Enterprise back in the playoffs
By By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Nov. 8, 2001
The Enterprise Bulldogs are back in the playoffs. And for fans who remember the Dogs' 1987 run to the State 2A Championship, Friday's opening round opponent is a familar name.
The Bulldogs will head to Gulfport to battle St. John Catholic High School, the champions from Region 8-2A. In 1987, the Bulldogs beat St. John in the South State 2A title game at Gulfport's Milner Stadium. With the win, Enterprise went on to beat John F. Kennedy of Mound Bayou 21-20 in the State 2A title game in Clinton.
A lot has changed since then says long-time Enterprise head coach Jud Gartman.
The Bulldogs enter the 2A playoff with a 6-4 record following a 41-17 rout of Seminary last week. St. John is 9-1 with the lone loss coming to 4A Bay St. Louis.
The Eagles are led by quarterback Garner Wetzel. He threw for 203 yards last week in a 41-0 romp over Mercy Cross. Wetzel has thrown for nearly 1,800 yards this season.
St. John has averaged 38.8 points per game while allowing just 11.8. Enterprise has scored at a 27.6 clip while giving up 23.6 per game.
The Bulldogs are led by tailback Kelly Jimmerson. Jimmerson has rushed for 995 yards this season.
A change that Gartman made at mid-season has been paying off. He moved former starting quarterback Don Moore to tight end. Adam Simpson stepped up to fill the quarterback role.
Defending Class 4A champion McComb visits Quitman in a first round Class 4A playoff game on Friday.
For the Quitman Panthers, the meeting will mark their first ever foray into the playoffs. The Panthers had gone 20 straight seasons without a post-season berth. They finished second in Region 5-4A to finally secure a berth.
For more on Quitman's playoff rise, check out Friday's Meridian Star.
As for McComb, the Tigers come in with a 7-3 record.
They finished third in Region 7-4A behind South Pike and 1999 state champion Lawrence County.
Quitman is led by quarterback Jonathan Russell. In last week's 35-8 romp past Northeast Lauderdale, Russell threw three touchdowns, ran for another, and kicked five extra points.
at Heidelberg Academy
The Rebels are coming off their best win of the season by beating arch-rival Wayne Academy 35-0 for the Academy A, District 3 title last week.
With the win, the Rebels of Head Coach Tom Lewis will open the Academy A playoffs at home against Mississippi County, Ark. (7-2).
Heidelberg is the defending Academy A champions. They played like champs in handing Wayne its first loss of the season.
Senior running back Heath Ainsworth (5-10, 205) was a big reason why. He carried the ball 32 times, gaining 232 yards and scoring four touchdowns. He also made 12 tackles on defense.
For the season, Ainsworth has rushed for 980 yards and 12 touchdowns.
To balance up the offense, Heidelberg can rely on the arm of quarterback Josh Webb and a corp of receivers including Lee Aultman and tight end Matt Andrews.
Mississippi County drew the wildcard out of District 1. They have scored 27.3 points per game this season.
at Deer Creek
The Jaguars will seek to recover from last week's loss to Heidelberg by taking on Deer Creek School in a first round Academy A playoff game in Arcola.
Wayne is 9-1 with the lone loss coming to Heidelberg for the District 3 title. Deer Creek won District 2 and is 8-2 on the season. The Warriors have averaged 32.6 points per game this season while allowing 17.9.
Wayne is led by Jacob Ferguson and Cory Cochran. Ferguson had 109 all-purpose yards in the Heidelberg game.
Wayne County goes to Brandon Friday to decide the Region 2-5A title. The War Eagles are 9-1 on the season following last week's 37-6 rout of Petal last week. They are ranked No. 8 in this week's Associated Press poll.
Brandon has been ranked No. 1 for nine weeks. The Bulldogs are 10-0 with its closest call coming being a 16-14 decision. Wayne County beat Meridian 14-3.
Wayne County is led by tailback Michael McLaughin who had 82 yards rushing last week. Quarterback Jonathan Sellers was six of 12 passing for 181 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Marcus Pough had three catches for 75 yards including a 53-yard TD catch.
Brandon is led by Player of the Year candidate in tailback Jerious Norwood. Norwood has averaged over 200 yards rushing in six starts.