16 area prep teams seeking sweet finish
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Nov. 13, 2001
Sixteen area football teams still have shots at state championships heading into the second week of playoff action in Mississippi.
The MHSAA Class 1A and 5A teams, along with MPSA Classes AA-AAAA, begin their state playoffs Friday night, while the MHSAA Class 2A, 3A, and 4A teams and MPSA Class A teams head into their second round of postseason competition.
One game where there is sure to be an area team advancing is the Class 3A matchup between Newton County, 11-0, and West Lauderdale, 7-4, at Collinsville. It's a rematch of a Sept. 28 Region 5-3A contest that Newton County won 27-9 at Collinsville.
The Cougars remained unbeaten with a 34-6 win over Morton last week, while West Lauderdale racked up 41 first-half points in flogging Forest 55-22 on the road. Carlessio Blanks led the Knights as he scored six touchdowns and has rushed for nearly 800 yards in just the last three games.
In the other Class 3A game involving an area school, Philadelphia, 7-4, has the unenviable task of traveling to Collins, 9-2. Philadelphia held off Velma Jackson for a 35-28 victory last week, while Collins crushed Carthage 47-7 with all the scoring coming in the first half. Both of Collins' losses came on forfeits for using an ineligible player.
Three area teams are still alive in Class 4A. Quitman, 9-2, heads to Magnolia to play South Pike, 9-2, after last week's 14-13 win over defending Class 4A state champion McComb. South Pike's Eagles blanked defending 3A state champion Magee 14-0.
In another 4A contest, Noxubee County, 10-1, hosts Hernando, 10-1. The Tigers rolled past Lafayette County 20-0 last week, while Hernando nipped Kosciusko 15-14 on a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.
Also in 4A, Louisville, 7-4, travels to Shannon, 10-1. The Wildcats scored 32 points in the first half in whipping Oxford 38-14 last week. Shannon, whose only loss was to Tupelo in the season opener, spanked West Point 38-15 in the first round.
In Class 5A, Wayne County's War Eagles, 9-2, hope to rebound from last week's 21-14 loss at Brandon when they host Biloxi, 5-5, which dropped a 24-7 decision to Gulfport in regular season action.
In Class 3A, Newton, Bay Springs, and Scott Central are still in the running.
Newton, 9-2, hosts Loyd Star, 9-2. The Tigers scored 18 second-half points in beating McLaurin 32-0 last week. Loyd Star cruised past South Leake 40-0 after scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter. The Hornets defeated McLaurin 42-14 two weeks ago.
Bay Springs, 8-3, hosts Taylorsville, 8-3, in another rematch of a regular season contest which the Tartars won 9-6 at Bay Springs in the seventh week of the season. The Bulldogs took a 30-27 win at East Marion last week, while Taylorsville easily disposed of Lumberton 41-15.
Scott Central defeated St. Andrew's 42-0 last week to improve to 6-5. The Rebels travel to Copiah-Lincoln Community College to play Wesson, 10-1. The Cobras bit Kemper County often in a 49-8 victory last week.
Union, 6-5, makes its first playoff appearance in school history at Bogue Chitto, 10-1, in Class 1A action. The Yellow Jackets lost a 23-20 thriller at unbeaten Puckett last week. Bogue Chitto doubled up Enterprise-Lincoln 20-10 in another regular season affair.
Also in 1A, Sebastopol, 7-4, travels to Mize, 11-0. The Bobcats crushed Thomastown 38-14 last week, while Mize had a 51-0 drubbing of West Lincoln.
In academy league play, Class AAA action finds the Lamar Raiders carrying a 3-8 record to Clinton, La., where they will face MPSA powerhouse Silliman Institute, 11-0. The Wildcats have wins over once-beaten Oak Forest (14-6), Jackson Prep (22-0), Parklane (27-20), Simpson (14-0), and Centreville (13-7). Lamar lost 41-7 to Starkville Academy last week.
In Academy AA action, defending AA state champion Winston Academy, 9-2, hosts Marshall, 5-5. The Patriots blew past Kirk 29-12 last week, while Marshall fell 40-7 to North Delta in regular season games.
Also in AA, Leake Academy, 5-6, travels to Amite, La., to take on the 9-1 Oak Forest Yellow Jackets. Leake beat Heritage 25-13 last week, while Oak Forest whipped Wilkinson Christian 34-7.
In Academy A action, the 10-1 Wayne Academy Jaguars go north to face the also 10-1 West Memphis (Ark.) Black Knights. West Memphis trounced East Holmes 32-6, while Wayne waltzed past Deer Creek 51-7 in last week's first-round games.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 693-1551, ext. 3235.