By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
IUKA – Dejesuse Rogers wisely used the words of his dad Friday night to help him dodge his opponents and get the Booneville Blue Devils back in the win column.
Booneville ruined Tishomingo County’s homecoming with a 28-7 victory and snapped a two-game losing streak.
Rogers compiled 236 yards on 20 rushes, an average of 11.8 yards per carry, with a touchdown and made a habit of making defenders miss.
“The way how I made them miss, I used my dad’s old techniques – show them the leg and take it away,” said Rogers, a sophomore. “I have to use my fundamentals.”
The Blue Devils’ offensive line, including Ross Smith, Daniel Hill, Chris Sparks, Tyler Floyd and Weston Spencer, gave Rogers and his fellow backs plenty of space to run.
“The second half they were the key,” Booneville coach Mike Mattox said. “I challenged our offensive linemen and they came off the ball the second half like they were capable of.”
Andrew Lambert found the first big hole with 8:33 to play in the third quarter and ran 50 yards untouched to break a 7-7 halftime tie.
Following an interception by Andrew Smith, the Blue Devils milked the clock with a seven-minute, 12-play drive that lasted well into the final period.
After 11 straight rushing attempts to start the drive, Booneville mixed things up after a timeout. Jack Simpson hit Zane Lott on a 5-yard touchdown pass to give the Blue Devils some breathing room.
Jordan Miller added a two-point conversion reception and a scoring run late in the fourth to seal it for Booneville (3-2).
The Braves (3-2) took a 7-0 lead just before the first quarter ended on a 64-yard scoring connection from Blake Hawkins to Hunter Pounders.
Four turnovers halted the hosts’ offense in the second half, though. Hawkins finished with 171 yards combined yards.
“When you have a drive like we had a couple of times tonight, (turnovers) kill the whole momentum of the game,” Braves coach Lanny Jones said. “You kind of just go out flat, and then you have one big play and you’re flatter than you were before.”