• Braxton Sharp eludes a Dyer County defender during Brighton's 48-28 playoff win Friday night over Dyer County. Photo by Laura Drew Holmes

Nobody knew quite what to expect when Brighton took the field Friday night for a Class 5A first round playoff game vs. Dyer County because nothing quite like this had ever happened before.

Thanks to COVID-19, the Cardinals had not played a game in nearly a month. If the Cardinals had come out sluggish or rusty, that would have certainly been understandable.

They did not.


Just like it was in their last game Oct. 9 vs. Fayette-Ware, Brighton’s rushing attack was unstoppable.

Braxton Sharp and Nick Harvell, just like Oct. 9, both had monster games on the ground as Brighton moved on to round two with a decisive 48-28 home win.

Sharp, who has been one of the best sophomore running backs in West Tennessee this season, ran for 219 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries.

When he wasn’t running right through the Dyer County defense quarterback Nick Harvell was. He finished with 170 yards on 27 carries.

Brighton (6-5) now moves on to play Henry County, the Region 7-5A champ, on Friday in Paris.

Dyer County (7-3) went ahead 7-0 on its first possession of the game, but Sharp sent a message on Brighton’s first play from scrimmage with an 80-yard TD run.

The Choctaws led 21-12 late in the first quarter, but it was all Brighton from that point as the Cardinals scored 28 straight points over the next quarter and a half.

Harvell added touchdown runs of three, five and 16 yards.

Dyer County quarterback Jason Stewart led Dyer County with 177 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.

Brighton finished with 423 rushing yards.

This is Brighton’s first trip to the playoffs since 2017. That year the Cardinals won at Henry County in the quarterfinals before falling to Beech in the semifinals.


Jeff Ireland
Author: Jeff Ireland