City's Cinderella run is over. Powell's march toward a Class 5A
state championship continues. But neither outcome was certain until
the final seconds ticked away Friday night at Powell.
In a game marred by costly penalties and missed
opportunities, Powell held off Lenoir City's second-half rally and
escaped with a 34-26 win to advance to the semifinals of the state
The Panthers (13-0) will play host to Knoxville's
West High School (12-1) next week. The Rebels were a 40-14 winner
Friday over Morristown West.
"I expect it to be a great game'" Powell coach
Matt Lowe said of the Panthers' upcoming final four game against the
Rebels. "This is the game both teams have had circled all year long.
We've all kind of expected this game to happen and we're just happy
to be in it."
Dy'Shawn Mobley led the Powell offense with 234
yards rushing and five touchdowns, including second-half runs from
25, 23 and 21 yards out.
His final touchdown seemingly put the game out of
reach 34-18, immediately after Lenoir City failed to convert on
fourth-and-eight from their own 21-yard line with 3:38 left to play.
But Lenoir City still had an answer, marching down
the field one last time, driving 60 yards and scoring on Tanner
Wilson's 1-yard run. Quarterback Jordan Hall connected with Camion
Patrick for the 2-point conversion pass, and
Lenoir City made it a one-possession game again
with 1:15 remaining.
Powell's Justin Woods covered up Lenoir City's
onside kick, however, and Powell simply took a knee three times to
finish out the game.
Surprisingly, it wasn't long before all the
last-minute excitement that the game appeared all but over.
Trailing 21-0 midway through the third quarter,
and able to produce a meager 9 yards of offense through the first 30
minutes of the contest, Lenoir City exploded for 26 points and 300
yards over the final 18 minutes.
Lenoir City quarterback Jordan Hall led the rally,
going 23 of 38 through the air for 248 yards and two touchdowns.
"We really struggled early on offense and our
coaches just challenged the kids at halftime to come out and execute
better," said Lenoir City coach Mike Eller. "We lost a couple close
games in the regular season that we could have won. But I was really
proud of the way our team finished the season. They really pulled
together and made it a good run."
Two Lenoir City drives were extended by roughing
the passer penalties against Powell on third down incompletions.
Both times Lenoir City went on to score touchdowns.
In all, Powell was called for 12 penalties
covering 115 yards on the night.
"Those penalties really hurt us tonight, and
that's something we've got to get under control," said Lowe. "You
never want to take away from your players' aggressiveness. But we've
got to be smarter than that, and that will become more and more
important as we move on in the playoffs."