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Philadelphia continues playoff run with win

By By JIM LUKE/The Meridian Star
Nov. 10, 2001
PHILADELPHIA After almost four full quarters of hard fought football the playoff game between the Philadelphia Tornadoes and the Velma Jackson Fighting Falcons came down to a fourth-down play at the Tornado seven-yard line.
Philadelphia's Blake Peebles answered the call, stopping Velma Jackson's Eugene Luckett for no gain with 19.1 seconds left to play to preserve a 35-28 win for the host team in the opening round of the State 3A Playoffs here Friday night.
Both teams took advantage of opportunities during the contest with the Tornadoes breaking onto the scoreboard first on a 12-yard run by Kenshay Hunter with 4:29 left in the first quarter.
The touchdown was set up on a fumble recovery by Freddie Hailey at the Velma Jackson 32. The kick was good to give Philadelphia a 7-0 lead.
Velma Jackson responded with an 80-yard drive with Luckett sprinting into the end zone from 23 yards out with 1:28 left in the first quarter. The two-point conversion attempt was no good for a 7-6 Tornado advantage.
The Tornadoes needed only one play to put more points on the scoreboard as junior quarterback Tyler Threadgill kept the ball himself on the option and outran everyone to the end zone on a 75-yard scamper.
The point after was good and the Tornadoes led 14-6.
Neither team was able to score again until the third quarter when defensive lineman Londreal Williamson picked up a Tornado fumble and rambled 82 yards for the touchdown.
The two-point conversion failed leaving the score at 14-12 Philadelphia with 9:16 to play in the third quarter.
Philadelphia answered the score by putting together another long drive, this time sticking the ball into the end zone on a 16-yard run by Threadgill after a string of strong runs by Hunter and Cedric Love.
The extra point by Threadgill was good to give the Tornadoes a 21-12 advantage with 3:35 left to play in the third quarter.
The Tornadoes took advantage of another miscue by the Fighting Falcon offense when Willie Young recovered a Stanley Kimes fumble at the Velma Jackson 20-yard line.
Two plays later, Love burst through the Falcon defense for a 20-yard run with 8:15 left to play in the game. The extra point was good and Philadelphia led 28-12.
Velma Jackson refused to quit and drove the ball back down the field and scored on a 10-yard run by Christopher Green with 6:16 remaining. Luckett ran the ball in from the three for the two-point conversion to bring the Falcons closer at 28-20.
The Falcons then took advantage of a mistake by the Philadelphia offense and took only two plays to cover 43 yards following a fumble recovery in Tornado territory.
Kimes hit Steven Green on a 40-yard catch and run for the touchdown and the two-point run by Luckett tied the score 28-28 with 4:08 remaining in the contest.
With possible elimination facing them in the first round of the State 3A Playoffs, the Tornadoes responded quickly with a 75-yard run for a touchdown by Hunter behind a crucial block by Love.
The point after was good to give Philadelphia a 35-28 lead with 3:07 left to play.
At that point the Falcons mounted a serious drive that took them all the way to the Philadelphia seven before Peebles made the critical stop on fourth down to lock the game for the Tornadoes.
Wood pulled out all the stops for the game, putting in a young offensive line that featured an eighth grader and pair of freshmen.
The Tornadoes, 7-4, finished the night with 342 yards rushing behind a 119-yard performance by Threadgill and 109 by Hunter.
Love added 83 and Daniel Puckett added 32. Philadelphia completed only one pass for a four-yard loss.
Velma Jackson had 282 yards rushing, led by David Myers with 123 yards. Kimes completed three of four passes for 64 yards. Peebles and Love led the Tornadoes defensively with nine tackles each.
The Tornadoes will be back in action Friday night when they travel to Collins for the second round of the State 3A Playoffs.