Gadsden, AL – In a thrilling Class 5A first round matchup Thursday night at Barney Hood Stadium, the Boaz Pirates tasted sweet revenge over the Region 6 champion Southside Panthers, securing a hard fought 10-7 victory. The win avenged the Pirates 48-45 overtime loss to Southside earlier in the season.
The Panthers closed out head coach Miles Holcomb’s third season at the helm of the Southside program at 8-3, their best performance since 2014.
Thursday’s clash saw the teams amass a total of 462 yards, a significant drop from the 900 yards in their September face-off.
The Panthers were the first to put points on the board late in the third quarter when Cayden McMichael returned a Boaz punt 23 yards, setting up Mason Teague for a touchdown. Caleb Ogle’s successful point-after gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead with just under two minutes left in the quarter.
However, the Pirates swiftly cut the deficit to 7-3 when Jose Arreguin split the uprights from 37 yards out in the waining moments of the third quarter.
The real turning point came when the Pirates halted Southside’s subsequent drive, paving the way for their game-winning march. Quarterback Tyler Pierce connected with Ty Sullivan for a 7-yard touchdown with six minutes remaining on the contest.
The Panthers had a chance to regain the lead late in the game with a pass from Jordan Bryan to McMichael, but a holding penalty nullified the potential go-ahead score.
Looking ahead, Boaz will travel to the Birmingham Metro to take on the Pleasant Grove Spartans (9-1) next Friday night. The postseason matchup with mark the first meeting between the two 5A programs.
This playoff victory for the Pirates marks a significant milestone for head coach Jeremy Sullivan’s Panthers who punched their ticket to the second round of the postseason since 2008.