The Philadelphia Tornadoes got behind their big offensive line and the running of Cortney Smith and Malik Hickman to pound out a 45-13 victory over Eupora in the first round of the Class 2A state football playoffs.

 The Tornadoes will travel to Baldwyn for the second round of the playoffs Friday night. The Bearcats come in with a 6-5 record. They finished first in Region 1-2A and defeated O’Bannon 28-0 in their first round game Friday night.

“They are a good football team,” Coach Teddy Dyess said. “They have a good quarterback and running back, and have pretty good size on their line. We will have to play well to beat them.

The Tornadoes had their hands full with Eupora in the first quarter and part of the second quarter as the Eagles jumped out to a 13-0 lead. But that would change as the game progressed.

“We kept pounding and pounding, and we finally broke through,” senior running back Courtney Smith said. “They couldn’t keep taking what we were giving them. We just kept it up.”

In the end, Smith finished with 260 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown while Malik Hickman accounted for 104 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns. As a team, Philadelphia finished with 436 rushing yards and 30 yards passing for 466 total yards. The Eagles had 77 rushing yards on 25 carries and completed five passes for 85 yards, giving them 162 total yards.

“No one panicked when we got down 13-0,” Dyess said. “We have worked hard and prepared. Our goal is to win the state championship, but we have to take things one game at a time, one play at a time. We have worked hard and prepared to be at this point. Now we are looking forward to playing Baldwyn.”

Philadelphia took the opening klck off. Eupora forced a punt on fourth down. It was blocked and the Eagles recovered the ball on the Philadelphia 13-yard line. Later. senior back Al Dumas scored on a two-yard run as he scampered around the left end for a touchdown. Tanner Knight kicked the extra point and the Eagles led 7-0.

In the second quarter, the Tornadoes forced a punt. However, Philadelphia was penalized for running into the punter and Eupora picked up a first down. A 15-yard pass play from Knight to Dumas put the ball on the Tornado one-yard line. Knight drove up the middle on the next play to score a touchdown. The extra point failed and Eupora led 13-0.

The Tornadoes got the ball on the 50-yard line after Eupora unsuccessfully tried an onside kick. Hickman came in on third down He picked up 17 yards on the first play, and then scored on 31-yard run on the second. Stetson Moore caught a pass from Ahyunte Crosby for the two-point conversion and Philadelphia trailed 13-8 with 8:11 left in the half.

“We needed a spark and I had to make the big play,” the hard-running Hickman said. “That got us going.”

The score stayed the same until the half.

Eupora took the second half kickoff and punted on fourth down. Smith blasted out a 22-yard run to put his team on the Tornado 47-yard line. Philadelphia drove the ball down to the Eupora 16-yard line. Then Crosby kept the ball and ran 16 yards for a touchdown. Crosby passed to Moore for the two point conversion and the Tornadoes led 16-12 with 6:39 left.

Eupora took the kickoff and drove down to the Philadelphia six-yard line before running out of downs. Two plays later, Smith picked up 49 yards as he put the Tornadoes on the Eupora 46-yard line. Six plays later, Smith scored on a 23-yard run. Trey Crockett threw to Moore for the two-point conversion and Philadelphia went up 24-13 with 53 second left in the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia put some distance between it and the Eagles as they scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Hickman intercepted a pass on the first down after the kickoff. Five plays later, he scored on a five-yard run. Crosby passed to Lideatrick Griffin for the two-point conversion and Philadelphia led 32-13.

Philadelphia kicked off. There was a fumble and Philadelphia’s Caleb Coburn recovered the ball. The Tornadoes scored three plays later when Deiondre Fox bulled into the end zone from four yards out.  The extra point try failed and the Tornadoes led 38-13.

The Tornadoes kicked off. On first down, there was a fumble and Jalen Griffin recovered the ball. The Tornadoes drove in for another score with Jalen Griffin scoring on a two-yard run.  Conner Long kicked the extra point.

Demontae Moore was the leading Tornado tackler with seven tackles and a quarterback sack. Chris Griffin had six tackles.

Eupora finished the season with a 7-4 action.