ABERDEEN, Miss., - Valentine's Day is still months away but Ray Brooks' defense left Lester Miley Stadium with 'Love' on their minds.
As in Aberdeen senior running back Jamerson Love. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder accumulated 316 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns in the Bulldogs 52-14 blowout.
"I knew the team was depending on me so I just put them on my back," Love said. "I just try to practice hard and play hard. That's the best game I have ever had since I've played at Aberdeen High School."
Love picked up 238 yards on 16 carries and four touchdowns and also caught a pair of passes for 78 yards and another score.
In all Aberdeen (1-1) totaled 436 yards chewing up 338 yards on the ground and another 98 via the air in the absence of starting quarterback Aaron Andrews, who was injured in the Bulldogs double overtime loss to Columbus last week.
Dezmond Jones filled in behind center completing 9-of-14 passing for 98 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
"We went into last week and thought we were in real good shape but our quarterback got hurt the second drive," said Aberdeen head coach Chris Duncan. "Dez came in and with a week of practice really played a whole lot better. I'm glad to see that. We've got two quarterbacks now and Ray Brooks is a pretty good ball team and has got a lot of athletes. I'm glad of the way we bounced back and prepared to play this week. That's a sign of a good ball team that can do that. We're still making a lot of mistakes and need to improve but overall I was pleased from week one to week two."
Love got things started late in the first quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run. Brandon Smith ran in for the two-point conversion giving the Bulldogs an early 8-0 lead.
Love picked up his second rushing score on Aberdeen's first drive of the second quarter from 33-yards out. He later snagged a screen pass from Jones and tore through the Tiger defense for an 80-yard score for a 20-0 advantage at halftime.
Ray Brooks made a game of it in the third quarter shutting out the Bulldogs and adding a score of their own. A Willie Lewis interception return set up the Tigers at the AHS 31-yard line. On the ensuing play, Mississippi State commitment Cordell Giles rolled right and found Jonathan Jackson in the end zone pulling Ray Brooks within 20-6.
"It was a good route ran by the receiver," Giles said. "He made the cornerback jump to the outside and came back with a post route. I just read it pretty good and the front line held their blocks and I have to congratulate those guys."
Love tore off a 64-yard scamper on the next play from scrimmage setting up a 10-yard touchdown for himself. Rashad Pargo added the extra point extending the Bulldogs lead to 27-6 early in the fourth quarter.
Pargo also came through with an interception on Ray Brooks' next play from scrimmage to set up yet another 10-yard scoring scurry from Love. Pargo's point after was again true building the advantage to 34-6.
Smith picked off Giles on the next drive to set up a 39-yard touchdown run by Victor Hodges putting the Bulldogs up 40-6.
The Aberdeen defense then got in on the scoring action when Michael Hodges intercepted a Giles pass deep in their own territory and returned it 3-yards for the touchdown.
The Tigers responded with their longest drive of the night going 59-yards in eight plays capped off when Robert Moore plowed in from 2-yards out. Giles then found Montavious Moore for the two-point conversion with 50-seconds remaining in the game.
But Ray Brooks did not cover the ensuing kickoff allowing Smith to tear off a 75-yard return for the final score of the night.
The Tigers totaled 108 yards with 77 yards rushing and 31 passing in their 2009 debut. Robert Moore led the way on the ground carrying 11 times for 59 yards and a touchdown.
Giles completed 1-of-6 passing for 31 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He also ran four times for -6 yards and also made seven stops defensively including one for loss.
Ray Brooks 0 0 6 8 - 14 Aberdeen 8 12 0 32- 52
First Quarter AHS -Jamerson Love 3-yard run (Brandon Smith run) Second Quarter AHS- Love 33-yard run (kick failed) AHS- Dezmond Jones 80-yard pass to Love (pass failed) Third Quarter RBS - Cordell Giles 31-yard pass to Jonathan Jackson (run failed) Fourth Quarter AHS- Love 10-yard run (Rashad Pargo kick) AHS- Love 10-yard run (Pargo kick) AHS- Victor Hodges 39-yard run (kick failed) AHS- Michael Hodges 3-yard interception return (pass failed) RBS- Robert Moore 2-yard run (Giles pass to Montavious Moore) AHS- Brandon Smith 75-yard kickoff return (kick failed)
Individual Statistics: RUSHING: Ray Brooks- Robert Moore 11-59, Jonathan Jackson 4-18, Contrell Moore 8-6, Kezwic Thomas 1-4, Team 2-(-4), Cordell Giles 4-(-6); Aberdeen- Jamerson Love 16-238, Victor Hodges 6-78, Dezmond Jones 4-13, Erik Buchanan 1-9
Passing: Ray Brooks - Cordell Giles 1-4-31-1; Aberdeen - Dezmond Jones 9-14-98-1
Receiving: Ray Brooks- Jonathan Jackson 1-31; Aberdeen - Jamerson Love 2-78, Mario Lucas 4-10, Rashad Pargo 1-8, Erik Buchanan 2-2