By Ruthie Robison The Winston County Journal
Louisville native and former Wildcat head coach Brad Peterson continues his coaching success at Brandon High School.
Peterson, 38, was hired as Bulldog head coach in the spring of 2010. After two seasons at Brandon, Peterson led the Bulldogs to their best record in school history (12-3), and a first ever Mississippi High School Activities Association title game appearance.
The Bulldogs grabbed the Class 6A South State championship on Friday, Nov. 23 at home against the Petal Panthers. Brandon outscored Petal 35-23 cutting the Panther’s 11-game winning streak to advance to the pinnacle of Mississippi high school football.
Peterson and the Bulldogs made the short trip to Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, accompanied by a record high number of fans and supporters. The Bulldogs and Tigers exchanged scoring plays throughout the game in a competitive rubber matchup.
Brandon grabbed the advantage over South Panola several times until the Tigers made a scoring play with 2:19 left in the game clinching a 31-23 close decision win over the Bulldogs, and claiming the MHSAA Class 6A state championship.
“I am proud of the way we played and came back and had a chance there at the end,” Peterson said after the title game.
The 1993 graduate of Louisville High School is no stranger to state title games, however.
Peterson led the Louisville Wildcats in capturing back-to-back State championships in 2007 and 2008 before becoming Brandon’s head coach.
After taking the Bulldogs to the Class 6A State football championship in the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Gridiron Classic, Peterson spoke about how he hoped that the momentum from this season will carry over into the upcoming 2013 season.
“These guys made history by getting us here for the first time,” said Peterson. “We played well, but fell short. We have to try to find a way to build on this and get back next year.”
With the end of the MHSAA 2012 football season, the Mississippi Association of Coaches honored Peterson as Class 6A coach of the year.