-yard scamper up the sidelines, into another rushing touchdown for the Trojans early in the second quarter. Golden scored for the second time when he ran through the Berrien defense for a 24-yard touchdown less than a minute before halftime, giving Brooks County a 47-0 lead.
"The entire team played well tonight," Branch said, "We just want to continue to get better. I think we did a good job of that this week at practice and that's exactly what we need to do."
Berrien picked up two touchdowns with less than five minutes to play.
Kendrick Riley connected with Brad Wells on a halfback pass for a 24-yard touchdown with 4:17 remaining, and the Rebels recovered an onside attempt on the ensuing kickoff. That set up a three-play, 50-yard drive that was finished off by quarterback Berchard Hines' 11-yard run for the last score of the night.
Although the season didn't end well for the Rebels, who won't make the playoffs this year, head coach Mike Hill said there's reason to look favorably toward the future.
"I believe the kids realize that some of the key positions will be back next year, and they've got a shot," Hill said. "Of course, we've got to get better, bigger and stronger and improve on what we're doing."
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