Amanda Elzy and Leflore County moved on to the next round in their respective playoff games as both secured wins Friday night.
The Panthers eked out a 20-19 victory over Independence High School in the second round of the North 3A playoffs to improve to 9-3 overall.
Elzy will play host to Choctaw County, a 35-28 victor over Water Valley Friday night, next week in the third round.
Leflore County opened the North 1A playoffs with a 42-0 shutout of Sebastopol High School at Singleton Stadium in Itta Bena.
The Tigers (8-3) will be on the road next week to take on Lumberton, a 26-0 winner over McAdams Friday night.
• Elzy 20, Independence 19 — The Panthers got another stellar performance from senior running back Dephabian Fant in edging the Wildcats.
Fant rushed for 210 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries as the Panthers racked up 303 yards rushing on 36 carries as a team.
The Panthers took a 20-19 lead midway through the fourth quarter when Fant outraced the Independence defense for a 50-yard TD run.
Elzy’s defense held the Wildcats late in the game, and the offense converted on a fourth-down play with about 1:20 remaining on the clock. The Panthers were able to run out the clock.
In the first frame, Fant scored from 14 yards out and quarterback Terry Randle had the two-point conversion to make it 8-0 after one.
The Wildcats erupted for 19 second-quarter points to grab a 19-14 lead at the half. Fant scored on an 11-yard run for the Panthers.
Neither team scored in the third period, and Fant’s TD was the only points in the fourth quarter.
Randle finished with 47 yards on six carries, and Ladarius Davenport had 33 yards on five totes. Randle was only 3 of 9 passing for 43 yards with one interception. Khyris Jones had one catch for 16 yards, and Davenport had one grab for 14 yards.
La’Andre Pittman had 12 tackles, and Tim Wilson and Smitdarius Wright had eight tackles each. Jaquaveous Swims had seven stops.
• Leflore County 42, Sebastopol 0 — The Tigers’ defense recorded its fourth straight shutout and fifth in the last six games as they knocked the Bobcats out of the playoffs.
“Our offensive line did a tremendous job blocking tonight for the backs,” said Leflore head coach Eric House. They did an excellent job of controlling the line of scrimmage. And the defense did another superb job.”
Leflore used an overpowering ground game en route to the win over the Bobcats, who end their season with a 7-5 record. The Tigers had 336 yards rushing on only 26 carries.
Senior Maurice Edwards led the way with 168 yards on 11 carries, which included two touchdown runs. Edwards got the Tigers going in the first period with a 14-yard run. Kerrick Ross, who started at quarterback, threw the 2-point pass to Kwalique Swinney for an 8-0 lead after one.
In the second period, Ross scored from three yards out, and Da’Quarionne Jones hit Swinney with a 19-yard TD strike to give the home team a 20-0 lead at the half.
The Tigers put the game away with three scores in the third quarter. Edwards and Dekari Johnson both scored on 22-yard runs. Jones hit Derrick Singleton for a 2-point conversion. The defense got in on the act as Emanuel Stanley picked up a fumble and returned it 40 yards to the end zone. Jones again threw to Singleton for the conversion.
Stanley, who had 10 tackles and the fumble recovery, had 70 yards on six carries. Ross had 68 yards on six tries, and Johnson 30 yards on three carries.
Edwards also had eight tackles and a sack, and Swinney, Masunte Haggie and Javorius Sherrod had six tackles each. Mel Kelly and Dezmond Ray had an interception each.
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