Big 2nd quarter helps Seminary past Purvis, 48-22

Seminary High School outscored Purvis High School 27-6 in the second quarter on its way to a 48-22 road victory Friday night.
Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 12:19 PM CDT
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PURVIS, Miss. (WDAM) _ Maybe, just maybe, the Seminary High School Bulldogs are starting to catch on _pun intended _ to the potentially potent offensive scheme newly installed this season.

Quarterback Wade Barr threw four touchdown passes and running back Ladarious Keys scored four times as the Bulldogs ran off with a 48-22 road victory Friday night at Purvis High School.

Seminary (2-3) trailed 9-7 after one quarter, but then outscored the Tornadoes 27-6 in the second period to grab a 34-15 lead.

Purvis (1-3) opened the second half with a touchdown to get within two scores, but the Bulldogs tacked on a touchdown in each of third and fourth quarters to snap a three-game losing streak.

“I’m just excited that we’ve got kids who’ve decided they can make plays and aren’t scared playing scared anymore,” Seminary coach Mitch Evans said. “Early in the year, we had a bunch of kids who had never done it before, in a new offense, doing things they had never done.”

Evans, who is in first season at Seminary, brought with him a spread offense that helped Taylorsville High School win three of the last four Class 2A state championships.

For the Bulldogs, who had relied on the run-dominant Wing-T offense seemingly since the dawn of Mississippi high school football, it was a bit of a culture shock.

“For them to have some success and get some confidence, I thought that was big, and they kept making plays (Friday) night.”

None more so than Keys, who started the game off with a bang, returning the opening kickoff 91 yards down the visitors’ sideline for a 7-0 Seminary lead.

Purvis came right back to tie the game 7-7, with quarterback Walker Flatt hooking up with running back Conner Lawler for a 65-yard touchdown on third-and-9.

A fielding mistake on the ensuing kickoff pinned the Bulldogs at their own 6-yard line, leading to a fourth-down safety and 9-7 Purvis lead after one quarter.

The lead changed quickly.

Three plays into the second quarter, Barr found Michael Musgrove over the middle at the Purvis 45-yard line. Musgrove outran the pursuit to the end zone to complete the 64-yard play, and after a missed extra point, the Bulldogs led 13-7.

After forcing the Tornadoes to turn over the ball on downs, Seminary needed just five plays to cover 59 yards for a 20-7 lead. Running back Konner Smith ripped off two runs for a combined 33 yards, and Barr capped the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Alex Watson.

The Tornadoes got back within seven points when running back Moses Cummings beat the Bulldogs around right end on a 5-yard scoring run to pull Purvis within 20-15 with 4 minutes left to play in the first half.

But Seminary would tack on two more touchdowns, courtesy of Keys.

Keys first broke through the middle and once in the clear, sped 58 yards for a 27-15 Bulldogs’ lead.

After a failed fake punt set up Seminary at the Tornadoes’ 32-yard line, Keys went around the left side on the next snap to send the Bulldogs into the lockeroom at halftime with a 19-point lead.

“We’re kind of taking our lumps right now,” Purvis coach Brad Hankins said. “Seminary’s got a great football team. Those kids are athletic and that offensive line up front is pretty good.

“We need some of these younger guys to grow up, but I thought they kept playing hard and didn’t quit, so we’ll try to build off that.”

Purvis opened the second half with a 75-yard drive, with Tommy Easterling scoring on a 16-yard touchdown run to get the Tornadoes to within 34-22.

Momentum stayed with the Tornadoes, who forced a Seminary punt. But two snaps later, defensive lineman Jerry Potts recovered a fumble at the Purvis 24-yard line, and four plays later, Barr found Keys with a 16-yard touchdown pass.

Barr and Watson hooked up for the second time in the game, with their 43-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter rounding out the night’s scoring.

“It’s like we’ve been talking about all year, each week, it’s about getting a better us,” Evans said. “It’s not about who we’re playing, it’s about us trying to improve so that we can get the outcomes that we want.

“You’re always trying to improve every week, because if you can’t improve at this point in the year, you’re not going to get very far.”

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