Merryville overcame field conditions and the opposing team to advance to the second round of the LHSAA Class 1A Playoffs.

The Panther defense held White Castle in check as it picked up a win on the road, 12-6.

"It was a very good win," Merryville head coach Randy Jones said. "It was a hard-fought win in incredibly bad conditions. It was really fun for the kids to win.

"The field was terrible. The rain stopped about 10 minutes before we started playing and there was standing water everywhere. It was about the worst I've seen in 30-something years. We ran the ball, but couldn't throw it very well."

The Merryville offense looked good earlier, scoring on its first drive on a Cam'ron Williams run to go up 6-0.

On the next drive, Bulldogs got on board to tie it up at 6, but after the score, both teams struggled to put points on the board.

"It turned into a turnover-fest," Jones said. "We would turn it over and stop them. They turned it over, and we couldn't get it into the endzone. I was a little disappointed from that standpoint. We had two or three turnovers from them in the redzone and couldn't push it in. Their defense was good, and they are a good team. In dry conditions, it would have been a lot tougher for us to pull out a win.

"I have to give the credit to our defense for this win. They played outstanding and had a good game plan."

With seven minutes left in the fourth, Stefon Williams ran in a touchdown to put the Panthers ahead and seal the victory.

Merryville (5-6) takes on No. 3 Kentwood in the next round on Friday.

"We have to have a 50-50 running and passing game," Jones said. "Half of that was gone last night. It really hamstrung us. Hopefully, next week, we'll be able to throw it more and keep them off balanced a little bit. It's going to be an extremely difficult game, and everybody knows that. They are really good and have plenty of talent and weapons all over the field."