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Jones, Starkville off to impressive start in victory against Louisville


Starkville High School's Zitavious Williams returns an interception Saturday against Louisville.

Starkville High School's Zitavious Williams returns an interception Saturday against Louisville. Photo by: Chris McDill/Special to The Dispatch  Buy this photo.


Scott Walters



STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School football coach Chris Jones' debut was a smashing success. 


Starkville dominated offensively and defensively in a 21-0 victory against Louisville on Saturday afternoon at Davis Wade Stadium. 


"I thought we played with a lot of passion," Jones said. "The main thing I wanted to see was enthusiasm. We executed well for the most part. We did the little things well, like lining up correctly and limiting mistakes. Like any other team, we have to make a lot of progress this week in practice. However, the kids should have to feel good about today." 


Jalil Clemons set the tone early with a fumble recovery. 


Starkville cashed in when Mississippi State commitment Cameron Gardner caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Malik Brown. 


In the second quarter, Tonorris Brookins II caught a 16-yard pass from Brown to cap a 64-yard, 11-play drive. Andreus Swanigan capped a 74-yard, six-play drive with a 25-yard touchdown run. 


Starkville ran for 100 yards, including six rushes for 42 yards for Swanigan. Brown was 3 of 6 for 41 yards, while freshman Luke Altmyer played well in relief of Brown. 


Zitavious Williams had an interception for Starkville. 


n Noxubee County 20, Callaway 12: Noxubee County coach Tyrone Shorter liked the season debut of junior quarterback Maliek Stallings. 


"Malik really grew up a lot in the spring," Shorter said. "He grew up in the summer. He showed me he has what it takes to lead this team and to play well on this level. Our offensive line had a great night. I really love where we are offensively. For the first snaps of the season, we played really well." 


Jaqualyn Smith opened the scoring for the Tigers with a 15-yard run. L.C. Clemons scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards. 


The 1-yard touchdown run was set up by a 36-yard third-down completion from Stallings to Rashed Eades. 


"Rashed being healthy again is a season-changer for us," Shorter said. 


While Noxubee County's defense had some struggles, it had a couple of critical plays. A Keymarcus Jackson interception set up Clemons' second score. 


With Noxubee County leading 20-12 late, Callaway was in the red zone before Terry Joiner had a strip and Chaokang Brooks had a recovery at the 9-yard line. 


"Both (Callaway) touchdowns came because we were out of position on defense," Shorter said. "We can get that fixed Monday in practice." 


n West Point 13, Tupelo 0: Mississippi State commitment Marcus Murphy scored on an 80-yard run on the first play to lead the reigning Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A State champions against the Class 6A Golden Wave. 


Chris Calvert scored on a 4-yard run to cap the scoring. 


Murphy rushed for 167 yards. 


Kentavious McMillian's interception stopped Tupelo's only scoring threat. 


n New Hope 14,  


Amory 7: New Hope coach Kris Pickle was pleased with the Trojans' opener. 


"I saw a lot of good things," Pickle said. "We have had limited practice time due to all of the rain. Kyree Fields is back at quarterback, so he hasn't had a lot of time there, but I thought he made some good reads and played well. We were down three starters due to injury or suspension. The balls we missed and the plays we didn't make were largely due to lack of playing time. 


"As we get this offensive unit more reps together and get some practice time in, we will improve each week." 


New Hope has shifted to Class 4A. Amory will be one of the contenders for the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 4A North State title. 


New Hope struck first midway through the first quarter when Fields hit Jumarcus Selvie for a 67-yard touchdown pass. The Trojans later broke a 7-7 tie when Fields capped a 10-play, 71-yard drive by keeping on an 8-yard option play. 


Memphis commitment Jeremy Tate had seven receptions for 91 yards to highlight New Hope's offense. 


n Shannon 35,  


Columbus 13: Devarkas Ramsey scored two touchdowns, but turnovers plagued the Falcons in the jamboree opener. 


"We simply had too many mistakes," Columbus coach Randal Montgomery said. "You play this game to see where you stand. I thought we played hard and we didn't have a lot of mistakes. However, you can't turn the ball over. In our case, the turnovers became points for the other team." 


Shannon had two fumble return touchdowns and an interception return for a touchdown. Overall, Columbus had four turnovers. 


Ramsey scored on touchdown runs of 75 and 1 yard. 


The back-breaking play took place late in the first quarter. Down 14-7, the Falcons drove 73 yards inside the Shannon 5-yard line. A pass play then went down to the 1, but a strip took place at the goal line and the Red Raiders went the other way 99 yards for the score. 


Follow Dispatch sports writer Scott Walters on  


Twitter @dispatchscott


Scott is sports copy editor and reporter


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