The No. 1 team in Mississippi was cut open and showed it was human in the first 24 minutes Friday. Pearl senior quarterback Jake Smithhart’s first pass of the game was an easy interception taken to the end zone by Warren Central (Vicksburg).
Warren Central moved the ball with ease, and the Pirates — ranked No. 24 in the Super 25 — trailed 21-7 in the first quarter. Maybe they weren’t the best team.
But Pearl responded, shut down the Warren Central offense for the rest of the game and won 28-21.
The game had been voted as the Super 25 Game of the Week by readers of USA TODAY High School Sports
“Our kids just kept fighting,” Pearl coach John Perry said. “We took their best shot, you know you’re going to take everybody’s best shot.”
After the game, Perry didn’t act like his team made any drastic changes or dominated the second half.
Those numbers didn’t translate into the second half, as Barnum completed 4-of-8 for only nine yards after halftime.
“We just got fortunate in the second half and made a couple plays that they didn’t,” Perry said. “You can’t take anything away from Warren Central. They got a great coaching staff and a great program.”