Hattiesburg High's Drexlan Allen scores a touchdown in the Class 5A South State championship game against Laurel Friday.(Photo: Susan Broadbridge/Hattiesburg American)
Hattiesburg High is headed to the Class 5A State championship game.
Running back Drexlan Allen scored three touchdowns and the Tigers’ defense continued its stingy ways. As a result, Hattiesburg (14-0) pounced on Laurel 33-22 Friday, winning its first South State title since 1998.
D’Andre Humbles and Darius Ruffin also caught touchdown passes from Jarod Conner in the victory.
Hattiesburg coach Tony Vance raised both arms and pumped his fist before being doused with ice water on a chilly night at D.I. Patrick Stadium, with players and fans swarming the field as the scoreboard clock struck zero.
“Didn’t feel it,” Vance said with a big smile. “That’s why I wore this vest.”
The Golden Tornadoes (9-5) took a 3-0 lead on a 27-yard field goal as time expired in the first quarter. Zias Perryman’s 3-yard scoring run late in the third quarter accounted for the visitors’ first touchdown of the game.
Following another Laurel touchdown, Allen scored his third touchdown of the game from 2 yards out with 3:38 left in the game.What it means
Hattiesburg High moves on to face West Point (14-0) in the Class 5A State championship game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at Ole Miss' Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford.Turning point
A fake extra-point. This successful 2-point conversion ensured Laurel would have a three-score deficit to overcome. It was tough sledding for the Golden Tornadoes after this play.Player of the game
Drexlan Allen. He tallied three touchdowns on the night, capitalizing on his touches to help lead his team to a South State Championship. Not a difficult choice.
Hattiesburg's Drexlan Allen scored three touchdowns versus Laurel Friday. Trevor Ritchie/For Hattiesburg American
“I’m so proud of these guys,” Vance said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling. They’ve worked their butts off. Starting five years ago, they believed when nobody else believed that we could get it done.”