Southern Lab had six turnovers. Amite failed to convert on three scoring chances deep in the red zone.
Enter Josh Perry — the difference-maker.
Perry led Class 3A Amite to a 20-16 nondistrict win over 1A Southern Lab on Friday night at Louisiana Leadership’s Doug Williams Stadium. Perry scored on a 62-yard interception return in the first half and caught a 67-yard touchdown pass from Devarious Henderson in the second half.
And what about the key stop Amite needed on the final play of the first half? Yep, that was Perry, too. The junior also recovered the fumble that set up the Warriors’ first TD.
“I’m 42, but now I feel like I’m 52 after this one,” Amite coach Alden Foster said. “We missed some chances to score. We made some mistakes. But a game like this … I think it’s going to make both teams better.”
Henderson completed 10 of 21 passes for 189 yards and the TD to Perry for Amite (2-1). The AHS QB also ran for a TD. Devanta Smith caught four passes for 86 yards for the winners.
“Players have to make plays,” Perry said. “All I was trying to do was help my team win.”
Southern Lab fell to 0-3, but got a boost from freshman quarterback Quincy Filmore, who ran for 98 yards, including a 54-yard run that set up a TD with 4:24 remaining that got the Kittens within four points. He also completed a 43-yard pass Darbbeoin Profit, who Perry tackled at the AHS 2 as the first half ended.
Joseph McWilliams ran for both SLHS TDs and finished with 44 yards on 11 carries.
“We had six turnovers, and the bottom line is you won’t beat a quality team with six turnovers,” SLHS coach Nick Mitchell said. “We found out tonight we have a back-up quarterback tonight, which is huge. This was Q’s (Filmore’s) coming-out party.
“(SLHS quarterback) Bladrick (Veal) hurt an ankle and we’ve got some other guys hurt. We’re going to be OK once we get everybody back. It’s a process for us.”
The first half was chocked full of frustrations for both teams. A 62-yard interception return by Perry with 3:16 left in the half gave Amite a 14-8 lead.
Southern Lab lost three first-half fumbles, including one of the game’s second scrimmage play that was recovered by Perry. An 18-yard run by Tyrell Frazier helped set up Henderson’s score on a naked bootleg.
Henderson’s 10-yard TD run and his two-point PAT pass to Smith gave the Warriors an 8-0 lead with 8:51 left in the first quarter.
Southern Lab tied the score a little more than five minutes later. The Kittens lost Veal in the process. Veal was hit out of bounds on a fourth down at AHS 4.
The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave the Kittens another play. McWilliams scored on a 2-yard run and ran for the PAT to tie it with 3:46 left in the first period..
SLHS inserted Fillmore and also used McWilliams in that role but got little going. McWilliams was intercepted twice, including the key pick by Perry.
No one scored in the third quarter. Perry’s 67-yard TD catch with 9:54 to go extended Amite’s lead. Filmore’s long run set up McWilliams’ second TD. The Kittens’ pinned Amite deep in its own territory. But Henderson’s 37-yard pass to Smith sealed the win.