Hernando beats Noxubee County
From staff reports/The Meridian Star
Nov. 17, 2001
MACON With Noxubee County scheduled to get a brand new football stadium with its school next year, Friday night's Class 4A playoff game was likely the last one ever played at Tiger Stadium.
Unfortunately for the home crowd, the memories won't be fond.
German exchange student Niklas Baumberger's 20-yard field goal with 4.7 seconds left got just inside the upright, and visiting Hernando escaped a frantic finish to beat Noxubee 24-22 in a heartstopper.
Hernando, 11-1, moves on to the Class 4A North State semifinals next week against either Shannon or Louisville. Noxubee, the Region 2-4A champion, finished with its best record ever under M.C. Miller at 10-2.
Noxubee gave up a season-high 410 yards and 20 first downs to Hernando, with much of it coming after the host Tigers had made contact.
Still, Noxubee seemed to have the game in hand in the closing seconds.
Trailing 21-14, the Tigers took possession at their own 29-yard line with 3:43 left in the game and promptly marched it 71 yards in 10 plays.
A roughing-the-passer call gave Noxubee a first down at the Hernando 33, then two plays later on third-and-13, Omar Conner found a leaping Vincent Dancy for a first down at the 20.
On the very next play, Conner hit Dancy in the end zone, making it 21-20 with 1:02 left. Miller called timeout and elected to go for the two-point conversion, which was successful when Conner again found Dancy.
That made it 22-21 and set off a wild celebration among the monster Noxubee crowd although it turned out to be a premature celebration.
Hernando took over at its own 28 with 57.6 seconds left, and on the first play, ran a swinging-gate with all-everything back Kevin Dockery lining up over the ball by himself. Dockery picked up the ball and shoveled it to Michael Rice, who behind a wall of nine blockers, raced to the Noxubee 43.
Three plays later, Dockery killed the Tigers again, hitting Rice on a 20-yard completion that allowed Hernando to call timeout with 8.4 seconds remaining to set up the game-winning field goal by Baumberger.
Dockery finished with 186 yards on 28 carries, while freshman Larry Henderson had a hard-fought 68 on 14 carries.
Noxubee dominated the first quarter, scoring on its first two possessions for a 14-0 lead.
The first score came on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Conner to Dancy, and the second came on a 58-yard strike from Conner to Joey Sanders. Javar Dooley added the PAT after both scores.
Hernando got a 2-yard run from Henderson in the second quarter to close within 14-7; tied it with 7:51 left in the fourth on a 1-yard run by Henderson; and went ahead 21-14 on a dandy 22-yard run by Dockery with 3:50 left. a
Conner finished 12-of-23 passing for 203 yards to lead Noxubee, with Dancy catching five balls for 83 yards and Sanders four for 86. Senior linebacker Obryant Brandy had 16 tackles in his final contest in a Noxubee uniform.