By NEMS Daily Journal
In a nail-biter, Olive Branch used a 52-yard catch and run from Todd Mays to DeArthur Cowan to defeat Starkville 40-36 as time expired on Friday night in Starkville.
On the previous possession, Starkville quarterback Jaquez Johnson connected with Shaquille Hill from 6 yards out to put the Yellowjackets ahead 36-34 with 6.5 seconds left.
Johnson hooked up with Hill three times through the air and added another score on the ground to lead the Starkville (5-4, 3-2 in Division 1-6A) offense.
Mays had a hand in two other scores for the Conquistadors (6-3, 3-2), rushing for 1 yard on the first score of the night, and he also returned an interception 17 yards for a score.
Starkville pulled ahead in the second quarter on a 31-yard pass from Johnson to Hill to take a 24-21 lead at halftime.
- Okolona 52, Thrasher 6: Jordan Ivy connected with Antwan Grady for a 16-yard pass to start the scoring of 26 unanswered points in the first quarter for Okolona. Ivy added three more scores on the night for the Chieftans (7-2, 5-0 in Division 1-1A), scoring on a 45-yard interception return, 30-yard punt return and 59-yard run. Demarian Dawkins scored for Thrasher (1-7, 0-5) on a 49-yard run.
- Vardaman 34, Wheeler 22: Vardaman used a big first half to go up 34-0. Donta Walker threw for five TDs for the Rams (6-3, 4-1 in Division 1-1A), hitting Damon Johnson and Tay Ewing for two scores each. Daryl Barefield had picked up two TDs on the ground for Wheeler (1-8, 0-5).
- Belmont 56, Alcorn Central 6: Belmont rolled its winning streak to nine games thanks to a big night from Jordan Poole. Poole finished with 96 yards and two TDs on four carries and also added a receiving TD (33) and a 75-yard kick return for a score for the Cardinals (9-0, 4-0 in Division 1-3A).
- Lafayette 42, Rosa Fort 7: The Dennis brothers, Demarkus and Jamal, combined to run for five TDs for the undefeated Commodores (10-0, 5-0 in Division 2-4A).
- Houlka 13, H.W. Byers 6: R.J. Johnson scored on a 6-yard run and Ondre Tittle had a 3-yard interception return for a score to seal the win for Houlka (3-7). Ledarius Jones scored on a 10-yard pass from Chris Eckles for the lone score for Byers.
- TCPS 33, New Site 7: Will Cockrell led TCPS to its fourth straight victory, throwing for 137 yards and three TDs on 7 of 9 attempts. Cockrell used three different receivers on the scores, Dallas Nunley (24), Jager Livingston (24) and Ron Lavigne (55). Lavigne also scored on the ground from 33 yards out for the Eagles (6-4).
- Bruce 33, Mantachie 7: Deshaun Tillman and Tiny Moore scored a pair of defensive touchdowns for the Trojans (4-6, 2-2 in Division 1-2A). Demartis Evans added a rushing TD and Davis Brown threw for another for Bruce.
- North Pontotoc 48, Tishomingo Co. 14: Shemiah Carter had touchdown runs of 4, 24 and 27 yards and had a 37-yard receiving TD to snap a 4-game losing streak for the Vikings (5-4, 1-3 in Division 1-4A.) Tanner Pounders and Joe Kain each scored on 14-yard runs for Tishomingo Co. (1-9, 0-4).
- Booneville 27, Corinth 0: Xzavier Rogers scored on runs of 15 and 37 yards to lead Booneville to its fourth straight victory. Shaq Prather returned an interception 70 yards for a score for the Blue Devils (6-3, 4-0 in 1-3A).
- Oxford 26, Lake Cormorant 19: Lamont Dean scored the winning TD on a 1-yard run with 2:02 remaining in the game for the Chargers (6-3, 3-2 in Division 1-5A). Guy Cameron Billups connected with Deshaun McNeal for two scores (16, 10) through the air. The score was tied 13-13 at halftime.
- East Webster 34, J.Z. George 6: East Webster had four different running backs record TDs to lead the 306 yard-rushing attack for the Wolverines. Tamarcus Bell had the biggest night of all the backs, finishing the 152 yards on 16 carries and a score. Demetrius O’Briant, Ledrick Patterson and Josh Gladney had rushing TDs for the Wolverines (10-0, 4-0 in 2-2A).
- Smithville 42, Falkner 14: It was an All-Freeman night for Smithville. Antwune, Datrune and Damantrio Freeman had a hand in five of the six scores for the Seminoles (7-4, 4-1 in Division 1-1A). Damantrio caught two TDs (48, 31) from Austin Spann, while Antwune (5, 80) and Datrune (37) recorded rushing scores.
- Baldwyn 35, Hatley 17: Baldwyn fell behind 3-0 in the first quarter then scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter to take the lead for good and to clinch second place in Division 1-2A. Tyler Estes scored for TDs on the ground and ran for 160 of the teams 358 rushing yards on 21 carries.
Lorenzo Hill added 10 carries for 14 yards and a score for the Bearcats (5-5, 3-1). Codi Taylor had two rushing TDs for Hatley (5-5, 0-4).
- Kossuth 53, Ripley 26: Kossuth got a big night from QB Jay Vanderford, 11 of 16 for 236 yards and four TDs, to clinch the fourth playoff spot in 1-3A.
Heath Wood recorded four catches for 101 yards and three scores for the Aggies (5-5, 2-2). Issac Bails recorded 181 yards and two TDs on the ground for Ripley (1-9, 0-4), which will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1998.
- Coldwater 28, Biggersville 14: No scoring information provided.
- Charleston 62, Holly Springs 0: No scoring information provided.
- Amory 55, Houston 48: No scoring information provided.