PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - Petal High School returned to a damp football field after a lengthy lightning delay on Friday, knotted 7-7 with rival Oak Grove.
Panthers head coach Marcus Boyles put the football in the hands of senior Micah McGowan 27 times. The senior turned those carries into 215 yards and a touchdown – helping his team to a 21-7 victory.
“I think the [offensive] line did a great job,” McGowan said. “Everybody really did their part. The coaches coached a great game. I saw a hole every time. I told coach I was going to break one eventually.”
“We thought offensively we were controlling the line of scrimmage and [McGowan] was running extremely hard,” Boyles said. “They stacked the box and he was close to breaking through that first level. If he did, he would’ve been in the secondary.”
McGowan’s night adds to an already prolific senior season that’s seen him average 7.3 yards per carry. He’s racked up a total of 868 yards and nine touchdowns through six games.
“I remember him as a seventh and eighth grader at our middle school,” Boyles said. “You could tell he had a lot of potential and he’s just worked extremely hard to get to where he’s at at this point. That’s what a lot of people don’t see is the hard work he puts in every day.”
McGowan is just the pacesetter among a group of Panthers that is highly motivated. After opening last season with a record of 1-6, Petal is 5-1 for the first time since 2014.
“We have a lot of leaders on this team and we work a lot harder than we did last year,” McGowan said. “I think we’re a pretty special group.”
“Going back to last year, what we went through – starting out 1-6 last year,” Boyles said. “Now to be where we are today, I think that made our kids grow up a lot and not take things for granted. They’re hungry, they want to win. They want to do the little things in practice to make sure we have a chance to be successful on Friday night.”