Purvis Tornadoes cruise past Lawrence County

Published 12:15am Sunday, November 3, 2013

MONTICELLO – The Purvis Tornadoes rolled up 551 yards of offense in a 48-27 spanking of Lawrence County in Region 7-4A high school football action Friday night.

Quarterback Nathan Roseberry and Markell Pack each ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns, and the duo connected on four pass plays for 100 yards and a touchdown, as Purvis overwhelmed the Cougars on Lawrence County’s “senior night.”

With the win, Perry Wheat’s Purvis team completed the regular season with an overall record of 8-2, and the Tornadoes finished at 4-1 in Region 7-4A play, earning Purvis second place in the division, and a home playoff game this Friday. Lawrence County, under first-year coach Herbert Davis, finished the season at 4-7 overall, and 1-4 in the region.

Purvis scored touchdowns on seven of its first eight offensive possessions, and rolled up a 42-6 lead before LCHS made a bit of a late comeback, largely against Purvis’ reserves. The only one of those eight possessions that didn’t result in a score ended with an interception in the end zone by Lawrence County’s Tony Maye.

“We took a thumping tonight,” Coach Davis said. “There’s no denying or sugar-coating that. That said, I was proud of the way our guys kept playing to he bitter end. We scored on our last three possessions. Even though some of that was against their reserves, we still had to execute the plays. I was proud of those drives.”

The Cougars did hold a lead in the game, albeit only for a few minutes. LCHS senior Gabraun Smith opened the game with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The extra point snap was botched, but Lawrence County held a 6-0 lead.

Unfortunately for Cougar fans, the game didn’t end at that point. Purvis promptly marched 51 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 10-yard run by quarterback Roseberry. The first of Brady Farlow’s six extra points gave the Tornadoes a 7-6 lead.

Moments later, after a Cougar fumble, Roseberry threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Pack, one of the state’s top recruits. That made it 14-6.

Following an LCHS punt, Purvis put together a nine-play drive, all on the ground, that ended with a Stephen Curtis four-yard run. It was 21-6 at the end of the first quarter.

Two long possessions followed, but neither resulted in punts. First, Lawrence County drove deep into Tornado territory, but T-Tez Cole’s pass was intercepted by Purvis’ Eric Jones. The Tornadoes responded with a long drive of their own, but Roseberry’s pass was intercepted by the Cougars’ Tony Maye in the end zone, with 36 seconds remaining on the first half clock.

Purvis quickly tallied scores on its first two second-half possessions. First, Roseberry burst up the middle for 60 yards and a touchdown. Following an LCHS fumble deep in Purvis territory, Pack showed why he is considered one of the state’s top players, zig-zagging all over the field, dodging numerous would-be tacklers, en route to an 88-yard touchdown run.

Lawrence County finished the game with a scoring flurry. First, Will Jackson passed to Maye for 22 yards and a touchdown. Jackson hit Chandler Lewis for 25 yards on a fake punt to keep that drive alive.

Late in the game, T-Tez Cole scored on a five-yard run, and Jarius Snell plunged across from one yard out, for Lawrence County’s final points of the season. In between, Purvis tacked on a final score on an Eric Jones one-yard run.

Cole led the Cougars with 82 rushing yards on 15 carries. Cole also took a few snaps at quarterback, and completed three of four passes, with one interception.