MENDENHALL _ Presbyterian Christian School had made its living through the first three games of the football season by overpowering opponents with a running game that was averaging right at 390 rushing yards per game.
Friday night, Simpson County Academy limited the Bobcats to less than half that (176 yards rushing), but PCS still found a way to win, topping the Cougars 26-8 Friday night.
“We were in a dogfight,” PCS coach Joey Hawkins said. “It was like the old days. Defense and field position won it.”
Not the ground game disappeared. PCS still hammered the football at the Cougars 46 times, and all four of its touchdowns came on the ground as the Bobcats (4-0) won their 18th consecutive regular-season game.
PCS led 12-8 at halftime and then scored twice in the second half as the defense kept Simpson (1-3) off the scoreboard in the final two quarters.
“Any time you can get a win on the road against a physical opponent, you take it any way you can get it,” Hawkins said.
Sophomore Eric Robinson scored a pair of touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. Robinson ran for 19 yards on six carries and caught two passes for 45 yards.
Senior Sheldon James was held to less than 100 yards rushing for the first time this season but still led the Bobcats with 86 yards on 22 carries. Junior Alden Rhian had 48 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
Junior quarterback Brandon Thornton completed 4 of 7 passes for 65 yards and a score and also rushed for 19 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
PCS will remain on the road, travelling to Meridian to take on Lamar School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Raiders (2-3) defeated Heritage Academy 27-3 Friday.
Laurel 25, Petal 23
LAUREL _ For a second consecutive season, the Class 5A Golden Tornadoes kicked a last-second field goal to take down the Class 6A Panthers.
After juniors Sinclair Ulmer and Jontarious Henderson hooked up on a 53-yard pass play, senior Juan Lechuga kicked the game-winning 26-yarder just moments after Petal had taken a 23-22 lead with less than a minute to play.
It was fitting end to a ballgame that was nip and tuck from beginning to end.
The teams were tied 7-7 after one quarter, with senior Nataurean Watts scoring on a 2-yard run for the Panthers (2-2) and Henderson hauling in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ulmer for the Tornadoes (2-2).
A Lechuga field goal left Laurel ahead 10-7 at halftime.
The Golden Tornadoes extended their lead to 16-7 when senior Jaques Bester scored on a 16-yard run. But Watts grabbed an 8-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jordan Wilson to get Petal back within 16-14 at the end of the third quarter.
Dylan Hession’s field goal gave Petal a 17-16 lead early in the fourth quarter before Laurel went back ahead 22-17 on a 5-yard run by junior Zias Perryman.
But Wilson scored on a 2-yard run to put the Panthers ahead 23-22 before the Golden Tornadoes rallied to snap a two-game losing streak.
Playing for injured starting sophomore quarterback Xavier Evans, Ulmer completed 15 of 28 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Henderson grabbed five passes for 141 yards, while senior Juan Nelson caught four balls for 56 yards.
Perryman led Laurel with 110 yards on 23 carries and Bester added 71 yards on 11 carries.
Both Laurel and Petal have open weeks before returning on Sept. 22 to start play in their respective regions.
West Jones 8, Bay Springs 7
SOSO _ Junior Walker Thompson kicked two field goals and junior defensive end Byron Young scored on a safety as the Class 5A Mustangs edged the visiting Class 2A Bulldogs.
West Jones led 3-0 at halftime and scored on a field goal and safety in the fourth quarter to hang on for the won. Bay Springs (2-2) scored the game’s lone touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 17-yards pass from sophomore Adrian Cole to junior Jamarious Hosey .
The Mustangs, limited to just 153 yards total offense, lost two fumbles and three quarterbacks combined to throw three interceptions. But West Jones also recovered three fumbles to help even its record.
West Jones senior Garrick Randolph had seven catches for 75 yards for the Mustangs. Bay Springs junior running back Anson Windham had 68 yards on 12 carries for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs will visit Northeast Jones High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Class 4A Tigers (0-4) lost 41-14 to South Jones High School Friday.
West Jones has an open week before beginning Region 3-5A play on Sept. 22.
Taylorsville 46, Seminary 15
TAYLORSVILLE _ Freshman quarterback Ty Keyes threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more as the Tartars (4-0) remained unbeaten.
Keyes completed 14 of 18 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. He also ran for 60 yards and two touchdowns on four carries.
Senior Malik Strickland caught three passes for 127 yards and a touchdown and junior C.J. Williams caught a 6-yard touchdown pass. Junior Latreal Jones had four catches for 82 yards.
Senior Beron Keyes ran 16 yards and a score on five carries and sophomore Tariq McCoy had 59 yards rushing on three carries and hauled in a 53-yard pass.
Freshman running back Marquise Crosby had 153 yards two touchdowns on 15 carries for Seminary (2-2).
The Tartars will visit Columbia High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Wildcats (2-2) lost 35-7 to Perry Central High School Friday.
The Bulldogs will host Raleigh High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Lions (1-3) dropped a 26-21 decision Friday to West Marion High School.
Parklane Academy 67, Columbia Academy 44
McCOMB _ Sophomore quarterback Ras Pace threw for 395 yards and five touchdowns Friday, but the Cougars (2-2) could not keep pace with Pioneers (5-0).
Columbia trailed 23-8 after one quarter and 37-16 at halftime. The Cougars pulled to within 51-38 after three quarters, but Parklane outscored Columbia Academy 16-6 in the fourth quarter.
Pace, who completed 22 of 34 passes with two interceptions, also ran for 15 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.
Senior receiver Aaron Thomas caught 12 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown and senior tight end Owen Harper had four catches for 106 yards and three touchdowns.Senior Harrison Hartzog had three catches for 86 yards and a score.
Junior Drew Havard led the Cougars’ ground game with 98 yards on 19 carries.
Columbia Academy welcomes Adams County Christian School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Rebels (3-1) topped Wilkinson County Christian School 49-8 Friday.