Mistakes proved costly for Coahoma County High School in the first half, but the Red Panthers redeemed themselves in the second half to earn a 28-7 victory on homecoming against Strayhorn Friday night.
It was the first district win for the Red Panthers (3-2) and put them in position to make the playoffs.
“I appreciate everybody coming out,” said CCHS coach McKinley Scott. “We had a big crowd out tonight and we got the support out. I think that’s something that helped the guys stay motivated.”
CCHS trailed 7-6 at halftime thanks to many mistakes.
Center Dennis Eagram had several high snaps over the head of quarterback Devontae Boyd. One high snap on the third play from scrimmage gave the Mustangs possession at the Red Panthers 32.
Strayhorn ran for an 8-yard touchdown with 7:56 remaining in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead.
Coahoma County’s Tyson Lee ran the following kickoff for a touchdown, but a penalty was called on a chop block negating the score.
Zavion Henderson of Coahoma County recovered a ball in the end zone following a high snap by Strayhorn on a punt. That came with 1:08 remaining in the first quarter. Markevious Thomas missed the PAT so Strayhorn led 7-6.
However, Coahoma County scored one touchdown in the third quarter and another two in the fourth. The Red Panthers outscored the Mustangs 22-0 in the second half to secure the win.
Scott did not say much to his team at halftime.
“Honestly, I used the silent game,” Scott said. “They were waiting for me to come in, say something, do something, but I just gave them nothing. At that point, that’s when my assistant coach talked to them. And I just came out and grabbed my captains. Once I grabbed my captains, I told them it’s on them. We’ve got to come back out and establish the run game. That’s what we did. We came out and executed. We should have been up a lot more, but at the end of the day, we’ll take a win. It’s homecoming. The guys did play well.”
Josiah Tompkins recovered a fumble in the second half for the Red Panthers and Calvin Johnson recovered one in the first half. Malachi McClenton and Henderson each had a sack.
Scott credited defensive coordinator Jeremiah Brassell for keeping Coahoma County in the game.
“Mr. Brassell did a really, really good job with the defense and honestly, it should have been a shutout,” Scott said. “We got the penalties going in, so overall, I appreciate him for doing a good job as the defensive coordinator. He’s slowing them down until the offense got rolling.”
Lionel Myles ran in a 26-yard touchdown run with 11 second remaining in the third quarter. Boyd ran in the 2-point conversion to give CCHS a 14-7 lead.
Boyd ran for a 10-yard touchdown with 10:27 remaining in the game. Thomas missed the PAT, but a penalty was called against Strayhorn. CCHS opted to go for 2 after the penalty and Boyd ran in the ball in the end zone on a keeper to extend the lead to 22-7.
Boyd ran for a 63-yard touchdown with 2:55 remaining in the game. Lee was unsuccessful attempting to run the 2-pointer in, so Coahoma County led 28-7.
Boyd started and played quarterback most of the game, but Porter Harris did see some action under center.
Punter Christian Banks was escorted off the field after running up to Scott in a confrontational manner during the third quarter. Thomas punted for the remainder of the game.
Scott did not comment on the matter, but planned to talk to superintendent Dr. Ilean Richards. He did praise Thomas’ performance as a punter and said Lee was also capable of punting.
“Markevious punted really good for us tonight,” Scott said. “He kicked the ball really well. He’s a great player. I’ve got other guys like Tyson that can punt. At the end of the day, you hate to lose players. I don’t know what was going on, but that’s something I’d rather not speak on.”
Coahoma County is at Madison Palmer at 7 p.m. Friday in another district game. Scott said the Red Panthers would have to play a more complete game to win.
“Pretty much, Palmer is going to run outside. They’re a big team. We’ve got to just do the same thing, just make good tackles. At the end of the day, as a group, we’ve just got to play fast and have got to play better. We’ve got to play a first half and not just a second half.”