OXFORD -- Coaches cringe when they lose players with "franchise" labels. That's how Ole Miss women's basketball coach Matt Insell refers to Valencia McFarland, a do-it-all point guard who paced the Rebels for the past four seasons. McFarland, a second-team All-Southeastern Conference performer and honorable mention All-American, finished her career as the program's sixth all-time leading scorer with more than 1,600 points. She also led the team in steals for four seasons, and was one of four players in program history to score more than 1,000 points and hand out more than 400 assists.
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen admits he didn't give his best halftime speech Saturday before his team went on to defeat Kentucky 45-31 at Commonwealth Stadium. Then again, he didn't have to.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Bo Wallace isn't about to dwell on his first game-losing throw of the season. Even amid the din that persisted in LSU's Death Valley long after the Tigers' victory-sealing interception, Ole Miss' gun-slinging quarterback was calm, clear, and succinct in declaring the Rebels' resolve.
BRILLIANT, Ala. -- The South Lamar High School football team punched its ticket for the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 1A playoffs Friday night with a 38-0 victory against Brilliant. With the win, South Lamar (4-5, 3-3 region) clinched the fourth seed in Class 1A, Region 6. The Stallions will play a first-round game on the road Nov. 7.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Lane Kiffin figured out a winning strategy for his return to Knoxville. Throw the ball to Amari Cooper early and often. Cooper caught nine passes, scored two touchdowns and set a school game record with 224 yards receiving to help No. 4 Alabama beat Tennessee 34-20 on Saturday night for its eighth-consecutive victory in the series.
Abby Wilson had never considered the notion, so it wasn't surprising that she laughed. A go-getter? The New Hope High School senior couldn't help but smile at the thought. The more she contemplated it, Wilson liked the idea and credited her parents, especially her father, David, for encouraging her to work hard, to be the best she can be, and not to quit at anything she does.
Soccer has been a part of Effie Morrison's life ever since she was 3 years old. At the time, Derrick Parnell, who would later become Effie's step father, wanted Morrison to play soccer. Parnell played soccer and his son had played soccer, and he saw something in Morrison that convinced him the sport would be perfect for a little girl who already had overcome so much.
Bryson Ellis doesn't think he can dance. "Not at all," the New Hope High School senior said when asked about his ability to move to the music. When it comes to the football field, though, Ellis can juke, jitter, and glide with the best of them.
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Mississippi State defensive lineman Kaleb Eulls thought he had overrun the play. He was wrong. The 6-foot-3, 290-pound starting defensive tackle stopped his momentum late in the second quarter and reached up with one arm to bring down Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles for the Bulldogs' first sack of the day. MSU delivered six more in the 45-31 victory to move from fourth in the Southeastern Conference in sacks to first with 28 in seven games.
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The game was over, but Mississippi State tailback Josh Robinson had a message for his coach. Standing in the victory formation, MSU quarterback Dak Prescott prepared to take the Bulldogs' final snap to secure a rugged 45-31 victory against Kentucky at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night. To Prescott's left was Robinson, who frantically gestured in the direction of MSU coach Dan Mullen and held up two fingers. Minutes after MSU's victory, its 10th straight and seventh in a row to open the season, Robinson was asked about his signals to Mullen.
ARCOLA -- The Columbus Christian football team made history Friday night. KC Cunningham had seven carries for 122 yards and three touchdowns, and B.J. Shirley had 12 carries for 100 yards to lead Columbus Christian to a 39-0 victory against Deer Creek Academy in a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class 1A, District 2 game.
CALEDONIA -- The Noxubee County High School football team's defense is good -- really good. That's to be expected of the Class 4A powerhouse, but how the Tigers are built compared to past units is what makes this year's group unique and as effective.
ABERDEEN -- The Aberdeen High School football team's quest for a home playoff berth in the Class 3A playoffs took a few unusual twists Friday in a 42-20 victory against Winona. Locked in a three-way tie with Kemper County and Winona for second place in Region 4, Aberdeen's focus should have been on the Tigers. But a disgruntled parent in the home stands, who was upset because his son didn't start after missing several practices last week, diverted attention from the field for the better part of the first half before school officials and law enforcement finally stepped in and "muzzled" the individual in question.
With its game against Columbus tied at 10, it looked like a storybook ending might be in the works for the Madison Central High School football team. All-State quarterback Trey Smith had come off the bench, despite a lingering hip injury, for a chance to engineer a game-winning drive.
SEBASTOPOL -- The West Lowndes High School football team couldn't slow down Sebastopol in a key Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A, Region 3 matchup Friday night. The Bobcats scored three second-quarter touchdowns and racked up 30 first-half points en route to a 51-26 victory. With the loss, West Lowndes (4-6, 3-4 region) was eliminated from the postseason. West Lowndes will end the regular season Nov. 7 with a region game at Noxapater (4-5, 3-3).
Mississippi State-Kentucky By the Numbers
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Bo Wallace was on the cusp of prolonging No. 3 Ole Miss' bid for an unbeaten season until LSU safety Ronald Martin got in the way. Wallace's pass was intercepted by Martin at the 1-yard line with two seconds left, and the Rebels fell 10-7 to the 24th-ranked Tigers on Saturday night.
SALTILLO -- The West Point High School football team's offense put on a clinic Friday night. The Green Wave came out clicking on all cylinders en route to a season-best point total and a season-high 461 yards in a 49-20 victory against Saltillo in a Class 5A, Region 1 game.
STARKVILLE -- The Starkville Academy football team reached its breaking point Friday night. After losing back-to-back games to archrival Heritage Academy, a senior-dominated Starkville Academy was determined not to allow the streak to reach three. The Volunteers scored on the first possession and cruised from there to a 31-0 victory in a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, District 1, Division II game at J.E. Logan Field.
STARKVILLE -- The top-ranked Starkville High School football team is down to a two-game regular season. After clinching a playoff berth with a 31-6 victory against Murrah in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 2 matchup at Yellow Jacket Stadium, Starkville has narrowed its focus to finishing the regular season undefeated and nailing down the coveted home-field advantage in the playoffs.
1. Hill shows speed, strength in Maroon & White Game COLLEGE SPORTS
2. France offers strong relief outing as part of MSU's sweep COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Stacy staying in control for Caledonia HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Berry leads West Point to playoff series victory HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Oregon's Sanders taken in NPF draft LOCAL SPORTS