By Mike Goodson/Messenger Sports Correspondent
The Hokes Bluff Eagles found themselves playing catch-up most of the evening last Thursday (Aug. 30) to the Southside Panthers at Barney Hood Stadium.
Southside needed only two plays on the extra session to cover the 10 yards to take the lead for good, as Dantley Coker scored on a five-yard touchdown run. The extra point gave the Panthers a 22-15 lead.
The Southisde defense made the score stand up, as Hokes Bluff lost five yards on first down on its overtime possession and was stuffed for no gain on second down. An incomplete pass and a five-yard penalty brought up fourth and 20 from the Panther 20. The game ended when ball sailed over quarterback Cole Williams head and he was sacked for a 10 yard loss.
Southside head coach Marty Smith was pleased to get the win and be 1-0 at this point in the early season.
“Hokes Bluff did a good job and they stayed with their game plan. We must become more disciplined and play to our potential. We can’t survive in region play unless we get better each week.
On Hokes Bluff’s second play from scrimmage, Tyler Brown pounced on a loose football, giving Southside a first and 10 at the Eagle 16 yard line. It took the Panthers only three plays for to cash in, with quarterback Patrick Lister scoring on a 10-yard run. Following the PAT, Southside led 7-0 with 6:24 remaining in the opening period.
Southside threatened once more just before the half, driving to the Hokes Bluff 21. The drive ended on a missed 38-yard field goal attempt with 3:45 to go in the first half.
“We were thrilled to only be down by a touchdown at the half,” said Hokes Bluff head coach Mike Robertson. “Southside has a good team, and with the mistakes we were making, we felt we could still win at halftime.”
The Eagles came out like a different team to start the third quarter, as the visitors took the second half kickoff and drove 65 yards, all on the ground. Hokes Bluff cut the host’s lead to 7-6 when Chase Beggs scored on a two-yard run. Bradley Pruett added the PAT, tying the game at 7-7 with 6:06 to go in the third quarter.
Southside answered two and a half minutes later. The Panthers drove 70 yards in even plays to re-take the lead on Dantley Coker’s 14-yard touchdown run. On the ensuing extra point attempt, Southside faked the PAT. The snap went to Brady Stephens, who dashed untouched into the end zone for a 15-7 Panther lead. The big play in the drive was a 27-yard run by Blake Devine that set up the Panthers at the Eagle 25.
Hokes Bluff, however, opened the fourth stanza with a 66-yard drive capped off by Braydon Hawk’s two-yard scoring run. Quarterback Brad Robertson fired a two-point conversion pass to Tyler Gidley, tying the score at 15-15, with 9:39 remaining. Regulation play ended with the score tied, sending the game to overtime.
Southside out-gained Hokes Bluff 228-205 in total offense.
Southside had 106 yards rushing on 28 carries. Lister was 7-of-16 passing for 122 yards.
Hokes Bluff was led by Braydon Hawk’s 72 rushing yards on 13 carries. Brad Robertson was 5-of-10 passing for 51 yards before leaving the game with a bruised shoulder.
Southside (1-0, 0-0) will play at home against Class 5A, Region 7 opponent Columbia on Friday at 7:00. This is a schedule change. Hokes Bluff (0-1, 0-0) travels to Jacksonville for a Class 4A, Region 5 contest.