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PELAHATCHIE â€“ The Starkville Academy Volunteers saw East Rankin Academy execute an 80-yard drive in the closing moment of Friday's game and the homestanding Patriots won a 34-29 decision in Class AAA-District 2 action.
After Colby Runnels scored on a 6-yard run and added the two-point conversion run with 1:10 remaining in the game, the Vols were able to take a 29-28 lead. East Rankin was able to come back and score with a 36-yard pass with only 26 ticks left and got the victory.
The Patriots established a 21-7 advantage at halftime with two of the touchdowns being a run and a pass from quarterback Jacob Weldon. SA's only touchdown in the first half was a 2-yard run by Runnels in the first quarter.
East Rankin added another score in the third quarter, then the Vols began their rally with three-straight rushing touchdowns. Runnels scored his third touchdown of the game with a 3 yarder in the third quarter, while Drew Pellum had a 6-yard scoring run to open the fourth quarter.
Runnels rushed 25 times for 133 yards, caught two passes for 16 yards and also had a good night running the football back on kickoffs. Pellum added 67 yards rushing on eight carries.
Johnathon Burton made all three of the extra-point kicks he attempted.
Starkville Academy had 304 yards of total offense with 260 coming on the ground and 44 through the air.
Drew Harrell, Bailey Newell, Trip Janssen and Jonathon Black were credited with good defensive outings.
With the loss, the Vols saw their records fall to 5-5 overall and 2-3 in the division. They host Presbyterian Christian next Friday to close the regular season.