FLORENCE — The Woodville football team’s season came to a close at the hands of the defending state champion.

Top-ranked Mars Hill Bible raced out to a big halftime lead and eliminated the Panthers from the Class 1A playoffs Friday night.

Mars Hill Bible (11-0) advanced to a second-round matchup with South Lamar. Meanwhile, Woodville’s season ended at 4-7.

“They were as good as advertised and then some,” Woodville head coach Jay Powell said of Mars Hill Bible. “They’re one of the best teams I’ve ever went against. They don’t have many, if any, weaknesses.”

Mars Hill Bible’s defense, whose defensive coordinator is former Major League outfielder Josh Willingham, limited Woodville to only 62 rushing yards on 30 carries and 91 yards total.

Senior running back Da’vion Johnson rushed for 39 yards on 10 carries and had three catches for 27 yards. Junior quarterback Jackson Peek was 4-of-12 passing for 39 yards.

Mars Hill Bible enjoyed a 22-0 lead after one quarter and was in front 49-0 at halftime. Woodville got on the scoreboard in the third quarter on Johnson’s 65-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Carlos Torres’ PAT.

Woodville was making its fourth playoff appearance in five seasons. After starting 0-3, Powell was proud of the resiliency his team showed in fighting back and ultimately earning a playoff berth.

“We had three seniors and a good junior class that got us back in (the playoffs),” Powell said. “I’m proud of their effort this year. We wish we would’ve won some more games. But this bunch showed a lot of grit to achieve what they did.”

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