Friday Night Lights: East advances, CHS falls

East Marion pulled off a big upset on the road Friday night in Lumberton to advance to South State, while Columbia dropped a tightly contested game at home in a rematch against Jeff Davis County to end a successful season for the Wildcats.

East Marion 26, Lumberton 14

For the second time in head coach Kevin Jackson’s tenure, East Marion is heading to South State.

The Eagles jumped out to an 18-0 lead and had an 85-yard pick-six by Latrel Waller in the final moments to seal a 26-14 win over Lumberton in the second round of the 1A playoffs. The Eagles avenged a 34-6 loss to Lumberton in late September on the back of a defense that has become the strength of the team.

East Marion will travel next week to undefeated Nanih Waiya, which beat Stringer 41-14 Friday night. The winner will advance to the state championship game at Southern Miss on Nov. 30.

Devin Daniels threw a 68-yard touchdown to Flenard McLin, Waller had a 4-yard touchdown and Wanya Cook had a 14-yard score.

Jeff Davis 27, Columbia 15

Columbia High School’s playoff run ended Friday night with a 27-15 loss to Jefferson Davis County at Walter Payton Field at Gardner Stadium.

The Wildcats finish the season with a 10-3 record as the Jaguars 10-4 continue on and will face Seminary, which beat Winona 46-41, in the South State title game next Friday.

For Jeff Davis, the win at Columbia avenges a 14-12 loss on the same field earlier this year.

Things looked good for the Wildcats early on in the third round 3A matchup as Columbia got a safety after turning the ball over on downs deep in Jeff Davis territory to take a 2-0 lead.

On the next possession Columbia High quarterback Ralpheal Luter connected with Jamison Kelly for an 81-yard touchdown and after Harrison Foxworth’s extra point, the Wildcats led 9-0 with 2:24 left in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter the Jaguars roared back and drove down the field before scoring on a 35-yard pass to make it 9-7 in Columbia’s favor.

Jeff Davis then took a 14-9 lead on a 5-yard run with 3:45 left in the first half.

The 14-9 score held until the 9:46 mark in the fourth quarter when the Jags ran it in from seven yards, but the kick failed, making it 20-9.

Set up by another Luter-to-Kelly pass of 26 yards, the Wildcats scored on a 1-yard run by Kentrell Bullock with 6:39 left in the game to make it 20-15 after a fumbled two-point conversion.

But Jeff Davis put the nail in the coffin, scoring with 3:09 left in the game and adding the PAT kick to make it 27-15.

Caption: East Marion's Latrel Waller celebrates with assistant coach Shalamar Walker following his 85-yard pick-six to seal the Eagles' 26-14 upset win over Lumberton to advance to South State. Photo by Joshua Campbell.

Reporting by Joshua Campbell and Mark Rogers, C-P staff writers