Southside outlast Iron Men

Published 12:44 am Saturday, October 23, 2010

Southside quarterback Wilbert McConico searches for a receiver during the Panther's contest against Holt Friday night at home. -- Tim Reeves photo

The Southside High School football team kept the homecoming crowd on the edge of its seat before pulling out a 42-36 double-overtime win over Holt.

The Panthers put the game away on a Wilbert McConico 3-yard touchdown run after the Southside defense held Holt scoreless on their possession of the second overtime.

Panther head coach Lem Jones said he knew the Panthers could get into the endzone if they kept the ball on the ground.

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“We had been running it pretty well all night,” he said. “I figured if we just kept running it at them we would have success.”

Southside took the lead on its first possession of the game after taking an interception all the way to the Ironmen 7-yard line.

McConico carried the ball for a 5-yard gain on the first play of the drive before sprinting in from two. Jones used the same play to convert for an 8-0 lead.

Holt closed the gap with 4:52 left in the first quarter on a 68-yard touchdown run, however, the two-point conversion attempt failed leaving the Panthers up 8-6.

Southside answered right back as McConico rolled 50-yards on the first play of the next drive to give Southside a 14-6 lead. The conversion attempt failed.

Holt needed only four plays to close the gap to 14-12 ending the drive on a 53-yard touchdown pass.

Again, Southside began to roll. This time it was Mario Morris evading would-be Holt tacklers for 11-yards to give Southside breathing room and a 20-12 lead. McConico found the endzone for the two-point conversion to put the Panthers up 22-12 with 35-seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The Panthers shut the Holt offense down in the second quarter. The Ironmen’s only score came on a 43-yard fumble return to close the gap to 22-20 at the half.

The defensive struggle continued throughout the third and fourth quarter. Neither team found the endzone until the Panthers’ McConico scored on a 7-yard touchdown run with 4:22 remaining in the game to give the Panthers a 28-20 win.

Just when it appeared Southside had the game in hand, Holt unloaded a 13-play 64-yard drive to pull to within a 28-26 score. The two-point conversion tied the game at 28 leading to overtime.

Both teams scored on their first play of the first overtime, with McConico running in for the score and conversion.

The Panthers, Jones said, hope to start a streak when they travel to Butler to face Choctaw County next weekend.

“We’ve got win No. 1, now we need to get No. 2,” said Jones.