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Southside nips Dallas County

SELMA — When Southside had the opportunity to capitalize on Dallas County mistakes Friday night, the Panthers couldn’t.

When Dallas County needed to stop Southside from scoring the winning touchdown, the Hornets couldn’t.

Southside marched 85 yards in the last 2:55 of the game to defeat cross-county rival Dallas County 12-6 on a 5-yard TD pass from Demarcus Smith to Antauris Smith as the final horn sounded.

For Southside coach Lemuel Jones, the victory had a storybook ending.

“This was just like a TV game,” he said. “One team makes a drive the length of the field to win the game on the final play. I was proud of our kids.”

He also praised the Dallas County squad.

“They’ve got a good ballclub,” Jones said. “They’re defense was great. We couldn’t make a move on offense until they backed up toward the end of the game.”

Dallas County coach Darryl Burns, whose Hornets (2-6, 1-5 in Class 4A Region 3) have come close in many of their games, said the defeat was difficult.

“Just one play,” he said. “That was a tough loss. We made way too many mistakes, but we have no excuses. We just didn’t execute.”

Dallas County fumbled six times in the second half, losing four of those to the Panthers. And Southside stopped the Hornets’ final scoring drive when Dallas County failed to convert on first-and-goal from the Panthers’ 4.

“They have an outstanding defense,” Burns said. “We gave them just enough time to drive down the field and win the game.”

Dallas County took the lead 6-0 on a 25-yard screen pass to junior running back Brandon Jackson with 3:52 left in the first quarter.

Michael Perryman, a Southside junior defensive end, jumped on the first Dallas County fumble of the third quarter at the Hornets’ 26. Eight plays later, senior Terrance Cooper went 11 yards around left end to score with 6:35 remaining in the third stanza.

Southside (4-4, 4-3) managed only 75 yards rushing and 123 yards passing, while Dallas County had a total of 170 yards on offense — 40 rushing and 130 passing.

The leading tacklers for the Hornets were junior defensive end Keymiya Harrell with four solos and three assists, and junior linebacker William Stiles and senior defensive end Cortland Henry each with five tackles and one assist.