Tornadoes rally for another last-minute victory Friday night
Chancellor Greer scored the tying touchdown and Adrian Luke booted the winning extra point to lift the Philadelphia High School Tornadoes to a 40-39 victory over Leake Central Friday night in prep football action at Harpole Field.
For the second week in a row, the Tornadoes came from behind in the final minutes to take a one-point victory. From the start, the game went back and forth and was tied five times.
“Offensively, we played well, probably the best we have done all year,” Coach David Frey said. “It was back and forth. I talked about how fast their quarterback was all last week and that’s what hurt us.
“Defensively, we weren’t sharp at all. We lost our outside containment and their quarterback got loose several times. He was that fast. We have to do a lot better defensively. Running quarterbacks hurt us and we have to focus on keeping containment. We are going to see that again this week against Winona. We are going to face a good running back and a good quarterback.”
Philadelphia took the opening kickoff and drove 65 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown. Quarterback Marcus Beamon bolted 15 yards to put the ball on the one-yard line. On the next play, Greer carried it into the endzone for a touchdown. The extra point try failed and the Tornadoes led 6-0 with 7:48 left in the first quarter.
Leake Central took the ensuing kickoff and put the ball in the end zone two plays later when quarterback Jarkea Reed ran 48 yards for a touchdown. The extra point try failed and the score was tied at 6-6.
Philadelphia responded with a 10-play scoring drive that covered 69 yards. Beamon found Trey Posey on a 3-yard pass play for the score. Adrian Luke kicked the extra point and the Tornadoes led 13-6 with 3:31 left in the first quarter.
Leake Central came back with a drive of its own. The Gators took the ball on their own 41-yard line and drove it in for a touchdown in10 plays. Reed found Kierrius Carson in the endzone for the score. The kick was good and the score was tied at 13-13 with 11:48 left in the second quarter.
The Tornadoes came right back with another scoring drive. This time, Beamon connected with Darius Grady on a 12-yard touchdown pass, capping a seven-play, 57-yard drive. Luke’s kick was good and the Tornadoes led 20-13 with 8:39 left in the second quarter.
One play after the kickoff, Reed broke for an 80-yard run to put the Gators in the end zone. The kick was good with 8:09 left in the second quarter and the score was tied at 20-20.
Beamon connected with Dee Burnside for a 34-yard completion that put the Tornadoes on the Leake Central 15-yard line. On the next play, Greer scored on a 15-yard run. Luke’s kick was good and the Tornadoes led 27-20 with 6:43 left in the half.
The Gators came up with another big play as Reed connected with Dedrick Hartfield on a 76-yard TD pass play. The kick was good and the score was tied at 27-27 with 5:27 left in the half.
Leake Central scored the final points of the half as Reed ran 88 yards for a touchdown. The try for two failed and the Gators led 33-27 at the half.
Philadelphia forced Leake Central to punt and took over on its 32-yard line. Four plays later, the Tornadoes were in the end zone as Greer scored on a six-yard run. The try for two failed and the score was tied at 33-33.
That would end the scoring for both teams in the third quarter. Cornerback Keatham Graham returned an interception 100 yards for an apparent Tornado touchdown but a penalty called it back.
Leake Central forced the Tornadoes to punt and took over on the Gators’ 42-yard line. Leake Central put together a 15-play drive that ended when Reed scored on an eight-yard run. The kick failed and the Gators led 39-33 with 3:43 left in the game.
The Tornadoes took the ball on the Leake Central 45-yard line after the kickoff. Greer ran the ball five plays in a row and scored a touchdown on a 14-yard run. Luke’s kick was good and the Tornadoes led 40-39 with 2:28 left in the game.
The Tornado defense held the Gators to four plays. Philadelphia took over and the time expired.
Beamon finished the night with 266 total yards. He rushed 15 times for 144 yards and completed 6-of-11 passes for 122 yards. Greer rushed 24 times for 207 yards.
The Tornadoes, now 2-1, will host Winona Friday night. The Tigers come in at 3-0 following wins over Choctaw County 35-19, Newton County 50-47, and J.Z. George 62-32. Leake Central, now 0-3, will host North Pike Friday.