Raedarius Triplett (21) rushes around the defense in the Tornadoes victory over Quitman.
Raedarius Triplett (21) rushes around the defense in the Tornadoes victory over Quitman.
QUITMAN - Kadarius Calloway appeared to be going nowhere.

His Philadelphia Tornadoes were deadlocked in a 14-14 struggle with Quitman High School. Calloway had just caught a pass from quarterback Asher Morgan near the line of scrimmage on the Panthers 38-yard line on the left side of the field.

Four Quitman defenders were on him; they had their hands on him. It looked like he was going down.

Instead, Calloway leaned forward, turned 180 degrees and slipped past his would-be tacklers. He took off running, leaving them standing, and made it to the end zone for the game winning touchdown. The extra point failed but Philadelphia went on to take a hard-earned 20-14 victory.

It wasn’t a pretty victory. The temperature was very warm, the humidity was sticky, and there wasn’t a hint of a breeze. But to Coach David Frey and Tornadoes, it was another step toward putting their season together as the Tornadoes now stand at 2-2.

“We found a way to win,” Frey said. “It was a big, big win. Calloway made a big play for us and played a heck of a game. Now we move on.”

The Tornadoes will host winless Choctaw Central which comes in a 0-5 following Friday night’s 27-0 loss to Lake.

“They are a lot better this year,” Frey said Sunday night after watching film on the Warriors. “They are running the ball more and they are more balanced. They have some talented players. We can’t overlook Choctaw Central.”

The Tornadoes scored on the first play of the second quarter when Morgan connected with Lideatrick Griffin for a 24-yard TD pass play.

The drive started on the Quitman 5-yard line when Philadelphia recovered a fumble. The Tornadoes drove the length of the field in 14 plays. After Griffin’s touchdown, the extra point try failed and Philadelphia led 6-0 with 11:47 left in the first half.

Quitman took the ensuing kickoff and put together a 14-play drive that ran out of downs on the Philadelphia 25-yard line. The Tornadoes took possession and drove down to the Quitman eight-yard-line in eight plays. On first and goal, Raedarius Triplett carried the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. Griffin scored the two-point conversion and Philadelphia went on to lead 14-0 at the half.

The Panthers, led by quarterback Jed Lewis, battled back to tie the game at 14-14 in the second half. Lewis scored on a 28-yard run and a short run to tie the game at 14-14.

As the two teams continued to battle, there was a very serious moment when Griffin went up for a pass. He came down hard on his neck and did not move. The game stopped.

Emergency responders took their time while preparing Griffin for transport to a hospital in Meridian. Both teams met in the middle of the field to pray. All turned out well, Frey said.

“They did x-rays and tests and everything turned out okay,” Frey said. “They were being very cautious. He went back to Philadelphia that night. In fact, he came by the field house about the time we got back.”

The game resumed. Calloway scored the winning touchdown. Quitman had two more possessions. One ended with an interception. The final drive ended at the buzzer when the Tornadoes knocked a long pass away in the end zone.

The Tornadoes finished with 93 yards rushing and 162 yards passing for 255 total yards.  Quitman had 311 rushing yards and 101 passing yards for 412 total yards.