Panthers fall to Decatur in second round


By Justin Graves/Decatur Daily

Shaunn Deloney’s scoop-and-score sparked a Decatur flurry as the Red Raiders rallied past Southside, 19-7, on Friday in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.

Decatur (9-3) advances to host top-ranked Clay-Chalkville next week in the Class 6A quarterfinals. Southside finished the season at 9-3.

On a cold and blustery night, with temperatures dipping below freezing, physical defense ruled the night and turnovers were the difference.

Decatur held Southside to 155 total yards while forcing three turnovers. All three were in the fourth quarter.

Trailing 7-6 in the fourth quarter, Decatur finally found its game-changing moment when Quintin Dupper forced a fumble and Deloney scooped up the ball and sprinted about 40 yards for a touchdown.

The momentum never shifted back.

After forcing another Panther turnover a few seconds later, Ladarious Woods rushed for a 46-yard touchdown, giving Decatur an 11-point lead.

For the first three quarters, there were not many big plays. Decatur had a chance to take a three-point lead into halftime when Francisco Tirado kicked a 40-yard field goal, but Holt Keeling returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown for a Southside 7-3 lead as time expired.

Tirado kicked his second field goal of the night, a 38-yarder, early in the fourth quarter.

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