Lumberton 66, Stringer 14
Two weeks ago, when Lumberton High School visited Stringer High School in the regular-season football finale, Coach Zach Jones felt like the Panthers “left some meat on the bone” despite claiming a Region 4-1A victory.
Friday night, the Panthers did their best imitation of Jack Spratt and wife, and licked the Red Devils’ platter clean in the Class 1A South State semifinals.
Dre Coleman sparked a dominating ground game, rushing for 362 yards and six touchdowns on 23 carries as Lumberton rolled past Stringer 66-14.
“The offense executed, and that was the one thing that we didn’t do before when we went up there,” Jones said of the Panthers’ 34-14 victory over the Red Devils on Nov. 4. “We executed (Friday) night, and defensively, for all but one play, I thought we played really good defense all night.”
The Panthers’ 10th consecutive victory sent them into the Class 1A South State title game, where Lumberton (11-2) will host Nanih Waiya High School at 7 p.m. Frdiay. The Warriors (13-1) defeated Resurrection Catholic High School 27-0 Friday night.
“We’re at home, and that’s big this time of year,” Jones said. “In our (classification), there’s a lot of traveling, and that’s probably a three-hour ride, and we had to make that trip there last year in the second round.
“So, I hope that it’s going to be an advantage being at home, anyway.”
If Lumberton can run the football the way it did Friday night, the field may not matter.
The Panthers amassed 596 yards total offense and scored 10 touchdowns against Stringer. Lumberton ran for 449 yards and eight touchdowns.
“Our offensive line, they were challenged,” Jones said. “Let’s just say that they were challenged through the entire week of the practice.”
Coleman, who caught a 59-yard touchdown pass, accounted for 421 total yards. Jayson Buckley added 72 yards and a touchdown on three carries.
Quarterback Jared Tribett, who ran for a score, completed 7 of 12 passes for 88 yards, including a touchdown pass to Donnell Buckner (two catches, 35 yards). Rodriqus Coleman threw the scoring pass to Dre Coleman.
Erron Joseph and Manny Joseph each caught a 2-point conversion pass, while Rodriqus Coleman ran for a 2-point conversion.
Dakota Walters led the defensive effort with 10 tackles, including a sack.
Picayune 40, Wayne County 38
Isidro Loya capped a mad-dash drive by Picayune High School in the final 94 seconds of the Class 5A South State semifinal game with a game-winning, 30-yard field goal with 8.2 seconds left to play.
The Maroon Tide (12-1) will host Laurel High School (12-1) in the Class 5A South State title game at 7 p.m. Friday. The Golden Tornadoes defeated Hattiesburg High School 45-42 Friday night.
Picayune led 22-7 at halftime, but the War Eagles (7-6) battled back behind the play of quarterback Zabyran Jackson to take a 28-22 lead after three quarters. The lead went back and forth in the fourth quarter, with Wayne County going up 38-37 on Chris Cooley’s 1-yard run with 1:34 to play.
That set the stage for the Tide’s dramatic final drive and Loya’s kick.
As usual, Picayune relied on a potent ground game, rolling up 416 yards on 51 carries. Josh Littles rushed for 183 yards and a score on 25 carries, Blake Merrifield added 99 yards and a touchdown on six carries and Shaun Anderson ran for 86 yards on nine carries.
David Baker rushed for 25 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries and added a 2-point conversion run as well.
Quarterback Skylar Bowman completed 8 of 13 passes for 109 yards, including a touchdown pass to V.J. Holt (three catches, 57 yards).
Jackson ran for 99 yards and two scores for the War Eagles and threw for 167 yards and two touchdowns. Garius Myers caught a 19-yard score and Will Mangum grabbed a 23-yard scoring pass.
Florence 28, Purvis 7
Degerrick Lee ran for 196 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Brad Dennis ran for one touchdown and threw for another as the Eagles dominated the second half and downed the Tornadoes in a Class 4A South State semifinal game.
Florence (12-2) will take on Poplarville (11-1) in the Class 4A South State title game at 7 p.m. Friday. The Hornets advanced with a 60-12 victory at Mendenhall High School.
Dennis completed 11 of 15 passes for 131 yards and ran for 138 yards on 29 carries. Wyatt Graham had three catches for a 25 yards and a touchdown.
C.J. Bolar, who had two catches for 30 yards, accounted for Purvis’ lone score on an 86-yard run. Leading rusher John Bolton was limited to 35 yards on 14 carries.
Quarterback Mason Kendrick completed 5 of 7 passes for 70 yards for the Tornadoes (9-4).
Kemper County 48, Seminary 23
The Bulldogs led 7-6 after one quarter and trailed just 18-16 at halftime, but the Wildcats outscored them 30-7 to eliminate Seminary High School from the Class 3A playoffs.
Kemper County (13-1) will take on Raleigh High School in Class 3A South State title game at 7 pm. Friday. The Lions (13-1) defeated Hazlehurst High School 42-22 Friday night.
Seminary (10-4) was led by Felix McCullum, who ran for 84 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, while Tyveron Morgan ran for 64 yards on 13 carries.
Quarterback Jeff Miller ran for a score and threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Pickering. Brazos Webb added a 45-yard field goal.