4A Playoffs: Jordan Osborn runs for four touchdowns, Senatobia sails past Houston 48-30

SENATOBIA — In the aftermath of the tragic death of Houston sophomore Jamarcus Hall Friday, the Hilltoppers played their hearts out.

But in the end, they ran into a red-hot Senatobia offense that couldn’t be stopped. The Senatobia Warriors used an explosive second and third quarter to propel them to a 48-30 win in the first round of the MHSAA Class 4A playoffs.

Jordan Osborn was the main catalyst of Senatobia’s dominant night offensively, rushing for 248 yards and four first-half touchdowns.

“I looked at him at halftime and told him we were going to keep feeding it to him,” Senatobia head coach Brooks Oakley said. “They stacked the box and made it tough on us in the second half. He’s been a workhorse all year. I’m proud of those guys up front handling the challenge.”

When Houston keyed in on him in the second half, players like Tyreese Hullette, Hunter Mabry and JaBrysten Abram stepped up to help create some much-needed separation down the stretch.

“Whatever they took away, other guys stepped up,” Oakley said.

Houston’s Red Parker made some big plays early to help the Hilltoppers keep pace for a while. After imitating Johnny Manziel and completing a 50-yard pass play to Chris Parker, he put the Hilltoppers on the board first with a goal-line touchdown. Following a two-point conversion, Houston had an 8-0 lead with 9:29 left in the opening quarter. Their defense forced a punt immediately after, but momentum quickly flipped to Senatobia’s side following a fumble by Jalen Washington inside his team’s own 30-yard line. Then, the Warriors caught fire for the remainder of the first half.

Osborn cashed in on the turnover and scored his first TD from 16-yards out. As his defense kept forcing punts, Osborn kept getting better. His goal line score gave Senatobia their first lead of the night and scored an easy 75-yarder on the following drive. His fourth and final score came on the goal line as a result of a 61-yard reception setting it up. Suddenly, the Warriors had a convincing 27-8 lead going into the locker room.

Houston finally stopped the bleeding temporarily coming out of halftime and immediately got their crowd back in the game. Red Parker threw a perfect deep ball to Steele Brooks for a 62-yard touchdown strike and following another successful two-point conversion, the Hilltoppers trailed 27-16 with 9:27 left in the third quarter.

“Those two guys, we knew they were going to be tough to deal with. They give us so much to look at,” Oakley said. “We talked about that on the headsets, pondering if we get our guys healthy for next week. We knew they weren’t going to stop. Our other guys have to make plays when they stack the box.”

Senatobia answered right back — Houston had busted coverage and Tyreese Hullette found receiver Hunter Mabry all alone and connected for a 57-yard touchdown. That allowed the Warriors to take a 16-point lead halfway through the third quarter.

The pace picked up from there.

After a quiet night on the ground, Washington put the Houston offense on his back on the ensuing drive and scored a goal line touchdown. The two-point conversation failed, but the touchdown trimmed Senatobia’s lead to 10 with 4:43 left in the third quarter.

The Warriors stretched it back to 16 when Hullette responded with an impressive drive of his own, running between the tackles, and ended it with a goal line score.

Red Parker took a bad sack on the ensuing Houston possession that gave Senatobia one more first-half possession, and JaBrysten Abram housed a run from 86 yards out. Washington scored another late touchdown for Houston, but the Warriors had already done more than enough to keep their season alive.

The Warriors will travel to West Lauderdale next Friday to face the Knights in the second round of the MHSAA Class 4A playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

“They’ve got a reputation of wanting to be physical, run the ball and play great defense,” Oakley said. “They come from a tough division. It’s going to be tough. If they come to stop the run, our other guys need to make plays everywhere else. Getting our guys to handle the road trip is the biggest concern we got. We have a mature group, so I hope we handle that well.”

Jared Redding

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