The game plan is simple. On one side of the football, the West Point High School football team lines up, fires off the line of scrimmage, and dares you to stand in its way. Its style of play is its brand: West Point football. On the other side, the Green Wave delight in bringing pressure and flooding to the ball to stop any and all playmakers. The strategy is straight-forward — old school, if you will — but it has helped West Point control games and dominate opponents.
BOONEVILLE — The Booneville High School football team had all of the so-called advantages entering Friday’s Class 3A North State championship football game. The Blue Devils (13-0) were playing at home against a team with two losses and were coached by legendary Jim Drewry, a 50-year coaching veteran who is the winningest high school coach in Mississippi history with 346 career wins, three state titles (1990, 1999, and 2000) and a 7-0 record in North State title games at Booneville. Individually, the Blue Devils featured a quarterback who had thrown for more than 2,200 yards and 18 touchdowns and had completed 52 percent of his passes, a running back who had gained more than 1,200 yards and scored 22 touchdowns, and a pair of receivers who had combined for 1,940 receiving yards and 13 scores.
You misjudge Justin Cox at your own peril. If you don’t think the junior quarterback can beat a defender in a footrace, try him. If you doubt the first-year starter can make enough passes to wide receiver Michael Carr or tight end Michael Bush to keep defenses honest, pack the box and he will make you pay. Cox showcased both facets of his game Friday night on the biggest stage of the season to help the West Point High School football team reach an even bigger venue.
For the third consecutive week, an unbeaten team stands in the way of the Aberdeen High School football team’s quest for its first state championship. A week ago, unbeaten Charleston (13-0) was eliminated in a Class 3A quarterfinal contest at Aberdeen. On Friday, the Bulldogs handed home standing Booneville (13-0) its first blemish in the North Half finals. At 11 a.m. Saturday, coach Chris Duncan’s Bulldogs will go head-to-head with Tylertown (14-0), a 28-18 winner against Morton in Friday’s South State finals.
ASHLAND, Ala. –– The Lamar County High School football team came up short Friday in its quest to set a school record for wins in a season. Lamar County had its season come to an end with a 38-7 loss to Clay County in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A state playoffs. Lamar County (13-1) finished one win shy of setting a school record for most wins in a season that it set in 1984 and equaled in 1992 and this season.
WEST POINT — On paper, Casey Welch knew the West Point High School football team had plenty of weapons to be successful. But the Green Wave running backs coach wasn’t sure how a mix of senior Xavier Hogan and juniors Lakenderic Thomas and Jacoby Lee was going to fare. An injury to Hogan early in the season forced the coaches to reshuffle the responsibilities for the running backs, but the Green Wave haven’t broken stride.
REFORM, Ala. — Big plays don’t bother Scott Marchant. Mistakes don’t faze him, either. While some coaches like to show their emotions on the sidelines, the Pickens County High School first-year football coach prefers to remain as impassive as possible on the sidelines. His goal is to set a focused example for his players so they don’t get too high or too low in a game and lose sight of what they have to do on the next play.
VERNON, Ala. — Lance Bobbitt has heard all about how the Lamar County High School football team won a state championship in 1984. Bobbitt has been made well aware of it by his uncle Vance Herron, who was the quarterback on the 1984 state championship team. “I’ve heard it since I was knee high,” said Bobbitt, a senior fullback and linebacker on this year’s Lamar County football team. Bobbitt is the leading tackler and second leading rusher on a team that is trying to win its third state championship, and first since Herron was the quarterback in 1984.
This time, Louisville isn’t standing in the way. The Aberdeen High School football team hopes that proves to be a good omen at 7 tonight when it plays at Booneville in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A North Half State title game. The Bulldogs (12-2) have won 11 games in a row to get back to the Class 3A North Half State championship game. Louisville defeated Aberdeen 41-21 last season and went on to win its second state title in a row.
Justin Flye admits he wasn’t very interested in the New Hope High School varsity program as a ninth-grader. The Trojans weren’t having a lot of success, so it was easy for Flye to come to school Monday not knowing how the varsity team fared Friday.
REFORM, Ala. – Tony Easterwood looks down the field at the blank scoreboard. The numbers on that scoreboard have helped the Pickens County High School football team (12-1) advance to the semifinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A state playoffs.
VERNON, Ala. — The Lamar County High School football team will have a chance to make history at 7 p.m. Friday. Lamar County can set a school record for most wins in a season when it travels to Ashland, Ala., to play Clay County in the semifinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A state playoffs.
REFORM, Ala. — Quinton Sturdivant tries to do his job the right way every time. It might sound simple, but with so many things to juggle from his strong-side linebacker position, Sturdivant makes it look easy.
RIDGELAND — Maybe now the haters will believe. All week, the New Hope High School football team heard how its season was going to end Friday at Ridgeland. The talk was that the Trojans weren’t going to be able to stop the Titans’ high-powered offense. Some people probably wondered whether New Hope should even make the two-and-a-half hour trip south to suffer such a disheartening loss.
WEST POINT — For the first time in weeks, it looked like the West Point High School football team would have had a game on its hands. Zach McKee’s 1-yard touchdown run on Pearl’s first possession Friday night helped give the Pirates a 7-0 lead. The lead didn’t last long. West Point responded by steamrolling Pearl 34-7 in their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North Half State playoff game at Hamblin Stadium.
FULTON — Noxubee County High School football player Vincent Sanders was hurting Friday night. It had a little bit to do with the pain from a sore hamstring, but more to do with his performance on the field. While playing quarterback for the Tigers, Sanders was 3 of 7 for 49 yards with an interception against Itawamba Agricultural High School. He carried the football once for a loss of 5 yards and didn’t have a catch.
ABERDEEN — The expression “revenge is a dish best served cold” suggests that if something bad happens, it is better if the payback comes at a later date, and might be more satisfying if it is not inflicted immediately. That would be the case for the Charleston High School Tigers, who still have bitter memories of a 33-20 season-ending setback at Tiger Stadium last November in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A playoffs in which Aberdeen racked up almost 400 yards passing.
MABEN — Shawn Stricklin overcame three first-half fumbles with a 9-yard touchdown run in the closing minute Friday night to lead the Ackerman High School football team to a 14-12 victory against East Webster in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A North Half State playoffs. The victory helped Ackerman (13-0) earn a spot in the North Half State championship game against top-ranked West Bolivar, who defeated defending state champion Baldwyn 13-12, next week.
VERNON, Ala. — Eric “Turbo” Hudson knew it when he saw it. Ider High School quarterback James Blevins’ pass was off and Hudson knew he was in the right spot to get the interception and take the football 78 yards for the touchdown. Hudson’s interception return for a score was just one of the big plays the Lamar County defense made in the fourth quarter Friday night to help it earn a 35-13 victory in the quarterfinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A playoffs at George Bell Stadium.
LEROY, Ala. –– The Pickens County football team did something Friday night that no other team had accomplished since 2000. Pickens County handed Leroy its first home playoff loss in nine years by dethroning the defending three-time state champion with a 19-12 victory in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A state playoffs. Pickens County (12-1) advances to play at Reeltown in the semifinals, while Leroy (10-3) had its season end with a loss for just the second time in the past five years.
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