Pascagoula put together a strong performance on the road Friday night, but came up just short in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs in Waynesboro.
Wayne County (7-5) beat the Panthers 31-24 and will advance to play at Picayune in the second round of the postseason.
Pascagoula (6-6) had the ball inside the Wayne County 30 with under 2 minutes to go, but the Panthers had a low snap and the War Eagles recovered the fumble to end the threat.
"We had our opportunities," Pascagoula coach Lewis Sims said. "We had also had an interception and a couple of fumbles.
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"It was a heck of a ball game and both teams played hard, fought to the end. We were probably as evenly matched as anybody playing tonight. It came down to who made fewer mistakes in the second half. They made fewer and capitalized on ours."
Pascagoula led 8-0 midway through the first quarter on a touchdown run by senior running back Reginald Hunter.
Wayne County answered with a pair of touchdowns to go up 14-8 with 9:10 left in the first half.
Pascagoula regained the lead 15-14 when Hunter Collins ran it in the end zone with 6:45 left in the first half.
The two teams swapped touchdowns just before the half to set the score at 21-21 at halftime.
Jimmy Gammill kicked a 32-yard field goal to put Pascagoula back in the lead at 24-21 with 8:57 left, but Wayne County closed out the game with 10 unanswered points.
Senior running back Javarous Walker also had a touchdown run for the Panthers Friday night.
It was a tough way for the season to end as Sims said goodbye to a talented senior class.
"It's a great group of young men," Sims said. "In many ways, they had to battle through a lot of adversity. I couldn't be more proud of the guys. Our program is going to miss them."