By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
OKOLONA – With a matchup with in-county rival Calhoun City looming next week, Bruce coach James Ray couldn’t help but be nervous for a possible trap game at Okolona.
Turns out, Ray didn’t need to worry after all. His Trojans took care of business 44-8 at Charles Faulkner Field Friday night, setting up what will be a region championship game next week in Bruce after Calhoun City defeated Hatley.
“I was nervous coming in more than any other game,” Ray said. “In practice, it turned cold and wet and everybody wanted to talk about Calhoun City. It was tough trying to squash that and get focused for this game.”
His team clinched a home playoff spot with the win.
Bruce found success through the air in the first half, with Davis Brown completing 12 of 15 passes in the half for 134 yards and three touchdowns.
Brown and Shaq Bush connected for the Trojans first two scores. Receptions of 17 and 20 yards for Bush put Bruce up 14-0 after the first quarter.
Following a snap out of the end zone by the Chieftains that resulted in a safety, Bruce would score on their first play after the ensuing kickoff. Brown’s 37 yard pass to Demetrius Evans made it 23-0 Trojans at halftime.
“Okolona did a good job shutting down the running game, so we threw the ball early in the game,” Ray said. “We just take what they give us.”
Brown’s only second half pass was completed to Rashad Turner for a 12 yard touchdown.
Ben Williams would help Bruce (9-1, 4-0 Region 1-2A) control the clock in the second half. Williams finished with 94 yards on six carries and added a 51 yard touchdown in the third.
Okolona (3-7, 1-3) got on the board with under a minute left in the game on Rod Jones’ 17 yard TD run and Pedro Clay’s two-point conversion run.
Evans capped Bruce’s scoring with a 32 yard interception return for a TD early in the fourth.
Everett Brooks (63) and Fred Ward (44) combined for over 100 yards rushing to lead the Chieftains.