The Pascagoula Panthers are headed to the 5A State Championship after beating the Pearl River Central Blue Devils 17 to 10 before a full house Friday night in Pearl River County. It was an especially tough match considering just three weeks ago, the Blue Devils beat the Panthers 26 to 20.
Pascagoula quarterback Stacey Warren went 18-yards for an apparent touchdown, but a holding call nullified the TD. On that play, the Panthers had to settle for a field goal. Grant Warren drilled a 32-yard attempt giving the Panthers of Lewis Sims a three to nothing lead.
Pearl River Central quarterback Dylan Spears then threw a pass, and Luis Williams came up with the interception at the Blue Devils' 20 yard line. Pascagoula extended its lead 10 to zero with a quick hand off from Warren to Kevin Scott. The 10 yard touchdown kept the Panthers in control.
On a Pearl River Central punt, the ball hit a Pascagoula player. Brandon Padgett recovered for the Blue Devils at the Panthers' 17. PRC fullback Steven Kubicki cracked the goal line and the home standing Blue Devils of Coach Eric Collins trailed 10-7 at the half.
In the third quarter, Pascagoula completed a 95-yard drive on Kevin Scott's touchdown giving the Panthers a 17-7 lead.
Fourth quarter, Javon Detto connected on a Blue Devils' field goal and Pearl River Central trailed 17 to 10.
With just 24 seconds left in the game, Panthers defender Brandon Rich came up with an interception in the end zone, propelling Pascagoula to a thrilling 17-10 win over the Blue Devils, earning a trip to Jackson in the 5A State Championship game.
The Panthers advance to play Starkville, who beat West Point 29-28 in overtime. The game will be played next Saturday at 7pm at Mississippi Memorial Stadium and WLOX will be there. Pascagoula last won a state championship in football in 1987.
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