Last week it was all about Southport back Christian Perry, as he ran wild to lead Southport past Bloomington North. This week, it was more of a team effort in a victory over Columbus North.
Perry did rush for 199 yards on 28 carries, but quarterback Luke Johnston also was a huge contributor, completing 19-of-29 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cardinals scored a late touchdown, on a 12-yard pass by Johnston to post a 28-21 victory and conclude the regular season undefeated at 9-0.
Columbus North used Josh Holt’s 1-yard run to take an early 7-0 lead.
Southport answered by scoringed twice in the second quarter, both touchdowns coming on passes from senior Johnston. He hit Tim Jewell on a 5-yard pass to make it 7-7, then put the Cardinals up 14-7 with a 65-yard throw to Klayton Byrd. However, the Bulldogs tied it with 42 seconds left in the half on an 11-yard TD pass from Michael Vogel to Weston Moore.
With 4:21 left in the third quarter, Perry went in from the 1 to put Southport up 21-14.
Vogel though scored on a 69-yard quarterback sneak to forge a 21-21 tie at the 4:09 mark of the third quarter.
Southport’s game-deciding touchdown came in the fourth quarter came when Chinoya Phiri hauled in Johnson’s 12-yard pass with 8:35 to play.
After forcing a Bulldog punt, Southport took over deep in it own territory with just over four minutes to play. Several big runs by Perry helped run out the clock.
Southport coach Bill Peebles was proud of his team.
“Columbus North (3-6) is a tremendously well coached ball team, and we were fortunate enough to slow their running game down in the second half and come away with a win,” he said. “It is a very humbling experience to be 9-0 and I’m very proud of the boys this season.”
Perry didn’t quite have as many yards as he did last week, when he finished with 432, but he still averaged 7.1 yards per carry.
Byrd caught seven passes for 142 yards and a score.
The undefeated Cardinals will start their postseason quest for a state title as they take on Perry Meridian at home.