November 3, 2013 12:02:41 AM
CALHOUN CITY -- The Hebron Christian School football team wrapped up the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Eight-Man District 7 championship Friday night with a 20-14 victory against Calhoun Academy.
Playing in its first Eight-Man playoff competition, Hebron Christian (7-3) will play host to Delta Academy (8-2) Friday night in Pheba.
"Our main goal at the beginning of the season was to win the district championship," Hebron Christian coach David Foster said. "That is a pretty big deal for this program. Since we had to wait a while (to become eligible for the Eight-Man playoffs), this is very rewarding. Calhoun Academy has a great team. We played well on offense and defense and made some big plays."
Channing Tapley hit Andrew Myatt for a 22-yard touchdown for the game-winning points in the fourth quarter.
The other Hebron Christian scores came on touchdowns runs of 8 and 5 yards by Tapley. The second score came after a Landon Hill interception and pushed the Eagles to a 12-7 advantage.
Calhoun Academy (5-5) came back with a 59-yard touchdown pass and carried a 14-12 lead into the fourth quarter.
"That has been the story of our season," Foster said. "The defense has really stepped up and gotten that big turnover when we needed it most."
n Jackson Academy 49, Starkville Academy 3: At Jackson, the Volunteers dropped their fourth-straight game in their Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, District 1 setback.
For the Volunteers (3-7, 1-5 MAIS Class AAA, District 1, Division II), Jonathon Burton kicked a 27-yard field goal with 9 minutes, 59 seconds left in the opening half.
Jackson Academy (8-2, 6-0 MAIS Class AAA, District 1, Division I) scored on its first three offensive possessions and built a 35-3 halftime lead.
Starkville Academy finished with 142 yards rushing, including 60 yards by Noah Heflin and 40 yards by Houston Clark. Clark also had a 46-yard pass completion to Logan Locke.
Starkville Academy will wrap up its season Friday night when it plays host to Pillow Academy (4-6, 3-3) in another district game.
n Noxubee County 34, Houston 0: At Houston, the Tigers completed an undefeated run through Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A, Region 4 play by beating the Toppers.
Noxubee County (7-3, 5-0 Class 4A, Region 4) earns the region's top seed and will play host to Gentry in the opening round of the playoffs Friday night. Despite only managing one win, Houston (1-10, 1-4 Class 4A, Region 4) also qualifies as the region's No. 4 seed and will travel to Greenwood.
For Noxubee County, Devonte Scott had two rushing touchdowns, while Anzarius Taylor also added a score. Quarterback Timorrius Conner moved back under center and added a rushing score and a passing score. The passing touchdown went to Daveon Ball.
n Pelahatchie 41, East Oktibbeha 0: At Pelahatchie, the Titans were shut out by the Chiefs, who clinched the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A, Region 3 championship.
For East Oktibbeha (1-6, 1-6 Class 3A, Region 1), Justin Williams led the way with 19 rushes for 138 yards. As a team, the Titans only rushed for 118 yards. Quarterback LaDavion Cannon was 1 of 8 for 35 yards. Octavis Rogers had the lone reception.
Justin Williams finished with nine tackles, while John Kincaid added eight.
Pelahatchie (8-2, 7-1 Class 3A, Region 1) is open this week and will host a first-round playoff game Nov. 15. East Oktibbeha closes the regular season by playing host to Ethel (2-8, 1-6 Class 3A, Region 1).
n Ethel 40, West Oktibbeha 0: At Ethel, the homestanding Tigers recorded their first region win of the season, while the Timberwolves remained winless in MHSAA Class 3A, Region 1 play.
For West Oktibbeha (0-7, 0-7 Class 3A, Region 1), the regular season will end Friday at Nanih Waiya (6-4, 5-2), while Ethel will look for a second-straight region win at East Oktibbeha (1-6, 1-6 Class 3A, Region 1).
n Centreville Academy 59, Oak Hill Academy 34: At Centreville, the Raiders saw the season end with a first-round loss in the MAIS Class AA playoffs.
Centreville Academy improved to 10-1 and will play host to Tri-County Academy in the second round. Oak Hill Academy finishes the season at 5-6.
The Tigers scored 23 first-quarter points and were never in any real danger.
"It is big accomplishment to make it to the playoffs for a second-straight season," Oak Hill Academy coach Daniel Merchant said. "The seniors can be proud that they helped restore the identity in the program. To come in with a winless season and to go out with two playoff appearances is an accomplishment."
Oak Hill Academy rushed for 303 yards and passed for an additional 152 yards.
A.J. Iseley rushed 17 times for 98 yards, with a 15-yard touchdown run. Drake Riley ran 22 times for 97 yards and had a 10-yard touchdown reception. John Willis Stevens had three carries for 60 yards and an interception on defense. Blake Thomas ran for 30 yards. Ken Dill added a 14-yard touchdown run.
Riley Pierce was 6 of 9 for 79 yards and three touchdowns. Pierce hit Curt Huffman for touchdown passes of 48 and 6 yards. Huffman had three receptions for 74 yards, while Bradley Allen had two receptions for 42 yards and a two-point conversion.
"This is the first time since 1989 and 1990 that Oak Hill Academy made it to the playoffs in back-to-back years," Merchant said. "We return nine starters on offense and defense. It was a good season. Centreville is a classy bunch. I commend Bill Hurst for the job he has done there."
n Trinity Episcopal 55, Immanuel Christian 0: At Natchez, the Rams saw their season end at 4-7 with a first-round playoff loss in the MAIS Class A playoffs.
For Immanuel Christian, it was a first playoff game against 11-man competition.
Trinity improved to 10-0 and will play host to Newton County Academy in the second round. The Saints struck quickly, scoring 30 first-quarter points.
Immanuel Christian only managed 46 yards of total offense and three first downs. KC Cunningham rushed 11 times for 34 yards, while Jay Jay Swanigan was 1 of 10 for minus-1 yard.
Cunningham led the Rams with five
n Kemper Academy 56, Central Academy 20: At DeKalb, the Vikings closed the season with a hard-fought loss to the Rams.
Kemper Academy (7-3) capitalized on an early fumble to lead 28-0 midway through the second quarter before Central Academy scored on a 28-yard pass from T.J. Coleman pass to Russ Taylor followed by a 45-yard run by Leshon Hill that cut the deficit to 28-12, but Kemper Academy scored again before the half for a 36-12 lead.
Kemper Academy pulled away during the second half until Nelson Robbins scored on the final play, a 13-yard pass from Coleman. Steven Lane, an offensive lineman, ran in the conversion on a fumblerooskie play for the final score.
Hill led the rushing attack with 10 carries for 83 yards. Coleman had 69 yards on 11 carries. Taylor had two receptions for 35 yards, Robbins had two for 23 yards.
Freshman Jack Vandevender led the defense with six tackles, including a sack and forced fumble. Lee James added six tackles, and Coleman had five tackles.
Seniors playing their last game for Central Academy (2-8, 1-3 district) were Coleman, Taylor, James, Lane, and Tanner Dinsmore. The seniors helped the team improve on a winless season in 2012.
Coach Steve Ball said that the team's attitude and work ethic made for a much more competitive year, but the lack of depth showed, especially in the second half of games.