The Philadelphia defense stops the progress of a Southeast Lauderdale runner during Friday’s game. The Tornadoes won the game, 41-0.
The Philadelphia defense stops the progress of a Southeast Lauderdale runner during Friday’s game. The Tornadoes won the game, 41-0.
The Philadelphia Tornadoes will be trying to wrap up the Region 5-3A championship for another year Friday night when they play host to Choctaw County in prep football action.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

While the Tornadoes have already clinched a place in the upcoming Class 3A playoffs that start next week, Coach Teddy Dyess pointed out this game's importance. The Tornadoes have a 4-0 region record and already defeated Forest. Forest beat Choctaw County last week and those teams have 3-1 region records. Forest closes its season Friday against Choctaw Central.

"This game will decide who goes into the playoffs at the No. 1 team, the No. 2 team and the No. 3 team," Dyess said. "It's a very important game. If we win, we are region champions and host a first round game. If we lose, we could go in as the No. 2 or No. 3 team."

Here are the Region 5-3A standings for this week.

Region 5-3A Standings

Overall Region


Philadelphia 9-1 4-0 Forest 7-3 3-1

Choctaw County 8-2 3-1

SE Lauderdale 3-7 1-3

Raleigh 4-6 1-3

Choctaw Central 1-9 0-4

Dyess said that the Tornadoes have their hands full with Choctaw County.

"They have a defensive front that is as good as any team we have played this year," Dyess said. "And their offense runs through their quarterback. They are going to be a tough team to beat."

Philadelphia warmed up for their final game with a 41-0 win over Southeast Lauderdale. The statistics were just as dominating as the final score. The Tornadoes finished with 554 total yards. They rushed for 399 yards on 43 carries and completed 6 passes for 151 yards.

Philadelphia got on the scoreboard with one minute left in the first quarter when senior quarterback Romon Gray connected with Kaylon Gray on a 39-yard TD pass play. John Harold Smith kicked the extra point and the Tornadoes went up 7-0.

The Tornadoes held the Tigers to four downs and were headed for another touchdown. This time, Gray broke for a 30-yard touchdown run. Smith's kick was good and the Tornadoes led 14-0 with 10:37 left in the second quarter.

Southeast Lauderdale went four-and-out and the Tornadoes were on the scoreboard two plays later. This time, Gray connected with T.J. Hudson on a 21-yard touchdown pass play. Smith's kick was good and the Tornadoes led 21-0.

Hudson was Gray's target on the Tornadoes' next series, this time covering 44 yards for pay dirt. Smith's kick was good and the Tornadoes led 28-0.

Senior running back Jacardius Griffin got into the act late in the half as he ran in from one-yard out. The extra point kick was not good and the Tornadoes led 34-0.

Gray went down with an ankle injury just before the half and did not play in the second half.

"He taped it up and was ready to go," Dyess said. "But we held him out."

Griffin scored the Tornadoes' final touchdown on a three-yard run in the fourth quarter. Smith kicked the extra point.

Philadelphia finished with 24 first downs while Southeast Lauderdale had eight. Griffin finished with 207 yards on 20 carries while Gray rushed seven times for 114 yards. Gray completed 5-of-6 passes for all of Philadelphia's passing yards. Hudson had two catches for 65 yards; Kaylon Gray caught two for 47 yards; and, Abe Mars caught two for 19 yards.

Fent Mars was the leading tackler with 10 stops and one interception. Zack Ingrum and Kazio Herrington had seven tackles while K.J. Peebles, Kaylon Gray, Darrell Rosell and Josh Rush all had five.