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Petal heads back to Brandon for South State title game

12:00 AM, Nov. 22, 2012 EST

Petal players celebrate after a turnover earlier this season. / File photo

Almost two months ago, Petal traveled to Brandon and dominated the first three quarters of the game.

The Panthers carried a 17-0 lead into the fourth quarter. But it didn't last long.

Brandon recovered three consecutive onside kicks that helped the Bulldogs claw their way back into the game. But, in the end, Petal prevailed 24-19.

On Friday, the Panthers and Bulldogs will tee it up again in Brandon -- this time for the Class 6A South State championship.

Petal head coach Marcus Boyles, making the ninth appearance of his career in a South State title game, said he expects another tight contest.

"I don't think you'll see either team make a lot of adjustments," he said. "If we do, it won't be anything major, because obviously what we've been doing is working."

Petal is led on offense by quarterback Larson Barkurn, a stable of running backs that includes Tyus Raine, Bo Waites, James Milledge and John Windham, and the lethal combination of receivers Jamarcus Revies and Jesse Jackson.

Brandon employs a similar scheme, with Gardner Minshew under center, Davien Tillis at running back and Elijah Parker and Colby Williams at receiver.

"I think when you look at our offenses, you see teams that if you give them the run, they're satisfied with that," Boyles said. "And if you give them the pass, they're OK with that, too. It makes it hard for a defense to defend."

Boyles said the prospect of making trips to the Jackson area in consecutive weeks isn't even on his Panthers' radar.

"We're focused on Brandon," he said. "We're taking this one game at a time. We know what kind of game it'll be (against Brandon). It'll be a physical football game for the full 48 minutes."

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.




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