There were plenty of fireworks on Saturday night between Petal and Hattiesburg.
But there was thing that stood out the most.
Petal introduced a potent running game that led the Panthers to a 56-42 shootout win over rival Hattiesburg at D.I. Patrick Stadium.
“The bottom line is who are you going to stop?,” said quarterback Tanner Estill. “We’ve got dominated running backs who are just monsters and helps me out a lot. You can’t ask for anything better.”
The Panthers (1-0) had 542 yards of total offense, 395 of that came on the ground.
Tulane commit Stephon Huderson led the rushing attack with 190 yards on 15 carries and scored three touchdowns.
He scored on the very first play of the game going 48 yards off the right side. His other touchdown runs came from 3 and 53 yards out. He also scored on a 43 yard touchdown pass.
“Before the game started we told one another we got each others back,” Huderson said. “We are the dynamic trio. Defenses have to pick one to tackle. If they take me Tanner pulls it, if they take him he will hand it to me. Either way it works.”
Estill, who was making his first ever start at quarterback, had 149 yards rushing on 19 carries with two touchdowns. He passed for 147 yards and three touchdowns. His touchdown runs came from 13 and 40 yards out.
“Tanner played really good and he’s getting better at a new position. It’s still a learning process for him,” said Petal coach Marcus Boyles. “Getting more comfortable and that’ll take some time, but he made some really good decisions with reads.”
Xavier Yancey had 56 yards rushing and scored on a 16-yard run in the second quarter. Yancey was limited and has been through preseason due to a groin injury.
“Xavier and Stephon gives us two really good backs and helps us open up different things,” Boyles said. “One big thing is up front with the offensive line and they did a great of blocking for all three of those guys.”