By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Brookhaven Academy quarterback Gage Posey’s cannon made the most noise in Friday’s MAIS Class AA state championship shootout.
The left-hander completed 24 of 27 passes for 362 yards and six touchdowns – three in the fourth quarter – to lead the Cougars to a wild 49-40 victory against Marshall Academy at Millsaps College’s Harper Davis Field.
“I knew it was going to be a close game, a shootout,” Posey said.
Posey’s sixth TD pass, a 53-yarder to Seth Rushing with 5 minutes, 48 seconds remaining gave the Cougars their winning margin. A pass interception by Matthew Evans with 2:43 left sealed the win.
“Posey’s a tremendous player, the best quarterback I’ve played against,” said Marshall’s Aaron McAlexander, whose 95-yard kickoff return for a TD cut Brookhaven’s lead to 42-40 with 6:54 remaining. “We made plays; they made plays. They just made one more.”
McAlexander had five catches for 128 yards and one TD. He also returned a fumble 45 yards for a score in the first half.
Marshall (11-3) took its lone lead, 28-21, in the opening minute of the third quarter when quarterback Dakota Dailey scored on a 59-yard keeper.
Dailey, a sophomore, rushed for 163 yards and completed 9 of 15 for 190 yards and two TDs. His second scoring pass was a 20-yarder to fullback Zach Pritchett in the fourth quarter.
Posey completed 11 of 11 passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns in the first half to give the Cougars (11-4) a 21-20 halftime lead.
He gave his team an early 14-0 lead, hooking up for scoring strikes of 43 yards to Evans and 22 yards to Caleb Brown.
Brookhaven’s second TD came three plays after a 5-yard punt by Marshall put the Cougars at the Patriots’ 35 yard line.
Marshall answered late in the first quarter when McAlexander hauled in a 19-yard TD pass from Dailey. Moments later, McAlexander’s fumble return cut Brookhaven’s lead to 14-12.
A Posey TD pass gave the Cougars a 21-12 lead in the second quarter.
Marshall answered with a 62-yard, 10-play drive capped by Pritchett’s 4-yard run. The Patriots lost their leading rusher, tailback Devin McGreger, to an ankle injury on the first play of the drive.