September 8, 2013 2:43:43 AM
HATLEY -- The Hamilton High School football team made the most of its final tuneup before Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A play by shutting out Monroe County rival Hatley 42-0 on Friday night.
After a loss to Caledonia in week two, Hamilton coach Ray Weeks was pleased to see his young team respond.
"We played with more consistency and more focus on offense," Weeks said. "Anytime you get the shut out on defense, you know you have played well on that side of the ball. It was a complete game for four quarters."
Quarterback Quinshay Heard and tailback Keshon Heard each scored twice. Quinshay scored on runs of 17 and 62 yards. Keshon scored on a 77-yard punt return to start the game and on a 45-yard run.
The early offense was more than enough for Hamilton, which led 28-0 at halftime. Both Heard brothers were right at the 100-yard mark, as the team finished with 330 yards of total offense.
"With the start of region play next week, you want to be doing some things well," Weeks said, "so we take a lot of confidence from a rivalry win like this. In region play, it's really a grind in Class 1A since you play so many more region opponents."
The other Hamilton touchdowns were a 27-yard pass from Quinshay Heard to Samuel Peloquin and a Pallas Fair 1-yard run.
Quinshay Heard, Nick Owens, and Fair helped anchor Hamilton's first shutout since 2011.
Hamilton (2-1) will play the first of eight straight Region 1 games on Friday when it plays host to Vardaman (1-2).
n Washington School 32, Starkville Academy 21: At Greenville, the Volunteers battled offensively but struggled defensively in their Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, District 1 opener.
Starkville Academy (1-2, 0-1 Class AAA, District 1) trailed 14-7 at halftime but back-to-back scores by Washington (2-0, 1-0) in the third quarter broke the game open. The teams were playing for the first time since meeting in the 2011 state championship game. Washington School also won that contest, 20-0.
"I thought we competed for four quarters," Starkville Academy coach Jeff Terrill said. "We hit some adversity there in the third quarter and we had a hard time overcoming it. We grew up a little more, and we just have to keep steps in the right direction."
Starkville Academy had 240 yards and 12 first downs. A week after eclipsing the 100-yard mark in a victory against East Rankin Academy, Grant Wolfe was held to 47 yards on 14 rushes. O'Shea Kemp led the way with 17 rushes for 63 yards. Quarterback Houston Clark also added 40 rushing yards.
Clark was 7 of 11 for 90 yards with one interception. Logan Locke led the way with five receptions for 56 yards.
Washington School built a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter on runs of 74 yards and 1 yard by quarterback Gore Pulliam. Starkville Academy closed within the one-touchdown halftime deficit on a 1-yard touchdown run by Clark.
Against East Rankin, Starkville Academy had a critical interception return for touchdown that swung the momentum. The opposite took place Friday night.
With Starkville Academy driving for the potential game-tying touchdown, a 73-yard interception return by senior Bobby Elliott instead gave the Generals a 20-7 lead. Washington increased that lead one possession later when Pulliam hit Elliott for a 49-yard touchdown pass.
"Those were couple of big plays that swung the momentum," Terrill said. "We competed and were in position to get back in the game but couldn't make that happen."
Starkville Academy's second-half scores were a 2-yard run by Kemp and 11-yard run by Clark. Jonathon Burton kicked all three extra points.
Washington School finished with 385 yards of total offense and 13 first downs. The Generals ran 29 times for 237 yards. Landon Zepponi led the way with 14 rushes for 144 yards, including a late 60-yard touchdown run.
Pulliam was 11 of 15 for 148 yards with no interceptions.
Drew Harrell led the Volunteers with nine tackles. Josh Crittenden and Drew Harrell each had fumble recoveries. Kirby Cox also had a 53-yard kickoff return for the Volunteers.
Starkville Academy will return to district play with a home game against Hillcrest on Friday night at J.E. Logan Field. Hillcrest (1-2) lost to Copiah Academy 36-6 on Friday night. It will be the district opener for the Cougars.
n Sharkey-Issaquena Academy 44, Hebron Christian 0: At Pheba, the Eagles couldn't contain the speed of the Confederates on Friday night.
Fresh off a victory against Humphreys Academy, the Eagles (1-2) couldn't build on that momentum. The Confederates rolled up 347 yards and 17 first downs.
"They have a diverse offense and do a lot of things well," Hebron Christian coach David Foster said. "The speed was a concern. If you have some containment issues against a team with that many weapons, you are going to have problems."
Sharkey-Issaquena built a 16-0 halftime lead and then took advantage of a tiring defense in the second half.
Junior Kenneth McCurdy paced the Sharkey-Issaquena rushing attack with nine carries for 119 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown run. Junior Cooper Anthony added 10 rushes for 91 yards, with a 37-yard touchdown rush. Junior Jack Martin also scored a rushing touchdown.
Martin was 8 of 12 for 93 yards. He had touchdown passes to sophomore Austin Herraney and Anthony. McCurdy also had an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Anthony had four two-point conversions, while McCurdy and Austin Steed had the others.
Hebron Christian will look to bounce back for a second time Friday night with a non-district game at Calvary Christian. MPSA Eight-Man District 1 play begins Oct. 4 with Strider Academy at home.
n The Veritas 20, Central Academy 8: At Ridgeland, the homestanding Lions moved to 3-0 with a hard-fought eight-man victory against the Vikings.
The Veritas scored twice in the first quarter on a 59-yard interception return by Derrick Amos and on a 2-yard run by Caleb Gibson.
Central Academy (1-2) pulled within 14-8 on a Russ Taylor 1-yard touchdown run and Colby Robbins two-point conversion run. A 4-yard run by Seth Spinks created some breathing room for The Veritas right before halftime. There was no scoring in the second half.
"I thought we competed. We just have some areas where we have to be more consistent," Central Academy coach Steve Ball said. "We are beginning to get some injured players back, so we should be able to do more things on offense and put some things together."
Central Academy will return to MPSA Eight-Man District 1 Friday when it plays host to Kemper Academy (2-1). The Rams defeated Humphreys Academy 22-14 on Friday night. This will be their district opener.
Meanwhile, Central Academy can take a huge step towards postseason play as it looks for a 2-0 start in district play after earlier posting a 44-0 victory against Strider Academy.
n Aliceville 22, Hale County 13: At Moundville, Ala., After a difficult season-opener, the Yellow Jackets bounced back in their Alabama High School Activities Association Class 2A, Region 4 opener.
Chris Crowell rescued the Yellow Jackets (1-1, 1-0), who trailed 13-7 at halftime. Crowell generated all of the offense, scoring on a 1-yard run and on a 54-yard run in the second half. Crowell also had a 29-yard touchdown catch from Santiago Taylor and threw a two-point conversion to Joe Robinson.
"(Crowell) was a good one to go to," Aliceville coach Charles Moody said. "You don't have to overly creative on offense, just get him the ball."
Aliceville held a 7-6 lead was driving for another score late in the first half when Houston Johnson of Hale County (0-2, 0-1) intercepted a pass and ran it back 73 yards to put the Wildcats up at the break.
"I was really proud of the way Santiago responded in the second half," Moody said. "We really put a lot on him. You can tell he is growing and getting better each week."
Aliceville had 161 yards of total offense in the opening half but were again bogged down by turnovers and penalties. Aliceville scored on back-to-back possessions in the second half to pave its way to victory.
In the second half, the Aliceville defense grew as well. The Yellow Jackets held the Wildcats to 54 yards of total offense in the final half.
Aliceville will look for a second straight region victory Friday when it plays at Sulligent (0-2, 0-1).
n Lamar County 28, Oakman 19: At Vernon, Ala., the Bulldogs moved to 2-0 with a victory in its AHSAA Class 2A, Region 4 opener at George Bell Stadium.
"The kids had to work hard to get this one," Lamar County coach Ken Adams said. "We had a shutout in the second half, so I thought that was really big for the defense."
Quarterback Dallas Cockerham led Lamar County (2-0, 1-0) with 181 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Cockerham carried his team in the second half as he erased a 19-14 halftime deficit with a 19-yard touchdown and later put the game away with a 2-yard run.
In the first half, Lamar County had a 72-yard kickoff return for touchdown by Tim Harton and a 39-yard run by Cockerham.
"The kick return was a big play because it gave us some momentum early," Adams said. "You always want to win that first district game and that got us off to a good start."
Joshua Smith helped keep the Oakman (1-1, 0-1) offense in check with six total tackles, including a sack for the Bulldogs.
In its first road game of the season, Lamar County travels to Hatch (0-2, 0-1) for another region game Friday night.
n Pickens Academy 35, Sumter Academy 13: At Carrollton, Ala., the Pirates moved to 2-0 with their second straight victory in Alabama Independent Schools Association Class A, Region 2 play.
Quarterback Josh Lewis again the led the way for the Pirates. Lewis ran for three touchdowns and passed for another. Lewis scored on runs of 43, one and 26 yards and his squad battled back from an early 6-0 deficit.
"They hit us early and I thought we really responded well," Pickens Academy coach Josh Thacker said. "The offensive line played great, and we really had some good long drives. It is always good to win your first two district games."
Grayson Nolan was on the receiving end of a 24-yard touchdown from Lewis. London Hattaway added a 6-yard touchdown run, while Dalton Perkins added five extra points.
Lewis had 10 rushes for 116 yards. He also was 7 of 12 for 140 yards. Hattaway added 55 yards on 11 rushes. Lewis had a team-high 10 tackles and also recovered a fumble. Grant McCrary added seven tackles and two fumble recoveries.
Sumter Academy (1-1, 1-1) scored first on a Madison Hendry 1-yard run and last on a 30-yard run by Nathan Williamson.
Pickens Academy will play host to Southern Academy (1-1) on Friday night. The Cougars knocked off Cornerstone Christian 30-6 on Friday night.
n Cold Springs 47, Sulligent 27: At Sulligent, Ala. the Blue Devils fell under a second-half onslaught in their Class 2A, Region 4 opener.
Sulligent (0-2, 0-1) built a 14-6 lead in the second quarter and was driving for another score. However, Cold Springs made a goal-line stand at the 4-yard line. The Eagles (2-0, 1-0) rode that momentum into a late 25-yard first-half touchdown by Logan Campbell and a 14-12 halftime deficit.
Cold Springs then made quick work of getting back on top in the game with a 75-yard kickoff return for touchdown to start the second half and a follow-up 5-yard run by Campbell, which was set up by a Sulligent fumble.
After Sulligent closed within 34-21, Campbell put the game away with an 80-yard kickoff return and a 30-yard touchdown run.
Sulligent will remain in region play Friday night when it plays host to Aliceville.