October 13, 2013 1:25:54 AM
GREENWOOD -- The Pillow Academy football team kicked the game-winning field goal with seven seconds remaining and then scored a touchdown as Heritage Academy was trying to orchestrate some magic Friday night en route to a 32-22 victory in their Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, District 1, Division II game.
Hunter Anderson scored on a 6-yard run, Cody Mordecai scored on a 14-yard run, and Logan Bell caught a 25-yard touchdown pass to account for the scoring for Heritage Academy (6-2, 2-2).
Pillow Academy improved to 3-5 and 1-3.
"I thought they had a good game plan and played with a lot of emotion," Heritage Academy coach Barrett Donahoe said. "Our guys did some good things and did some bad things. We had two crucial turnovers that turned into points for them and we weren't able to get any crucial turnovers.
"We also had a bunch of penalties that cost us good field positions. We play in a tough conference, and when you have penalties and turnovers that's what happens."
Heritage Academy will play next week at Leake Academy.
n Victory Christian 55, First Assembly 6: At Ashland, Ala., Austin Richardson had eight carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles won their Christian Football Association game.
The victory sets up a matchup against archrival Tuscaloosa Christian at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on Homecoming. Victory Christian (6-2, 3-0 CFA) lost to Tuscaloosa Christian 38-32 in overtime on Sept. 27 in a game that didn't count in the CFA standings. Homecoming festivities will start at 7 p.m.
Against First Assembly (1-3, 0-3), Richardson had touchdown runs of 11 and 3 yards. Anthony Sharp was the team's second-leading rusher with six carries for 93 yards. He had a 50-yard touchdown run. He also recovered a fumble.
Quarterback Reed Fulgham was 2 of 3 for 44 yards. Sharp had one catch for 30 yards. Richardson had the other catch for 14 yards.
Brandon Shaw led the defense with eight tackles and two fumble recoveries. Will Jones had six tackles.
Cody Bolton scored a runs of 15 and 25 yards, Jones had a 9-yard touchdown run and a 65-yard punt return for a score.
Fulgham connected with Sharp for a two-point conversion, Bolton had a conversion run, Fulgham had one, Hunter Austin had two, Jones had one, and Bolton kicked an extra point.
n Lake Cormorant 28, New Hope 12: At Lake Cormorant, the Trojans suffered too many turnovers in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 1 defeat.
New Hope (3-4, 1-2 Class 5A, Region 1) remains in a four-way tie for fourth in the region standings. However, the Trojans will need more consistency and have to take care of the ball better to maintain its playoff chances.
For the Trojans, Ty Craddieth had a defensive touchdown and Brady Davis hit Shontae Miller for a 34-yard touchdown for the other score.
Lake Cormorant (5-2, 2-1) received a rushing score and passing score by Bailey Walker. Austin Byrd added a 15-yard touchdown. Lake Cormorant also had an interception return touchdown by Deshaun Smith. Smith scored one of five New Hope turnovers, while another turnover inside its 20-yard line set up the score by Byrd.
New Hope will play host to region leader Oxford (7-0, 3-0) Friday night.
n West Point 69, Center Hill 41: At Olive Branch, the Green Wave finally found the win column in MHSAA Class 5A, Region 1 play.
West Point improved to 3-4 and 1-2 in region play with another monster night by Aeris Williams. Williams rushed 26 times for 252 yards and four touchdowns. The senior back scored on runs of 35, 27, 5, and 15 yards.
West Point scored on its first three possessions of the game and led 42-14 at halftime. The 69 points are the most the team has scored dating back to at least 1994. It beat Caledonia 66-0 in 2008.
"We got back to playing some West Point football," West Point coach Chris Chambless said. "The line blocked well and we really won the battle up front. We had been needing to play with more confidence."
Lacequiu Starks started the West Point scoring with a 28-yard run touchdown run. Josh Ewing followed that up with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Miller Keys. Dason Thomas added a 2-yard touchdown run and later threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Kaelon Collins to finish the first-half scoring.
In the second half, Williams scored twice more. Also for the Green Wave, Jalen Lee had a 45-yard fumble return for touchdown, while Thomas closed the scoring with a 2-yard run, as West Point piled up 30 first downs and 536 yards of total offense, including 459 on the ground.
Center Hill finished with 380 yards of total offense. Danterius Ellington was 16 of 30 for 232 yards and four touchdowns. Kaelin Thomas ran for 87 yards, while Ellington also had two rushing scores for the Mustangs (1-6, 0-3 Class 5A, Region 1).
Ewing was 3 of 7 for 34 yards, while Thomas was 4 of 6 for 42 yards for West Point. Starks added 11 rushes for 84 yards, while Ewing ran six times for 57 yards.
"It will be good to get back to work after a win," Chambless said. "We still have a lot of work to do but certainly this team is capable."
n Nanih Waiya 20, West Lowndes 8: At Columbus, the Panthers played well defensively couldn't generate enough offense in their MHSAA Class 1A, Region 3 game.
West Lowndes fell to 3-4 and 2-3 in the region, which is good for sixth. The Panthers will have to win at least two of their final three games to move back into the playoff hunt. West Lowndes will be at East Oktibbeha (1-4, 1-4) Friday night.
"It was really a game we had to have. It was a must-win and we didn't get it done," West Lowndes coach Anthony King said. "We had too many turnovers. When we have lost games this year, it has been because of turnovers.
"That is why we really stressed taking care of the ball all week in practice."
King said the Panthers had three drives move inside the Warriors' red zone but each time came away empty handed.
The West Lowndes touchdown was a 40-yard fumble return by Phytrell Williams midway through the second quarter. That score put the Panthers up 8-6. Nanih Waiya (4-3, 3-1) answered and took a 14-8 halftime lead.
"It was a tough night on defense because we feel like a couple of blown assignments gave them their points," King said. "Offensively, we had chances and turned the ball over. Defensively, we gave up some plays because it was our fault we didn't execute."
Still, West Lowndes had one of its better drives going in the fourth quarter. After a completion for a first down, the receiver fumbled the football away. A personal foul penalty on this play allowed Nanih Waiya to have a short field for the put-away score.
"We have a difficult road ahead of us, but all we can do now is focus on East Oktibbeha and playing better Friday night," King said.
n Noxubee County 12, Leake Central 7: At Carthage, the Tigers moved to 2-0 in MHSAA Class 4A, Region 4 play with a hard-fought victory against the highly regarded Gators.
Noxubee County is 4-3 and riding its first two-game win streak of the season.
"The kids fought really hard," Noxubee County coach Tyrone Shorter said. "We had three touchdowns called back (by penalty), so it should not have been that close. I will say this about my team they keep battling, they keep working. We keep playing close games and finding a way to win."
In its region opener against Kosciusko, Noxubee County battled back from a 7-6 fourth-quarter deficit with a field goal. This time, the Tigers had to rally again.
"We scored in the first quarter and led 6-0 almost the entire game," Shorter said. "Then we snapped the ball over our punter's head. That gave them a short field and an easy touchdown. If we don't make that mistake, I think we shut them out. So we are down 7-6 in the fourth quarter and we had to rally again, just like last week. I think the kids took a lot of positive feelings away from doing that last week, so we were able to do it again."
Quarterback Jessie Bryant hit Eric Hunt for a 30-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He hit Jeffery Simmons from 13 yards for the game-winning score with about five minutes left in regulation.
"Leake Central has some athletes and they had a great game plan," Shorter said. "They played really well. But we had about 20 penalties and had some really tough things go against us. That is why the game was close there in the end.
"It's a credit to these kids, though. They were able to work past all of that and find a way to win. It was big because we have West Lauderdale next, and they are another one of the good teams in our region."
Noxubee County will play host to West Lauderdale (6-2, 2-0) on Friday and can become the region's front-runner and secure a playoff berth with a win.
n French Camp Academy 17, Starkville Academy 13: At French Camp, the MAIS-member Volunteers dropped a hard-fought decision to the MHSAA-member Panthers.
French Camp (4-4) secured the victory when Jesse Hosket hit Corrie Whitt for a 37-yard touchdown with two minutes left in regulation.
"We had our chances but gave up a couple of big pass plays," Starkville Academy coach Jeff Terrill said. "Both teams played hard. They just made a couple of more plays there at the end."
Starkville Academy (3-5) grabbed a 13-10 lead in the early stages of the second half on Houston Clark's second rushing touchdown.
French Camp built a 7-0 lead when Hosket found Whitt on 72-yard pass play. Clark tied the game on a 28-yard run before the Panthers battled back for a 10-7 halftime lead on a 37-yard field goal by Sam Gould.
Starkville Academy is open Friday night. It will travel to Heritage Academy in two weeks.
n Hebron Christian 18, Kemper Academy 12: At Pheba, Justin Gordon scored the game-winning touchdown on a 10-yard run in overtime as the Eagles grabbed the MAIS Eight-Man District 1 victory.
"The game went back and forth," Hebron Christian coach David Foster said. "It took a couple of years off my life. That was really a big district game for both of us. We have two district games left, so it is really is big to be 2-0."
For Hebron Christian (4-3, 2-0), Gordon had a 21-yard touchdown run in the third quarter as the Eagles erased a 6-0 halftime deficit. Hebron Christian later took its first lead on a 34-yard interception return for touchdown by Landon Hill.
Kemper Academy (4-3, 1-1) then forced overtime with an interception return for a touchdown, as Dylan McFarland scored on a 26-yard return.
"You don't see that much defense in an eight-man game," Foster said. "Both teams played really well on defense and each team had a defensive touchdown. When you allow only one touchdown on defense, it has been a good night.
"It was a well-played game. Everybody makes mistakes, but it is tough when a team has to lose a game like this. We just made the play in overtime."
For Hebron Christian, Gordon rushed 10 times for 99 yards, while Collin Moore rushed 10 times for 94 yards. Channing Tapley was 4 of 12 for 50 yards. Moore led the way for the Eagles with 14 tackles. Hill had 10 tackles and the defensive score. Tapley had 10 tackles and a sack. Hayden Carty added nine tackles and an interception. Brandon England and Troy Arnold each added eight tackles.
In overtime, Hebron Christian went on defense first and got a stop on downs, setting up Gordon's game-winner on the Eagles' first snap.
Hebron Christian will visit Central Academy on Friday night.
n Calhoun Academy 34, Central Academy 28, OT: At Macon, the Vikings were 3 yards from a tying touchdown in overtime, but fumbled the ball into the end zone to give the visiting Cougars the victory on Homecoming.
"(Calhoun Academy) was ranked No. 5 in the state in Eight-Man and we almost pulled off the upset," Central Academy coach Steve Ball said. "It was a total team effort and I am really proud of the guys. They played great and we really had our chances to win it. We thought we were going to. They were a big favorite and we had a chance."
Central Academy (2-5, 1-1 MAIS Eight-Man District ) built a 14-0 first-quarter lead on an 11-yard pass to Dalton Outz from T. J. Coleman and a 53-yard fumble return by Jack Vandevender. At halftime, a 29-yard run by Leshon Hill extended the lead to 20-8. Calhoun Academy scored the next 20 points, but with 3 minutes, 12 seconds left in the game Hill scored on a 4-yard run and Coleman ran in the conversion to tie it at 28.
In overtime, Calhoun Academy (6-2, 2-0) scored on its first play, but Central Academy denied the conversion attempt. The Vikings' Russ Taylor picked up 5 yards on the first play, but a lost fumble ended Central Academy's attempt at the upset.
"We had stopped them on the two-point conversion in overtime, and that was really big," Ball said. "When we got the ball, we had 5 yards on first down and you could tell we had a great chance to go in for the touchdown and a chance to go for two to win the game. The fumble happened. It was a shame too because we had played well."
Coleman led the defense with nine tackles and an interception. Hill had six tackles and caused the fumble Vandevender recovered and ran for a score. Colby Robbins had seven tackles, while Taylor had an interception.
Hill had 17 carries for 116 yards and four receptions for 38 yards. Coleman had 20 carries for 75 yards.
Anna Lane was crowned Homecoming Queen.
Central Academy will play host to Hebron Christian (4-3, 2-0) on Friday night.
n West Memphis Christian 46, Immanuel Christian 7: At West Memphis, Ark., the Rams had a difficult assignment and dropped a decision to the homestanding Knights on their Senior Night.
KC Cunningham scored a 2-yard run for the Rams (4-4).
Immanuel Christian will play host to Newton County Academy (5-3) Friday night, before ending MAIS Class A, District 2 by playing host to Deer Creek Academy Oct. 25. The Rams will secure the district championship with a victory.
n Hamilton 20, Thrasher 6: At Thrasher, the Lions picked up a critical road win in MHSAA Class 1A, Region 1 action.
"Defensively, we played really well," Hamilton coach Ray Weeks said. "Offensively, we had three turnovers, so that was a major disappointment. But we went on the road and got a really big region win. Anytime you go on the road and win a region game, you can't complain."
Thrasher (3-4, 1-4 Class 1A, Region 1) built a 6-0 lead with a second-quarter score. Quinshay Heard then gave Hamilton a 7-6 halftime lead when he scored on a quarterback keeper.
Hamilton (5-2, 3-1) dominated the second half. Keshon Heard scored a third-quarter touchdown. The Lions then put the game away when Quinshay Heard scored his second rushing touchdown.
"It was a good football game," Weeks said. "Our kids played hard and hung in there. It seems like we are getting better each week and that is what you want to see as a coach."
Hamilton will play host to Biggersville (2-6, 1-4) Friday night in another region game.
1. Starkville High's Gay decommits from Ole Miss HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Heritage Academy will be back at home for playoffs HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Columbus basketball teams showcase Purple Madness HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. MSU searching for greater consistency COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Brownlee has career-best night for Green Wave HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS