Posted: 6:30 pm Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Pahokee blows big lead in first loss since ’05 

By Jason Lieser

The Blue Devils squandered a 27-point lead with nine minutes left in a 48-47 loss to Olive Branch (Miss.) in the Miami Sports Kickoff Classic at Traz Powell Stadium.

De Jousha Johnson caught what appeared to be a game-winning touchdown pass with 19 seconds left, but the play was ruled incomplete and Olive Branch (Miss.) High celebrated a big comeback.

It was the Blue Devils’ first loss since the 2005 state championship game, but the game is considered an exhibition, so Pahokee’s 28-game winning streak is intact.

Olive Branch’s game-winning touchdown came immediately after cornerback Keshun Cowan intercepted Pahokee’s Nu’Keese Richardson deep in Blue Devils’ territory. Aside from that mistake, Richardson was spectacular, rushing for 138 yards and throwing for 137. He threw one touchdown pass and rushed for two, including a seven-yarder that he finished with a leaping somersault over two defenders that awed the crowd.

Pahokee running back Vincent Smith ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. He had a 59-yard run in the first quarter.

Olive Branch overcame four turnovers and finished with 312 yards of total offense. Conquistadors coach Scott Samsel said it was one of the best games he has been a part of, and a major statement by his players.

“They can talk about breaks, but it was breaks both ways,” Samsel said.