NEW ORLEANS - Even when McMain trailed Livonia by eight points with 3:37 left in their Class 3A regional playoff game, Mustangs running back Joshua Rounds said he and his teammates refused to panic.
After all, McMain has shown this season that it can score on any team, and the Mustangs were not about to give up on their dreams of reaching the quarterfinals for the first time.
McMain kept its season alive and stunned Livonia by outscoring the Wildcats 22-7 in the final minutes for a 57-50 victory at Pan American Stadium.
“We knew we could control the ball, get a few stops and score,” Rounds said.
Rounds, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior, rushed for 252 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught an 80-yard touchdown pass. McMain quarterback Omari Jones threw five TD passes, including four to receiver Michael Andrade.
“I knew they were high scoring, but I didn’t think they would put 57 on the board,” Livonia coach David Brewerton said.
Livonia (10-2) was led by Mark Lewis, who rushed for 235 yards and three touchdowns and had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
McMain (9-3) plays Amite in the Class 3A quarterfinals.
McMain tied the score at 43 with 7:28 remaining when Jones threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Rounds, who was sprinting down the sidelines. Rounds ran up the middle for the two-point conversion.
“He ran a wheel route and caught us in man-to-man coverage,” Brewerton said.
McMain took advantage of a special teams error to take the lead. The Mustangs’ Cesar Garcia recovered a ball that was snapped over the head of punter Dylan Ainsworth.
Three plays later, Jones rolled right and threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Andrade. Rounds ran off left guard for the two-point conversion to make the score 51-43 with 3:37 left in the game.
McMain’s Markell Johnson had an interception at the Mustangs’ 8-yard line to prevent Livonia from tying the score. Two plays later, Rounds sped through the Livonia defense for a 43-yard touchdown run to make the score 57-43 with 43 seconds remaining.
“What can you say about Josh Rounds?” McMain coach Kevin Roussell said. “He is a special player.”