PASCAGOULA — George County wideout Marlon Odom out-leaped a pair of Pascagoula defenders at the goal line to grab a 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Deuce Knight with 46.8 seconds remaining and the Rebels snatched a come-from-behind 43-40 victory over the Panthers Thursday night at War Memorial Stadium in the final regular season game for both teams.
The victory gives George County (8-3 overall and 4-1 in Region 4-6A) a home game next Friday in the first round of the state playoffs.
The Rebels played from behind the entire game and trailed 20-0 after one quarter. It was the passing of Knight, who tossed for 5 touchdowns, that fueled the victory.
“It’s two outstanding teams,” Rebel head coach James Ray said after the game on a joyous George Couty sideline. “We came out dead as a hammer. It was a short week and we always worry. No excuses because they had a short week too.
“Our message at halftime was just stay the course. We started getting on a roll offensively. We just needed our defense to make some stops, which they did.”
Pascagoula drops to 7-3 overall and 3-2 in Region 4-6A. The Panthers will go on the road next Friday to Hattiesburg to open the Class 6A South State playoffs..
The Panthers appeared in control when they jumped out to a 20-0 first-quarter lead. Amarie Jackson scored on a 40-yard run, Silas Corder hit Corbyn Fryfogle with a 29-yard pass and Jayden Howard scooped up a botched lateral to score from 35 yards out. The Panthers missed two extra points attempts and a 2-point try after those scores and those misses proved to be the margin of defeat.
“We’ve struggled with that,” Sims said. “We’ve been working on it every week trying to get better at it and we’ve had some improvements there. “You have to take advantage of opportunities and in the second half George County did and we had one too many punts.”
Pascagoula managed to reach the 20-yard line with 1 second remaining, but Alex Rivero’s 37-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right.
“To move the ball down the field like we did and have a shot with one second on the clock, incredible,” Sims said.
Pascagoula’s other touchdowns came on passes of 11 and 15 yards from Corder to B.J. Barnes and an 8-yard run by Cameron Deflanders after a fake punt got the Panthers a first down on Amarie Jackson’s 45-yard carry.
Knight’s also had TD passes of 43 and 25 yards to Brenn Moody, 49 yards to Montrell Dortech, and 37 yards to Odom. Jacobe Street scored the other Rebel touchdown on a 16-yard run. Layton Fryfogle kicked 5 extra points. The Rebels also converted a 2-point attempt after their final TD to provide the margin of victory.
Ray said the game-winning pass was something they work on every week. “We finish with a 2-minute drill every Thursday. They had us outnumbered. Everybody in the world knew we were going to Odom. He’s a dog now and just outjumped everybody,” he said.