By GENE PHELPS
SCOOBA – Sergio Wallace's leaping touchdown catch in the back of a rain-soaked end zone has No. 20-ranked Itawamba headed to the MACJC state playoffs.
Wallace made the grab on an 11-yard throw from quarterback Tyson Lee with 3 minutes, 45 seconds remaining to give the Indians a 29-23 comeback win over East Mississippi.
The Indians, now 7-2 overall and playoff bound for the third straight year, needed some defensive help in the final seconds to seal the victory.
Facing a fourth-and-10 from the ICC 22-yard line with 1:38 remaining, Indians tackle Xavier Curtis and linebacker Chris Seals sacked Lions quarterback Chris Mitchell to clinch the win.
“There were 14 teams when we started and now there are four,” an excited ICC coach Jeff Terrill said. “These young men didn't quit. They kept fighting.”
ICC will play on the road next week at Gulf Coast, Pearl River or Copiah-Lincoln.
Trailing 17-7 at halftime, ICC got a big boost on the second play of the third quarter when Linzy Patterson caught a pass from Lee, made a spin move, and raced 50 yards to the East Mississippi 6.
Rick Stokes second on the next play to cut the Lions' lead to 17-15.
“That play Linzy made help set the tone for the second half,” Terrill said.
Mario Crump scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 23. A 76-yard pass from Lee to Jeffrey Cameron set up the touchdown.
Northeast 12, Holmes 2
At Goodman, Northeast capped a disappointing season with a road win.
The Tigers (3-6 overall, 3-3 North Division) won their third straight game. Cederian Drew scored the game's long touchdown on an 11-yard run in the third quarter for a 12-0 lead.
Jonathon Banks kicked field goals of 26 and 36 yards.