LUMBERTON, MS (WDAM) - Lumberton fell to Simmons in the 1A state championship game Friday morning.
In the first quarter Lumberton got an early lead after Erron Joseph blocked a Simmons punt. The ball was scooped up by Davion Edwards for a touchdown, bringing the game to 6-0.
The lead was short lived as Simmons returned with a touchdown, bringing the game to 6-6 tie with six minutes left in the first quarter.
Simmons kept the momentum with an impressive interception at the bottom of the first quarter, starting the top of the second on Lumberton's one yard line.
Marquez Pam would ultimately bring the team to a 14-6 lead over Lumberton three seconds into the quarter.
After Simmons kicked the ball out of bounds, Lumberton regained possession at the 35 yard line with 11:57 left in the half.
Lumberton was unable to keep possession of the ball after going for it, getting stopped just short of a first down.
Simmons took control of the ball and scored, bringing the lead to 22-6 over the Panthers with 1:41 remaining in the half.
Lumberton got a a big play with a 50-yard pass from Tribett to Buckner, but was hindered on downs inside the Devils' 25-yard line for the second straight time.
With turnovers being Lumberton's demise, the half ended at the same 22-6 score.
The Panthers redeemed themselves at the top of the third quarter with a nice 22-yard run by Dre Coleman to the Simmons' 19-yard line. Tribett ran for a touchdown on the next play bringing the score to 22-14.
Simmons would return with a score, but was pulled back after a flag was thrown on the play for holding.
Lumberton failed to score for the third time after driving inside Simmons 25-yard line, turning the ball over to the Blue Devils at Simmons' 23-yard line, wrapping up the third quarter.
Simmons would fumble the snap allowing Lumberton to regain control at the 2-yard line. Lumberton pushed into the endzone, bringing the score to 22-20 after a failed 2-point conversion.
With penalty after penalty being called, Simmons would get another touchdown after an unnecessary roughness call against Lumberton. With just 4 minutes left in the game, the score would be 30-20.
Simmons would recover after a bad kick, but the Panthers managed to get possession of the ball back with just a few minutes remaining in the game.
With 1:43 remaining, Erron Joseph made two incredible catches, pulling Lumberton within four points of Simmons and bringing the score to 30-26.
Another turnover would seal the deal for a state title for Simmons.
The Blue Devils (13-0), the defending 1A champions, won their 25th consecutive game while snapping Lumberton's 11-game winning streak.
The loss also marked the first time in five trips to the state football finals that Lumberton (12-3) had not won the crown. The Panthers won state titles in 1983, 2004, 2005 and 2010.
Quarterback Jared Tribett ran for two touchdowns and threw for another, but two, first-quarter interceptions led to 14 Blue Devils' points, as Simmons jumped out to a 22-6 halftime lead.
Dre Coleman ran for a game-high 114 yards for the Panthers.
Simmons running back Marquez Pam, who was named Most Valuable Player, ran for 91 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a 2-point conversion pass.
Quarterback Chandler Robinson ran for a touchdown and threw for another for the Blue Devils.