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Spartans hold off Panthers, 24-20

Members of the Dudley High School Football Team stand with principal Timmons McLaughin (holding Regional Runner-up trophy) and head football coach Steven Davis.
Photo by Joe Daniels/Carolina Peacemaker.

Dudley’s Mahki Wall and Jahmier Slade (#1) chest bump celebrating Wall’s 17-yard touchdown catch against Mount Tabor. Photo by Joe Daniels/Carolina Peacemaker.[/caption]When the Dudley Panthers lost earlier to Mount Tabor, 9-6, coach Steven Davis told his team they have to play error free-football to beat Mt. Tabor.

Unfortunately, Dudley committed three big turnovers allowing the Spartans to escape with a 24-20 win to advance to the state championship game this Friday.

A blocked punt led to a 49-yard field goal just before the half giving the Spartans a 17-14 lead. A fourth quarter fumble by Mahki Wall led to the Spartans go ahead touchdown on an eight-play scoring drive. With less than two minutes remaining and Dudley driving for the go-ahead touchdown, quarterback Jahmier Slade was intercepted and the Spartans ran out the clock.

The Panthers held the Spartans to just 174 yards of offense while rolling up 289 yards on 183 passing, and 106 rushing, but came up short on the scoreboard.

Mt. Tabor struck first returning the opening kickoff 98 yards. A Slade touchdown throw to Wall tied the score. A short punt led to Mt. Tabor’s second score by Tyrees Mcintyre on a short run. Dudley’s RJ Bake scored on a 40-yard reception tying the contest at 14 all before Mt. Tabor’s Elliott Trinh kicked a 49-yard field-goal. John Carlos Millers third quarter touchdown catch gave the Panthers a 20-17 lead they held until five minutes remained.

Dudley finished the season 8-2, with both losses by Mt. Tabor. Dudley has lost five straight games to Mount Tabor since 2018.