Bulldogs hit road to take on defending 3A champs

Justin Lucas and Sammie Burroughs celebrate after Lucas’ first-quarter interception. The pick led to the Bulldogs’ first score of the game.

It doesn’t matter who plays quarterback for Charleston. Aberdeen coach Mark Bray already knows exactly what his Bulldogs are getting into.

Aberdeen goes to Charleston on Friday night for Round 3 of the MHSAA Class 3A playoffs. The winner advances to the North finals.

“Typical Charleston. They’re extremely athletic, no really weak spots,” Bray said. “They’ve got skill people and they just keep running them in.”

Aberdeen’s season was ended there last season by the eventual champion Tigers (12-1).

The Bulldogs (11-2) had been to back-to-back Class 3A state title games. Aberdeen has won nine straight games. Charleston has won 11 in a row.

“You look at the two and we’re real similar. The only difference I can see is depth. They’ve got more,” Bray said.

Jalen Haywood started the season under center but the four different players have thrown touchdown passes for Charleston.

One of those four is 1,000-yard back Kameron Myers, one of four rushing threats. Myers accounted for seven touchdowns against Ripley last week, two on defense.

“For sure, No. 4 is the best player they’ve got,” Bray said.

Aberdeen’s ground game is led by junior Chico Harrison and his 1,218 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Sophomore Josh Williams has options to throw to as well. Senior Aaron McMillian leads the way with 623 yards and 10 touchdowns. Sammie Burroughs and Jeremy Brandon have another 966 yards and nine touchdowns.

Aberdeen is averaging more than 34 points per game, Charleston is scoring more tan 40. The Bulldogs won there in 2009.

Defensive end Jamal Short leads Charleston in tackles with five a game. Senior linebacker Justin Lucas leads the Bulldogs with 7.2 per game, 94 on the season.

Class 3A’s final North participants were determined by many before the season even started. Three of the four predicted are still alive this weekend.

“Everybody pretty much knew it was going to come down between East Side, us, Charleston and Water Valley,” Bray said.

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