Southside running back Kendal Smith, center, tries to break free from a pair of Dallas County defenders during Thursday’s game in Plantersville. Southside came back for a 30-27 win in the game that closed the season for both teams. -- Robert Hudson

Panthers close the season with 30-27 win over rival Hornets

Published 12:23am Friday, November 2, 2012

PLANTERSVILLE — The Southside Panthers came back to pull off a 30-27 win over the rival Dallas County Hornets in a wild finish to the season for both teams on Thursday.

The Panthers (2-8, 1-6 Class 3A-Region 1) trailed 21-8 at halftime, but Southside head football coach Daniel Flowers said his team never stopped fighting.

“I told my seniors to keep fighting and don’t give up. I asked them to play hard. We played a complete game,” Flowers said. “We got down by two touchdowns and in the locker room I said this is our game. We were shooting ourselves in the foot and I told them let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot and see what happens. They scored no offensive touchdowns in the second. And our defense played hard.”

Chris Littleton, head football coach of Dallas County (2-8, 0-7 Class 4A-Region 3), said he was proud of his team’s effort.

“I think the kids played hard,” Littleton said. “We made too many mistakes to win the game.”

Southside opened the second half trailing by two scores, but quarterback Chris Raymond threw his second touchdown of the game on a 26-yard pass to Lee Brown that made it a 21-14 game with 10:00 left in the third quarter.

The Panthers got another big play, this time on defense, as De’Vonte Alexander picked off Dallas County quarterback Wyatt Sanders at the Hornets’ 41-yard line with 0:14 left in the third to give Southside the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead.

The Hornets’ defense held and made it fourth-and-9 for the Panthers, but Raymond hit Brown on a 29-yard pass that gave Southside a first down at Dallas County’s 13-yard line.

The Panthers got down to the 1-yard line and looked poised to score, but a fumbled exchange between the quarterback and center resulted in fumble recovery by Dallas County’s Shadrick Turner that gave the Hornets the ball at the one and ended the threat with 9:50 left to play.

The Hornets pushed the ball out to their own 8-yard line, but were forced to punt.

Dallas County’s Prince Tolbert went to punt, but it was blocked by Alexander, as Southside defensive tackle Quindarius Young recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown that made the score 21-20 with 7:18 left in the game. Southside quarterback Khamari Gibbs ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Panthers their first lead of the game at 22-21.

The Hornets were down, but they were not out, as Xavier Knight picked up the ball at his own 20-yard line on the ensuing kickoff, split through the Panthers on the right sideline and returned it for an 80-yard touchdown that gave the Hornets the lead once more at 27-22 with 7:00 left to play.

Tolbert ran it the 2-point conversion, but it was called back for a block in the back penalty.

The Hornets lined up again, this time at the 8-yard line, and Tolbert found J’quan Carter in the back of the end zone for the 2-point play that appeared to make it 29-22.

The Hornets and Panthers lined up for the kickoff, only for the officials to overturn the previous 2-point conversion on a controversial call.

The Hornets lined up for the 2-point conversion once more, but the Panthers stopped them to make the score officially stand at 27-22.

Southside regained the momentum one last time when Derick Daniels made a huge play that mirrored the one that happened less than a minute before, as he returned the ensuing kickoff 75-yards for a touchdown down the Hornets’ sideline that gave the Panthers the lead again at 28-27.

The Panthers brought in the big man on the 2-point conversion, lining the defensive tackle Young up in the backfield and letting him pound it in to make it 30-27 with 6:48 left to play.

The Panthers tried to catch the Hornets off guard on the kickoff, attempting an onside kick, but Dallas County recovered it at Southside’s 40-yard line.

After a pair of offensive plays, Dallas County running back Demarius Berry put his team in business when he broke on a 22-yard run that put the Hornets at Southside’s 18.

The Hornets got to the Panther 6-yard line, but penalties and mistakes contributed to them having to attempt to score on a fourth-and-goal from the 12-yard line.

Tolbert threw it to Carter, but the play was broken up to force a turnover on downs with 2:14 left.

The Panthers ran out the clock on the ensuing possession.

Southside was down from the start, as Dallas County drove 52 yards on its first possession of the game and scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Sanders, with a 2-point run by Knight making it 8-0 in the first quarter.

The Hornets extended their lead to 15-0 early in the second when Berry scored on a 19-yard run, with Sanders tacking on the extra point.

Southside finally responded when Raymond rolled out of the pocket and hit a wide-open Daniels for a 64-yard touchdown pass that made it 15-8 after the 2-point run by Kendal Smith with 6:13 left in the first half.

Dallas County’s final touchdown of the half came on a sneak by Sanders with 4:04 left in the second quarter.

Editor's Picks