Jennings stopped Sterlington on a 2-point conversion with 11 seconds remaining to preserve a 39-38 Class 3A quarterfinal victory.
Hayes Crockett’s 11-yard pass to Layton Rainbolt brought the visiting Panthers within a single point in the waning seconds.
Sterlington (12-1) successfully converted a 2-point run in an 18-17 Week 6 road victory over District 2-3A rival Union Parish, but the Bulldogs rose to the challenge.
No. 23 Jennings (8-5), which knocked off a higher-seeded foe for the third straight week, travels to No. 6 New Orleans McDonogh #35 for the semifinals. The top half of the bracket has No. 12 Union Parish at No. 1 St. James.
Down 39-29 early in the fourth quarter Friday night, the Panthers battled back to put themselves in position to win.
Jacob Green’s 32-yard field goal made it a single possession game, 39-32 with 4:50 remaining.
Jennings then drove from its own 24 to the Sterlington 25 before turning the ball over on downs with 2:40 on the clock.
Sterlington covered 75 yards on 12 plays to climb within a single point.
It wasn’t over after the unsuccessful 2-point try as the Panthers recovered the inevitable onside kick at the Jennings 34. However, the Panthers were unable to get into field goal range as two pass attempts fell incomplete.
Dallas Reagor’s two-yard run staked the Panthers to a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Two minutes later, Jennings trimmed the deficit to 7-6 on a 15-yard run by Jalen Lewis.
Trevor Etienne’s 10-yard run and an a 62-yard scamper by Lewis put the Bulldogs up 20-7 with 5:06 left in the half.
Sterlington closed within 20-14 at intermission as Crockett’s 9-yard run finished an 11-play, 68-yard drive.
Getting the second half off to a positive start, the Panthers forced Jennings into a punting situation.
Two plays after the punt, the Panthers retook the lead, 21-20, on Dallas Reagor’s 71-yard jaunt.
With the Bulldogs facing third-and-one on their next possession, Lewis matched Reagor’s 71-yard touchdown burst.
Sterlington answered two plays later. Hixson Street’s 65-yard reception enabled the Panthers to regain the upper hand, 29-26, midway through the third period.
Retaining possession at the 17 following a fumbled kickoff, the Panthers were unable to cash in. A chop block on first down pushed the Black Cats back to the 30 before the Bulldogs batted down a 39-yard field goal try.
Taking over at the 22, the Bulldogs methodically marched 78 yards on 11 plays while taking 5:18 off the clock. Etienne’s five-yard run expanded the Jennings lead to 32-26 with 10:36 to play.
Following an empty possession by the Panthers, Keenan Landry blocked the ensuing punt to give Jennings a short field at the 12.
Etienne and the Bulldogs would need just one play to capitalize as the lead swelled to 39-26 with 8:44 remaining.
Jennings out-gained the Panthers 487-375 behind the running of Lewis (22 carries, 239 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Etienne (17-135-3). Quarterback Bub Willridge was an efficient 5-of-7 for 108 yards through the air, connecting with Jacorian Palfrey four times for 107 yards.
Reagor rushed for 157 yards and a pair of scores on 19 attempts, and Rainbolt caught three passes for 74 yards and a touchdown to spark the Panthers offensively.
By the Numbers
SHS ……………………………. JHS
12 ……..…. First downs …..…. 14
.36-180 …… Rushes-yards …. 43-379
195 ………. Passing yards ….. 108
25-8-1 …… Passes (A-C-I) …. 7-5-0
3-41 ……… Punts-avg. …..…… 2-33
1-0 ………. Fumbles-lost …..…. 3-2
10-86 …… Penalties-yards ….. 7-45
Sterlington 7 7 15 9–38
Jennings .. 6 14 6 13—39
S—Dallas Reagor 2-run (Jacob Green kick), 6:39
J—Jalen Lewis 62-run (kick failed), 4:39
J—Trevor Etienne 10-run (kick good), 10:39
J—Lewis 62-run (kick good), 5:06
S—Hayes Crockett 9-run (Green kick), 3:02
S—Reagor 71-run (Green kick), 9:14
J—Lewis 73-run (kick failed), 7:24
S—Hixson Street 65-pass from Crockett (Reagor run), 6:14
J—Etienne 5-run (run failed), 10:38
J—Etienne 12-run (kick good), 8:41
S—Green 29-FG, 4:50
S—Layton Rainbolt 11-pass from Crockett (run failed), 0:11
RUSHING—Sterlington: Reagor 19-157-2. Lewis 22-239-3, Etienne 17-135-3.
PASSING (A-C-I-Yds-TD)—Sterlington: Crockett 25-8-1-195-2. Jennings: Bub Willridge 7-5-0-108-0.
RECEIVING—Sterlington: Rainbolt 3-74-1, Ram Foster 2-37, Street 1-65-1, Oren Keller 1-17. Jennings: Jacorian Palfrey 4-107.