Missed field goal with :02 left seals Wolfpack fate

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

WESSON &8212; Copiah-Lincoln&8217;s season ended in dramatic fashion, as the Wolfpack lost 21-20 to Pearl River in the MACJC State Championship game at H.L. Stone stadium.

&8220;It feels good to win another state title,&8221; Pearl River coach Tim Hatten said. &8220;They made plays and so did we.&8221;

The win avenged Pearl River&8217;s one loss of the season, a 31-21 loss on the road.

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&8220;It feels lovely to win here,&8221; Pearl River quarterback Carlton Hill said. &8220;They were talking so much trash, we didn&8217;t listen to it though, and couldn&8217;t have been happier to have won here.&8221;

Hill pulled out his best Doug Flutie impersonation, hitting wide receiver Demetrius Byrd for a 35-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left to play in the game to lead the come-from-behind victory over Copiah-Lincoln.

&8220;I was thinking about the plays we didn&8217;t make earlier in the game, and I just made up my mind that we weren&8217;t going to lose,&8221; Hill said.

Byrd found redemption for dropping a pass in the first half that appeared headed for a touchdown.

The Wolfpack had two opportunities to win the game in the waning minutes of the game, but came up short once on a 47-yard field goal and the other on a 43-yard attempt with :02 left on the clock.

&8220;They made one more play than we made,&8221; Copiah-Lincoln coach Glenn Davis said. &8220;They&8217;re a good team. What can I say?&8221;

Defense won the championship for the Wildcats and afterward Hatten was quick to point out the job done by the entire unit.

&8220;Defense. Oh Lord, talk about our defense. They didn&8217;t allow a score the entire second half,&8221; Hatten said. &8220;I got on them in the locker room and told them I was embarrassed. They came back and made me proud in the second half.&8221;

The Wolfpack jumped out to a14-0 lead, thanks to a 75-yard run by Aaron Johns and a 57-yard Cedric Johnston pass to Damoyn Carroll.

That lead was short-lived as Pearl River evened the game off of a pair of Carlton Hill touchdown passes.

Copiah-Lincoln took a 20-14 lead into halftime, as Johnston took a quarterback-keeper 22 yards for the third Wolfpack touchdown of the half.

Wolfpack special teams kept the team in positive field position thanks to several nice returns by former Fayette star Anthony Chambliss. Unfortunately, special teams failed the team when it mattered the most.

Jasper O&8217;Quinn, of Meadville, stopped a Pearl River drive in the third quarter, when he picked off Hill at the 1-yard line for his team-leading fourth interception of the season.