– Class 3A: Forest 10, Aberdeen 8
– Class 4A: Lafayette 31, North Pike 6
– Class 5A: West Point 21, Brookhaven 3
Click view slideshow link to see photos from the action.
Class 5A: West Point defeats Brookhaven
JACKSON — Lakendric Thomas and quarterback Justin Cox combined for 303 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and West Point won its second straight Class 5A state championship by beating Brookhaven 21-3 on Saturday night.
The Green Wave (14-1) won their third state crown in the past six years and seventh overall, tying them with Louisville for the second-most Mississippi High School Activities Association football championships won. The two trail South Panola’s nine titles for the state record.
Cox had 138 yards rushing and Thomas finished with 165. Cox completed both pass attempts.
“We did what we wanted to do,” West Point coach Chris Chambless said. “When you’re going to get somebody’s best shot, just because a play doesn’t work, we’re going to still stay with it because that’s what’s worked for us all year. There is no secret to what we do.”
Leading 14-3 at half, the Green Wave pounded Brookhaven (9-5) with an aggressive rushing attack and two drives of six minutes or more in the second half. The Panthers, who finished fourth in their region but rumbled through the postseason, failed to win a second state crown.
– Brandon Speck and The Associated Press
Class 4A: Lafayette County defeats North Pike
JACKSON – Jeremy Liggins and the Lafayette Commodores rushed their way to a perfect season and the MHSAA Class 4A state title.
Liggins, a junior quarterback, rushed 24 times for 150 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Commodores to a 31-6 state championship game
victory over North Pike (14-2) at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Commodores end their season undefeated. They are the first MHSAA team to finish a season 16-0 as they won their first state championship in football.
“Only one team in 4A ended with a win in the playoffs,” said Lafayette head coach Anthony Hart, “and that was us. That’s a great feeling.”
After falling behind 6-3 in the first quarter, Lafayette (16-0) scored 28 unanswered points.
Lafayette racked up 294 yards on the ground and dominated the time of possession 30:19 to 16:44.
After giving up 35 points in last year’s championship game, the Commodores’ defense allowed only one early touchdown to speedy North Pike (14-2), which was making its first appearance in the title game.
– John Wilbert and The Associated Press
Class 3A: Forest High defeats Aberdeen
JACKSON — Forest High’s defense forced five turnovers and had two late stands to beat Aberdeen High 10-8 Saturday afternoon and win the Class 3A state championship at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
As they’ve done all season, the Bearcats (15-0) relied on a stifling defense. They recovered two fumbles, got an interception and stuffed Aberdeen (14-2) on a fourth down with 7 minutes left in the game to win the school’s fourth state crown and first since 1999.
Forest scored all of its points in the first quarter and had just 124 total yards to Aberdeen’s 275. Bulldogs running back Victor Hodges had 31 carries for 134 yards, but Aberdeen failed to convert a fourth and inches from the Forest 29-yard line with 7 minutes left.
The Bulldogs had been looking for their first state crown. Last year, Aberdeen blew a 20-0 first-quarter lead in a loss in this same 3A championship game.
“We had chances several times,” Aberdeen coach Chris Duncan said. “Kudos to them, they played their butt off. Our kids fought hard, played a great football team. The ball could have swung the other way very easily.”
– Brandon Speck and The Associated Press
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Read much more along with more photos in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.