“We found a way to stand up on that last call.” Robert signater, McKinley coach
Pushed around and battered for more than 200 yards rushing, McKinley High’s defense found one last stop when it needed it most Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Scotlandville running back Dontrell Hilliard was stopped at the 1-yard ending the Hornets bid for a 2-point conversion, and preserving the Panthers 20-19 nondistrict win in overtime.
Hilliard led Scotlandville (2-2) with 128 yards rushing, but couldn’t deliver the final blow.
“It was wonderful,” McKinley coach Robert Signater said of the final stop. “(Scotlandville) killed us the whole game running up and down the field, but we found a way to stand up on that last call.”
McKinley (4-1) stuggled to find a rhythm until midway through the second quarter. The Panthers erased a 7-0 deficit, and took a 13-7 lead in the third quarter on Phil Randall’s 39-yard run.
Randall and Panthers quarterback Travion Alexander tied for team-high honors with 38 yards rushing apiece.
McKinley came back to tie the score with a nine-minute drive that consumed most of the fourth quarter. The Panthers went 85 yards in 18 plays, and tied the score 13-13 on Alexander’s second 1-yard touchdown sneak. Hilliard’s extra point kick was off the mark, and the teams went to overtime.
Playing offense first, Alexander saved McKinley after a chop block pushed them back. Alexander scored on a 21-yard quarterback draw, and Emmanuel Illedair added the point after for a 20-13 lead.
Hilliard only needed two carries to score, and pull Scotladville to within a point. His conversion run over left tackle was stuffed short of the goal.
“I thought both teams fought hard,” Scotlandville coach Eric Randall said. “This is an arch rival, and the game was a thriller all the way to the end. You’ve got to say hats off to both clubs.”
Scotlandville controlled the action for most of the first half, but led only 7-6 after blowing a late scoring opportunity.
Nursing a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter, Scotlandville drove from midfield to a first down inside the 10. The Hornets had faced fourth-and-16, but a screen pass to running back Keith Dawson brought a first at the MHS 6.
But, instead of pushing the lead to two scores, Williams was intercepted by Delwin Rodney in the end zone. Rodney returned the ball 52 yards to the MHS 47 setting up the Panthers first scoring drive.
McKinley, which had only two first downs at that point, moved 53 yards in six plays to find the end zone. Travion Alexander found Hinney Harris for a 13-yard touchdown, but the extra point was blocked.
The score was set up by Alexander’s 15-yard keeper on 3rd-and-2.
Neither team moved the ball in the early going as the first quarter ended scoreless. On its first series in the second quarter, Scotlandville drove 62 yards in six plays for the game’s first score.
Hilliard started the drive with a 16-yard reception, and carried three times for 19 yards. Williams had a 36-yard scramble, and capped the drive with a 1-yard sneak. Hilliard’s extra point put Scotlandville up 7-0 with 9:07 left in the half.
Hilliard finished the half with 13 carries for 81 yards. Scotlandville outgained McKinley 155 yards to 103, but the Hornets also had the half’s only turnover.