August 30, 2009 12:04:00 AM
ABERDEEN -- Valentine''s Day is still months away, but Ray Brooks'' defense left Lester Miley Stadium with ''Love'' on their minds.
Aberdeen senior running back Jamerson Love accumulated 316 all-purpose yards and scored five touchdowns Friday night 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, a 5-foot-11, 175-pounder, picked up 238 yards on 16 carries and four touchdowns. He caught a pair of passes for 78 yards and another score.
In all, Aberdeen (1-1) totaled 436 yards (338 yards rushing, 98 passing) without starting quarterback Aaron Andrews, who was injured in the Bulldogs'' double overtime loss to Columbus last week.
Dezmond Jones filled in behind center and completed 9 of 14 passes for 98 yards and one touchdown. He threw one interception.
"We went into last week and thought we were in real good shape, but our quarterback got hurt the second drive," Aberdeen 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 to give the Bulldogs an 8-0 lead.
Love picked up his second rushing score on Aberdeen''s first drive of the second quarter from 33 yards. He later snagged a screen pass from Jones and tore through the 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. A Willie Lewis interception return set up the Tigers at the AHS 31. On the ensuing play, Mississippi State commitment Cordell Giles rolled right and found Jonathan Jackson in the end zone to pull Ray Brooks to 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 to set up a 10-yard touchdown for himself. Rashad Pargo added the extra point to extend 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 another 10-yard scoring scurry from Love. Pargo''s point after was again true and pushed the advantage to 34-6.
Smith picked off Giles on the next drive to set up a 39-yard touchdown run by Victor Hodges to give the Bulldogs a 40-6 lead.
The Aberdeen defense then got in on the scoring action when Michael Hodges intercepted a Giles pass 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 by a Robert Moore 2-yard burst. Giles found Montavious Moore for the two-point conversion with 50-seconds remaining in the game.
But Ray Brooks didn''t cover the ensuing kickoff, which allowed Smith to tear off a 75-yard return for the final score.
The Tigers totaled 108 yards, with 77 yards rushing and 31 passing in their 2009 debut. Moore led the way on the ground, carrying 11 times for 59 yards and a touchdown.
Giles was 1-for-6 for 31 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. He also ran four times for -6 yards and made seven tackles, including one for loss.