November 17, 2013 1:22:18 AM
MOUND BAYOU -- Friday night worked out quite nicely for the Hamilton High School football team.
Hamilton received rushing touchdowns from four players that helped it go on the road and upset Mound Bayou JFK 27-26 in the Mississippi High School Activities Association North State Class 1A playoffs.
St. Aloysius upset Class 1A, Region 1 champion Coffeeville in overtime, so Hamilton (9-3) will play host to St. Aloysius (8-4) when the playoffs resume Friday night. The Lions are two wins away from playing for a state championship.
"It felt really great to go on the road and win a playoff game," Hamilton coach Ray Weeks said. "I thought the team did a great job of forgetting about last week (a 34-0 loss to Coffeeville in the final region game) and focusing on the task at hand. It was the playoffs and everybody was excited about a new season. Even though we gave up a couple of touchdowns late, we played really well defensively and shut down a good offensive team."
The teams traded scores in the first quarter before Hamilton built a 20-6 halftime lead.
The Lions showed a lot of growth and maturity on offense throughout the season and that really came through Friday night.
"We were able to limit the mistakes," Weeks said. "We had two good drives in the second quarter, and the main thing is we came away with touchdowns on each of them."
Hamilton rushed for 340 yards and scored four touchdowns. Quinshay Heard (13-yard run), Keshon Heard (3), Pallas Fair (7) and Domonique Dobbs (2) each had a touchdown.
Ladaris Johnson rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns to lead the JFK rally. Johnson also hit Octavis Taylor for an 80-yard touchdown. The other score was 38-yard run by Carnez Grant.
After a touchdown by Johnson brought JFK within 27-18, Hamilton got a critical two-point conversion stop. When JFK scored later in the fourth quarter, the Hornets got a conversion rush by Johnson, but Hamilton ran out the clock.
"We are excited about playing in the second round and the opportunity to play at home," Weeks said. "St. Aloysius will also be coming in off a big win, so both teams will have a lot of confidence."
n Sharkey-Issaquena Academy 30, Hebron Christian 0: At Rolling Fork, the Confederates had too many offensive weapons in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Eight-Man North State championship game.
Sharkey-Issaquena Academy (13-0) will face Franklin Academy (10-2) Saturday in Clinton for the state championship. Hebron Christian finishes a second-straight eight-win season at 8-4.
"The kids did a great job of competing," Hebron Christian coach David Foster said. "They were ready to play and played hard for four quarters. The way this team grew up this year was very rewarding. They did a great job of doing everything we asked. It was a fun, rewarding year."
Sharkey-Issaquena began the scoring in the second quarter when Nathan Nichols recovered a fumble in the end zone. The Feds ran the lead to 14-0 at halftime when Austin Steed scored on a 38-yard pass reception on a hook-and-lateral play.
Sharkey-Issaquena also led 14-0 at halftime of a 44-0 regular-season victory. This time, the Eagles hung tough.
"They have a tremendous amount of speed and when you lose containment against a team with speed you have some issues," Foster said. "Offensively, we struggled to have long drives. We competed though against a team playing for the championship."
The Feds got much needed breathing room when Steed scored on a 56-yard run on the first play of the second half. Later in the third quarter, Austin Herraney capped the scoring when he scored on a 20-yard run.
Sharkey-Issaquena rushed for 186 yards, including eight rushes for 90 yards for Steed. Jack Martin was 10 of 14 for 141 yards and a touchdown.
Franklin Academy reached the state championship game with a 42-22 win over Christian Collegiate Academy.
n Charleston 56, Aberdeen 41: At Charleston, the Bulldogs saw their season end in the second round of the MHSAA Class 3A North State playoffs.
The teams were tied at 14 after one quarter. Aberdeen (7-5) built a 28-14 lead thanks to a Sammie Burroughs fumble return for touchdown. Charleston (12-1), which will play host to North Pontotoc on Friday night, pulled within 28-21 at halftime.
Aberdeen still held that lead until late in the third quarter when Charleston's Calwaun Street scored on a 40-yard touchdown for a 36-35 lead.
Aberdeen regrouped for a 41-36 lead only to see the Tigers score three touchdowns in the final quarter.
n Mobile Christian 40, Lamar County 34: At Mobile, Ala., the Bulldogs did a lot of things well Friday night in the Alabama High School Activities Association Class 2A North State Playoffs.
However, that list didn't include stopping Mobile Christian running back Tyler Rogers.
Rogers ran for 274 yards and six touchdowns as the Leopards rallied past the Bulldogs in a second-round contest.
Mobile Christian (9-3) will play host to Washington County (11-1) in the third round, while Lamar County sees one of its best seasons in school history end at 10-2.
"We really didn't have any answers for (Rogers)," Lamar County coach Ken Adams said. "We played well in a lot of areas. We really dominated the time of possession and controlled the tempo of the game. We also had the lead, but we just couldn't make the stops when we had to."
Rogers scored the game-winning touchdown on a 66-yard run with 2 minutes, 3 seconds left in regulation.
Lamar County ran 76 offensive plays, while Mobile Christian only ran 22 plays (including two kneel downs to end the game). However, the Bulldogs couldn't find the end zone on three fourth-quarter possessions.
"Mobile Christian has some really talented offensive players, so we knew what the challenge was," Adams said. "We really were in a position to wear them down in the fourth quarter, but they made stops when they had to."
Mobile Christian ran three offensive plays in the first half and scored on two of them. Rogers scored on a 12-yard touchdown run after a 73-yard kickoff return by Carson Presley. Rogers also had a 66-yard run in the first half.
Lamar County also scored on its first two possessions -- a 7-yard run by Bryce Miles and an 8-yard run by Dallas Cockerham.
Cockerham ran the ball 40 times for 225 yards. His 1-yard run gave the Bulldogs a 20-12 lead early in the second quarter. The Bulldogs went the onsides kick route and this time a 47-yard drive was capped by a 4-yard run from Cockerham.
Lamar County got a second straight onsides kick and held possession the final 14 minutes, 10 seconds of the half.
Rogers opened the second-half scoring with a 64-yard touchdown run. A pass interception then gave the Leopards a chance to move firmly back into the game.
Following the interception, Rogers ran 33 yards for a touchdown to cut Lamar County's lead to 27-25. A 12-yard run by Cockerham in the closing seconds of the third quarter pushed Lamar County's advantage back to 34-25.
Mobile Christian dominated the final period. Rogers capped a huge scoring drive with a 3-yard touchdown run with 8:39 left. Mobile Christian converted two fourth downs on the march and moved within 34-32.
Playing in wet field conditions, Lamar County fumbled on its next two possessions, eventually leading to Rogers' game-winning run.
"They forced some turnovers at critical times," Adams said. "We just needed to maintain possession to close out the win. It was a great season but a very disappointing ending."
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