Had the Stone High football team played the first three quarters the way they played the fourth, Saturday’s game against Purvis would have been no contest.
Sadly, those first three quarters doomed the Tomcats [1-4 overall, 0-1 8-4A] and the Tornadoes took a 42-40 victory in double overtime.
The game, which was resumed after being postponed by weather in Purvis Friday night, was played at Pearl River Community College and was a defensive struggle for the scoreless first quarter.
Stone got on the board first in the second quarter when Carlos Brown scored from six yards out for the first of his six touchdowns on the day.
The Tornadoes [4-3, 1-0] jumped offside on the PAT, so the Tomcats went for a 2-point conversion that was stopped.
It would be the last points the Tomcats scored until the 9:55 mark of the fourth quarter, while Purvis scored 26 unanswered points, getting on the board just 50 seconds later when quarterback Hunter Robinson hit a wide open Jesse Johnson for a 61-yard touchdown.
“I don’t even have an explanation for it,” said coach John Feaster of the lethargic way his team played the majority of the game.
Then, like Lazarus rising from the dead, the Tomcats came on strong over the final 12 minutes and in the overtime possessions.
“We fought hard in that fourth quarter,” Feaster said. “It’s a testament to our kids; they showed a lot of resiliency.”
To say they fought hard is somewhat of an understatement as the Tomcats controlled every facet of the game in that fourth quarter.
Except for a bobbled snap on an extra point attempt, which led placekicker Clint Ryals to carom the ball off the left upright, it seemed the Tomcats could do little wrong.
That PAT would loom large at the end of regulation.
Brown would score three touchdowns in the fourth and two more in the overtimes and also scored two 2-point conversions.
He finished the game with 231 yards on 32 carries and scored all but two of Stone’s 40 points.
“He’s special,” Feaster said of his sophomore running back.
In the overtimes, Purvis got the ball first at the 10-yard line and Keoki Laphand carried three times, scoring from the 4-yard line.
The Tornadoes then ran a successful 2-point conversion.
Stone then got its possession and Brown carried three times, scoring from the 5-yard line and then scoring the 2-point try.
Stone’s offense had to stay on the field as overtimes feature alternating first possessions.
Brown needed just two attempts to find the end zone, but the 2-point try was unsuccessful.
Robinson scored from the 2-yard line and Laphand scored the conversion to give the Tornadoes the victory.