It was off to the races with 79 points scored in Coahoma County’s playoff match with Mantachie Friday night at James E. Miller Field on the campus of Coahoma Community College.
The home standing Red Panthers got behind early and while they scored a bucket full of points, they were never able to catch up with the hard charging Mustangs of Mantachie. CCHS was eliminated with a 45-34 loss.
“Defense did seem to be able to slow them down,” said Coahoma football coach McKinley Scott. “We got behind and just couldn’t catch up. We score some point and looked like we were going to come back a couple of time. We just couldn’t put it all together.”
Coahoma held it close in the first quarter with Mantachie scoring on their first possession. They then tacked on another 15 points in the second quarter before the Panthers could get on the scoreboard with two touchdowns of their own.
But the Panther just couldn’t crawl out of the hole.
“We made some plays and I felt good going into the half,” said Scott. “They pretty much stuck to their game plan. We made some adjustments and scored some point, but it wasn’t enough.”
The visiting Mustangs threw one pass and then used eight straight running plays to carry the ball 65 yards down the field for the first score.
Coahoma looked strong on their first possession and moved the ball to the Mantachie 34, before a series of sacks stalled the drive.
Mantachie went back to work with their running game and scored early in the second quarter and again midway through the frame.
The Panthers used a 40-yard kick return by Christian Banks to set up their first score when Eddie Henderson ran 25-yards to the left to score. The two-point conversion failed.
Coahoma’s defense then rose to the occasion with Lamont Lee intercepting a pass.
The Panthers capitalized on the good fortune and drove down the field on a solid passing game. Lee then scrambled left and decided to run scoring from the one. Again the 2-point conversion didn’t get into the end zone.
With the score 21-12 at the half, Coahoma was down but not out.
Mantachie then tacked on two touchdowns in the third, and Coahoma scoring on a 24-yard pass by Lee to a wide open Kiarrions Elmore in the end zone. The 2-point run by Henderson was good and Coahoma was down 33-20 at the end of three quarters of football.
Mantachie scored early in the final frame, but Coahoma used a 70-yard kick return by Tyson Lee to close the gap to 39-28.
The Mustangs stuck with the ground game and ate up the clock on a seven play drive in the fourth and their final touchdown and extra point to carry the game to 45-28.
The Panthers came back with a 77-yard, 14-play drive and Lamont Lee scored one more time with 4-minutes to go in the game.
Mantachie ran six plays and the final horn sounded with the Mustangs on the Coahoma 1-yard line.
“It was a strange season,” said Scott, that saw COVID-19 prevent the Panthers from practicing early in the fall. “I wish I had these seniors and were able to practice regular. They are a good bunch of guys. I’m proud of what they did this season.”
Scott said he will now prepare for next season.
“We took some steps forward and it was great to host a playoff game at home,” said Scott. “I’m disappointed we didn’t get the job done tonight. They played hard against a good team.”
Coahoma County only played three football games this season.
Mantachie is 4-5 on the year and faces Calhoun City who is 7-2 on the season Friday night.