JACKSON – Coach Forrest Williams said his St. Stanislaus team wanted to shock the world.
With many outsiders picking Lafayette County to win Saturday’s MHSAA 2009 Class 4A state football championship game, the Chiefs would make a statement at Jackson’s Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Behind Dylan Favre’s five touchdowns passing and running, St. Stanislaus (14-1) won going away, 35-16, to capture its first state championship in football.
“We wanted to shock the world because a lot of people didn’t believe that we could be here,” said Williams, holding the state championship trophy in the back of the South end zone. “A lot of people didn’t believe that this group could do that.
“We don’t have a bunch of fancy athletes.”
You can say that about the Commodores – at least for now – as they were also somewhat of a surprise to advance to the 2009 Class 4A state championship game.
“We got a lot of good young players,” said Lafayette County head coach Anthony Hart. “I’m proud of them this year.”
Lafayette County sophomore quarterback Jeremy Liggins, one of those good young players, got his team on the board Saturday with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Markie Dukes with 10:35 remaining in the third quarter. But that score only made it a 21-7 game and the Commodores could not overcome its two fumbles near their opponents’ goal line as they were just inches away from scoring.
“The two fumbles in the end zone were the difference,” Hart said. “I don’t want to take anything away from them now. They got a great football team.”
The Rock-a-chaws found the end zone with no problems on Saturday, taking a 21-0 lead into halftime on Favre’s 6-yard touchdown run and his two passing TDs on gains of 65 and 16 yards.
The nephew of NFL QB Brett Favre hooked up with Krisjon Wilkerson on a 70-yard touchdown reception with 9:57 remaining in the game.
After getting tackled out of the end zone for a safety, the St. Stanislaus QB ran for a 9-yard score to make it 35-9 with 3:47 left.
“He’s a great player and so are the people around him,” Hart said of Favre and the Rock-a-chaws team. “People talk about him all the team … but those guys got a total ballclub.”
For the record, Favre threw 369 yards and three TDs. He also broke the United States record for most touchdowns scored – passing and rushing combined – in a single season with 81 this season.
Sam Booker would score on a run from four yards out with :54 seconds left, but by that point it was obviously too late for the Commodores, who ended the season at 14-2.
John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal