Southside drops heartbreaker to No. 10 Bayside Academy

Published 11:11 pm Friday, November 5, 2021

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One of the greatest football seasons in Southside High School history ended in heartbreak.

No. 10 Bayside Academy built a 21-0 first-half lead and held on for a wild 37-36 win in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs on Friday at Panthers Stadium.

The Panthers finished their season at 9-1. Bayside Academy travels to Montgomery Catholic next week.

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Southside trailed 34-8 in the third quarter, but scored three fourth quarter touchdowns to get within 34-28 with 8 minutes left.

Chris Thomas scored on a 5-yard TD run, threw a 80-yard bomb to Tae Spears and KeAndre William’63 yard fumble return.

The Admirals (10-2) added a 22-yard field goal from Joseph Lilley, padding their lead to 37-28 with 3:33 left.

Southside climbed within 37-36 on Thomas’ 15-yard TD pass to Smith. Williams’ 2-point run made it 37-36.

The Admirals narrowly recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock, pulling out the dramatic win.

“I’m proud of my team, they never quit,” Panthers coach Charles Moody Jr. said. “We’re building a program, we just have to take the next step.”

The Admirals jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead on Jay Loper’s 39 yard TD run and Zachery Kitrell’s 80-yard TD pass to Monroe Partin.

Bayside Academy padded its lead to 21-0 on Kitrell’s 10-yard TD run.

Southside got on the board when Thomas threw a 65-yard TD to Smith. Sam Taylor added a 2-point conversion run, getting within 21-8.

But the Admirals closed the second quarter on Kitrell’s 50-yard TD run for a 28-8 halftime advantage.

The Panthers took a 34-8 lead on Kitrell’s 1-yard run in the third quarter.