Laphand’s late TD lifts Purvis over Seminary, 19-13

Tornadoes improve to 4-0 for 1st time in a decade

Laphand’s late TD lifts Purvis over Seminary, 19-13
Purvis High School scored with 1:01 to play Friday night to claim a 19-13 victory at Seminary High School. (Source: Purvis Tornadoes)

SEMINARY, Miss. (WDAM) - After taking a glance at the game clock before trotting onto the football field for what likely would be Purvis High School’s final possession of regulation Friday night, quarterback Hunter Robinson never doubted for a moment that the Tornadoes could pull off a victory without resorting to overtime.

“We had what, 3 minutes on the clock, so we knew that we had plenty of time left,” Robinson said. “There was no need to rush. Just take our time and run the football.”

Which is exactly what Purvis did.

After the Tornadoes drove 43 yards to the Seminary 30-yard line, Keoki Laphand cut back “Z-Bang Power Left” to the right, found a crease and outraced the pursuit to the end zone to snap a 13-13 tie with 61 seconds left in the game and give Purvis a 19-13 road win at Seminary High School.

“I just knew it was six (points),” said Laphand, who was seeing his first action of 2020 after being sidelined for three games with a bum hip.

“I just knew it.”

The Bulldogs (1-2) had 1:01 left to work with, but a fumble on the ensuing kickoff was recovered by the Tornadoes. Robinson then took a knee on three consecutive snaps to run out the clock

The victory at Bulldog Field kept the Tornadoes (4-0) unbeaten. The last time Purvis started a season with four wins: 2010.

“It’s a pretty special group of guys,” Purvis coach Brad Hankins said. “They get after it and they play their (rears) off, and that’s why I love them.”

The Tornadoes found themselves down 7-0 early after Seminary quarterback Jabori Potts found Lamarion Haynes with a 54-yard touchdown pass on the game’s opening possession.

Purvis tied the game on Ty Badon’s 16-yard, cutback run with 8:55 left in the second quarter. The Tornadoes then went 61 yards to take a 13-7 lead into halftime on Robinson’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Nored with 2:13 left in the period.

Seminary tied the game 13-13 on its first possession of the second half, mounting a 77-yard drive that Cameron Sanford capped with a 12-yard, would-not-be-denied touchdown run that took two Tornadoes into the end zone with him.

At the end of the third quarter, Purvis started a drive near midfield that carried into the fourth and had the Tornadoes first-and-goal at the 7-yard line.

The Bulldogs bowed up, stopping Kade Sherrill a yard shy of the goal line on third down and then stuffing Robinson at the 1-yard line on a rush-to-the-line-of-scrimmage-and-snap quarterback sneak attempt.

Seminary moved deliberately from the shadow of its goal posts, including a 38-yard run by Ladarius Keys for the initial first down.

Two more firsts took the Bulldogs into Tornadoes' territory before a personal foul penalty helped stall the drive inside Purvis' 35-yard line. Seminary punted, setting up the Tornadoes' game-winning march.

“I was hoping it would be a close game, and it was,” Seminary coach Brian Rials said. "Two pretty good teams getting after it.

“We just gave up one big play there, one big drive there. I told them it was going to come down to who made the last play, and they did. So, hats off to them, they’re a great team. But I’m proud of my guys fighting until the end.”

Purvis will open Region 7-4A play at 7 p.m. Friday at Stone High School. The Tomcats (1-2) fell 56-50 Friday to Moss Point High School.

Seminary will open Region 8-3A action at 7 p.m. Friday by welcoming Magee High School. The Trojans (2-0) handed Crystal Springs High School its first loss of the season Friday, downing the Tigers 54-1

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