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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Pascagoula Panthers football team is South State bound

Credit: WXXV
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Pascagoula Panthers football team is South State bound
Pascagoula Panthers football team is South State bound

Over the past three weeks, the Pascagoula football team has seen just about everything.

From wining the region 4 class 5A district championship by virtue of a four-way tiebreaker to winning a first round playoff game by virtue of a COVID-19 forfeiture to winning a second round playoff game by virtue of a game-winning field goal in overtime.

- over the past three weeks... th- pascagoula football team- has seen just about everything.- from winning the region 4 class- - 5-a district championship, by - virtue of a four-way tie- - breaker... to winning a first - round playoff game, by virtue o- a covid-19 forfeiture... to - winning a second round playoff- game, by virtue of a game-- winning field goal... in- overtime... the panthers are- back in the south state - finals... for the first time...- in a long time.

- - nat ---> "alright, we've got feast on me,- feast on three!

One, two, three- feast!"

"we've been waiting for this moment ever since june 1st.

- we've been talking about it - the whole time.

It's finally- here, and now we've just got to- make the most of it."

"in all honesty, june 1st.

When these guys started showing up o- june 1st our- expectation was to be here, to- contend for a championship.

So- no, it's not surprising to be - here.

But it sure is- gratifying."

More than five months in the- making... pascagoula- certainly has a lot to be - thankful for... leading up to - the - fourth friday, in november.

- "it feels pretty strange.

I've never been here before, and las- year we were one step - - - - away from being here.

And just- the feeling of coaches making - memories, taking- pictures.

I asked coach, why ar- you taking pictures?

He said yo- never know- when you can be here again."

The panthers haven't been where- they are now, since 2012... - and they haven't been where - they're trying to go... since - 2012.

- "watching guys like jaylen smit come out of here and play in- those games and - know that those were the greats- that played ahead of us and now- we know we're the - next ones to do it, that really- means a lot.

But at the same- time, we've got to stay - humble and realize that it's al- on us.

We don't have anyone to- save us.

We don't - have anyone to back us up.

So w- have to come in every day, day- in and day out, - and give it our all, 110- percent."

- the region 4 class 5-a champs - have been pretty good at saving- themselves, all year long...- especially against- hattiesburg.- pascagoula out-scored the tiger- 30-nothing in the fourth- quarter, of an early october- regular season comeback win...- and then doubled down, on - friday.

- the hero was caden chisholm...- who kicked the game-tying field- goal, as time expired in- regulation... before booting- home the game-winner... in a- 35-32 overtime thriller.- "that's more or less one of those ones you've got to be - there.

I was on the end and - once he kicked it, i turned - around to see if he made it or- - - not or whatever and then next - thing i know, i see our - quarterback keilon and caden- sprinting down the- field and i was trying to catch- up with caden to give him a big- hug but i couldn't."

"did you realize caden was that fast?"

"nah.

I didn't even see caden.

Was already down there.

I think- i ran a 4-flat 100."

"that's just pure joy, pure elation.

Watching your kids - execute and to be able to walk- off - the field victorious to get the- to south state and the- opportunity to go to- jackson, that's what we played- for all year long and to see- - - that finally come to fruition,- there's no feeling like it in - the coaching world."

As the focus now shifts to west- jones, in less than 72- hours... it's hard not to think- about all the panthers have - overcome... to even get to this- moment.

- and not just losing two games - due to covid-19... but- even in the years prior to- this... with the class of 20-21- going 0-7 as- seventh graders... and then 1-1- - - - as sophomores, on varsity... to- now being just two wins away, - from the program's- first gold ball... since 1987.- "it just feels better to be out here with my brothers and - knowing that we're fighting for- something that this school- hasn't done in a really long- time."

"same mentality.

Like i said, w beat covid.

I feel like it's- more of a mental- game now.

But i feel like if we- beat covid, we can beat west- jones."

"they followed our warface mentality that we would be able- to be practicing during - thanksgiving.

And it's a dream- come true for every one of thes- young men, and as - coaches it's the opportunity yo- always want to have is to - - - practice during thanksgiving."

- as we learned at stop number 8,- on news 25's 25 teams in 25 - days... - warface stands for work...- - - - accountability... respect...- family... attitude... - character... and enthusiasm.- the panthers and mustangs will- kick things off, from - pascagoula's war memorial -

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