Neshoba grabs upset win
By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
September 7, 2003
PHILADELPHIA There's a new sheriff in Neshoba County and they didn't need an election to settle the changing of the guard.
Neshoba Central ended Philadelphia's six-year reign in their annual football series with a 27-12 victory over the Tornadoes Friday at Harpole Stadium.
The win cuts Philadelphia's series lead to 23-21. Neshoba's 27 points are their most in the series since taking a 31-7 win in 1996.
The victory gave Neshoba Central third-year head coach Jim Ray, a former Philadelphia assistant, his first win over the Tornadoes.
The Rockets got all 327 of their yards on 47 rushes as they did not attempt a pass.
Deshawn Smith led the Rockets, 1-2, with 100 yards on 12 carries. Justin Porter gained 94 yards on eight rushes. Kyle Vowell picked up 75 yards on 11 totes with Kevin Marshall adding 52 yards on 12 carries.
The Rockets took a 13-6 lead into halftime as Smith scored on a 2-yard pitchout from Vowell on the game's first possession and Marshall tallied on a 4-yard run with 10:10 to go in the first half.
Porter Jordan booted field goals of 41 and 42 yards for the Tornadoes, 2-1, in the first half. The first kick came after Neshoba halted a Philadelphia drive at the Rocket 23 thanks to back-to-back sacks of Jordan for 13 yards by Harvey Brown and Kenyon Boatman.
The Rockets broke the game open with two touchdowns in a span of 85 seconds midway through the third quarter. Vowell capped a six-play, 70-yard drive with a 1-yard sneak with 7:13 on the clock.
Philadelphia muffed the ensuing kickoff with the Rockets recovering at the Tornado 29. Four plays later, Vowell scored on another 1-yard sneak. Vowell's extra point staked the Rockets to a 27-6 lead with 5:48 to go in the third period.
Philadelphia closed to within 27-12 on a 19-yard run by Desmond Murray with 1:25 left in the third period. William Adkins picked off Jordan's two-point pass and the Tornadoes got no closer than the Neshoba 29 the rest of the night.
Murray finished with 58 yards on 15 carries. Jordan was 7-of-18 for 124 yards with one interception. Jerod Boler caught five passes for 94 yards.