From staff reports
North Jefferson News
The duo of quarterback Blake Byrd and receiver Kerry Smith proved to be potent for Corner, especially when they connected on their third touchdown of the night to give the Yellow Jackets a 24-21 win over Jemison in Corner’s last home game of the regular season.
Byrd hooked up with Smith for a 13-yard scoring strike with 43.7 seconds left in the game to take the lead for good. Then with 4.5 seconds left, Byrd intercepted a Jacob Hatch pass to seal the win.
Hatch opened the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. But Corner tied it on the first play of the second quarter on a 65-yard bomb. Then after Hatch fumbled the ball early in the Panthers’ next drive, Matt Vatani recovered the miscue at the Jemison 33. Byrd and Smith connected on the first play after the fumble for the score.
Randy Satterfield scored for the Panthers on a 23-yard run with 29.3 second left in the half to tie the score at 14-14 at intermission.
The difference in the scores turned out to be a long field goal from Jackets’ all-state kicker Troy Elliott, who hit from 49 yards — his longest field goal of the season and third-longest of his career — with just under a minute left in the third period.
Jemison took the lead back on a 7-yard touchdown run by Kevin King with a little eless than three minutes to play.
Byrd was 14-for-24 passing for 276 yards for the night, and Smith caught 11 passes for 212 yards, a career best.
Byrd and Smith had one other touchdown pass called back on a penalty for an ineligible receiver downfield.
King led the Panther ground game with 126 yards on 17 carries.
The victory gives Corner a clear shot at a Class 4A playoff berth, as they travel to winless Carbon Hill next week.