Quitman falls to Rebels
By By Will Bardwell/staff writer
November 15, 2003
Quitman withstood a flood of George County rushes all night on Friday, but in the end, the dams broke and the Rebels won 21-14.
The Panthers, who fell to 7-5 after the loss in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs, were outsized at nearly every position. Still, Quitman managed to move the ball methodically on George County and slow down the Rebels' powerful rushing attack.
Quitman's running backs found inconsistent success up the middle but often came away with big gains when running outside the tackles. Senior running back Mike McLendon, playing in his final game with the Panthers, gained 160 yards and scored a touchdown on 23 carries. T.J. Mitchell, another of Quitman's 13 seniors, ran for 47 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries.
It was Mitchell's touchdown run from two yards out that tied the game 14-14 with 10 minutes remaining in the game. Before Mitchell scored, the Panthers had trailed 14-7 since the middle of the second quarter.
After recovering a fumble on George County's next possession, Quitman had a chance to take the lead after starting on its own 44-yard line. The Panthers worked their way to the Rebels' 32-yard line before attempting to convert on fourth-and-three. A run off the right side was stopped a yard short.
After the game, Holloman defended the decision to go for it rather than punt.
After taking over on their own 30, the Rebels drove the length of the field in four minutes to take a 21-14 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Reggie Scott. It was Scott's second touchdown of the game.
Quitman nearly lost the ensuing kickoff by fumbling on the return, but jumped on the loose ball at its own 12-yard line. McLendon helped the Panthers move the ball out near midfield before facing fourth-and-one, which they converted with 30 seconds remaining.
However, Quitman did not call timeout and snapped the ball with just 10 seconds remaining. A short screen pass to McLendon was followed by the Panthers' final timeout, but the final play was stopped after a run to George County's 39-yard line.
George County advances to face Wayne County on Friday.