Corinth Holders had been dreaming about this one ever since the school first opened in 2010, along with natural rival Cleveland.
And on Friday night, the Pirates finally got their first victory over the Rams.
Cole Sakowski passed for 197 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another, leading the Pirates to a 44-41 victory and throwing the Two Rivers 3A race into a mess.
The Pirates improved to 6-3, 2-1 in conference play, while Cleveland is 7-2 and 2-1 after seeing its six-game winning streak snapped.
The game wasn’t over until the Rams’ Paul Johnson was wide left on a 40-yard field goal attempt after Cleveland had penetrated to the Corinth Holders 1-yard line but was backed up by a holding penalty.
“I’ve been coaching a long time,” said Pirates coach Barry Honeycutt. “But this was our best win at Corinth Holders and one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of.
“Cleveland had several series when they went down the field in two or three plays. We felt if we could get a push on one play with the time they had things would work out.”
Jordan Neal caught six passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns for the Pirates, while Howard Watson rushed 16 times for 87 yards and a touchdown.
Aaron Farmer completed 18 of 32 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns for the Rams, while also rushing for a pair of scores himself.
“The kids played great,” said Cleveland’s first-year head coach, Scott Riley. “They played well enough to win. I called time out with 23 seconds left that maybe I shouldn’t have. The kids played well enough. I just messed up in clock management.
“We could still win the conference if we win our last two games. Corinth Holders has a lot of good athletes, and they played really well tonight.”
Greg Tyler caught seven passes for 176 yards for the Rams.
Senior Sakowski said it was the biggest win in his school’s history.
“This is awesome!” Sakowski said. “It feels amazing and everything just worked tonight.
“We were nervous there at the end, but we came through when it mattered most. We have had some struggles this year, but it finally clicked tonight. Our offensive line was amazing, the receivers caught the ball well and the defense was awesome.”