On a chilly night in Powdersville, led by Thomas Williams’ 4 touchdowns, the Patriots sailed past the Southside Tigers 43-12 to become the Region 2-3A champions. It’s the team’s first region championship since 2016.
Powdersville completed the regular season undefeated at 10-0. Williams, who played on offense and defense, had a career high and school record of 239 rushing yards.
“We’ve got multiple kids like this but I felt like he put the team on his back tonight.” Powdersville head coach Robert Mustar said of Williams. “He did an exceptional job tonight.”
On Powdersville’s 1st drive, Xavier Fowler took a handoff and went around the right side for a 10-yard touchdown. The stout Patriots defense held Southside to a 3-and-out on its 1st drive.
Williams’ 1st touchdown came on a 3-yard rush to put Powdersville up 15-0.
Two quarterback sacks, one of which was by Peyton Little and the other by a mass of tacklers, stuff the next Southside possession.
“Our defense really stepped it up and we were able to get a little bit of separation but, I was proud of all our kids tonight.” said Coach Mustar.
In the 2nd quarter, Williams rushed up the middle, bounced off several defenders before cutting to his left and dashed 40 yards for his 2nd touchdown.
Williams had a touchdown-saving tackle on the next Southside drive. Williams hadn’t played on defense much after his injury in the Berea game. He played well on both sides of the ball.
“I was finally able to play some defense … all the anger I built up in me and I showed it out there.” said Williams.
Then a Ryan Hendricks sack brought up 4th down and Powdersville was able to stop the Tigers and avert a scoring threat.
The end of the 1st half brought another Williams touchdown-saving tackle to keep Powdersville ahead 22-6.
Williams continued his offensive showcase with a 38-yard rushing touchdown, running the ball up the middle untouched.
Powdersville’s defense remained strong in the 2nd half. Little had another sack. A tackle by sophomore Harrison Jefferies preceded a Jalen Rambert tackle for loss to bring up 4th down again.
The defense only allowed Southside to score twice, both of which were Camron Gamble to Chanc Gamble passes.
Williams’ last touchdown was an explosive play that saw the junior cruising into the end zone with no Southside defenders in sight.
“I was really focused on that the whole game, exploding more.” said Williams. “When I exploded out, I caught a cramp, too. Right as soon as I ran, it was right in my calf.”
The last scoring drive for Powdersville saw Khalil Canty break a tackle and speed down the field for a 1st down. Patriots quarterback Eli Hudgins threw a high pass to Kyle Rice, who barely got his feet in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown to expand Powdersville’s lead to 43-12.
The touchdown was Hudgins’ only of the night, though the sophomore threw for 107 yards and completed 12 out of 18 passes.
In the 1st round of the SCHSL Playoffs, Powdersville hosts Region 3-3A’s 4th-place finisher.