A wake-up call is what the New Hope School football team received Friday night in a 32-29 loss to Class 5A, Region 1 rival Saltillo in the regular-season finale for both teams. New Hope (9-2, 5-2 region), which clinched the No. 2 seed in the region last week with a victory at West Point, was plagued by penalties and turnovers all night and trailed all game. Still, the Trojans' Brenton Spann scored on a 3-yard run to cut the Tigers' lead to 32-29 with 1 minute, 11 seconds remaining.
Starkville-Clinton Breakout Items
CLINTON -- Starkville High School senior quarterback Brady Davis and Clinton High School sophomore quarterback Cam Akers staged one heck of a battle Friday night. In the end, Davis had the good fortune of having Raphael Leonard, A.J. Brown, and Matt Fuller in his huddle.
VALLEY HEAD, Ala. -- The South Lamar High School football team celebrated its return to the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs in grand fashion Friday night. Playing in a postseason game for the first time since 2008, South Lamar went on the road and upset region champion Valley Head 39-13 in an opening-round game of the Class 1A playoffs.
COTTONDALE, Ala. -- The Victory Christian Academy football team won its fourth Christian Football Association title in rousing fashion Friday night. Sparked by a six-touchdown performance by senior Anthony Sharp, top-seeded Victory Christian defeated third-seeded Tuscaloosa Christian 44-8 at Warrior Field.
STARKVILLE - While Starkville High School has maintained perfection through its first 10 games of the football season, the Yellow Jackets still have no hardware to show for that success.
MACON -- Approach. Focus. The little things.
One more win.
CALEDONIA -- Brandon Henry knows how far the Caledonia High School football program has traveled in the past two seasons.
WEST POINT - Chris Chambless has no time to feel sorry for his football team.
STEENS -- On the road to a season filled with firsts, Columbus Christian football coach Greg Watkins has watched his team mature.
Barrett Donahoe doesn't have any problem putting David Herrington in a conversation with the state's best football players.
The mark of a good team is its ability to bounce back from a tough loss or to recharge after an emotional high.
Randal Montgomery's facial expression says all you want to know about Leon Payne. Even though it's a small smile, one that barely moves his lips, the question about his senior defensive lineman gets the first-year Columbus High School football coach to reveal how much Payne has meant to the team's success this season.
There's just something about Tuscaloosa Christian that gets to Bo McCrary and Shane Bradford. The Victory Christian football players don't know exactly what it is about their archrivals that they dislike so much. Upon further review, McCrary and Bradford know hyperbole and bombast typically are associated with heated rivals. They want to assure you there is no need for those things in this rivalry because the teams know how serious matters are when they meet.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School junior defensive lineman Lorenzo Dantzler gathered his teammates and delivered a simple message. "One turnover," Dantzler said. "I thought one turnover, one stop, one big play. I felt like that would turn this whole thing around." Sophomore Abdural Lee heard the message and took it to heart.
STEENS -- Years from now, Thomas Dantzler and Ben Campbell can say there were there. They will be able to remember if others who claim they were in Steens on a windy Halloween night in October in 2014 are telling the truth or if they are spinning a tale. Dantzler and Campbell will remember Friday night because they were on the sidelines watching the Columbus Christian Academy football team beat DeSoto School (Ark.) 34-14 in the school's first Mississippi Association of Independent Schools 11-man home playoff game.
WEST POINT -- New Hope High School football coach Kris Pickle had a message for quarterback Stone Sisson. Just before Sisson, who had thrown an interception on New Hope's prior possession, took the field with his team trailing 15-14 with six minutes left in the Class 5A, Region 1 showdown against West Point, Pickle pulled the senior aside and imparted a few words of wisdom.
The Columbus High School football team had no fear of "The Dear." With no room for error in the race to make the Class 6A playoffs, Columbus shut down Malik Dear, the state's top offensive player, limiting the Mississippi State commitment to 35 yards on 16 carries and 5 yards on two catches en route to a 42-12 win Friday night.
STARKVILLE -- Throughout Starkville Academy's history on the football field, playing Jackson Academy has brought nothing but pain and loss. Jackson Academy almost always has a pool of tremendous resources, and, more importantly, a talent pool that few in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) can match.
1. Ole Miss will try to regroup for Mississippi State COLLEGE SPORTS
2. MSU begins preparations for its biggest Egg Bowl COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSMS junior Browning making impression at striker HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. MSU women rally to win Preseason WNIT title COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Bulldogs remain fourth in College Playoff ranking COLLEGE SPORTS