By Gene Phelps
JACKSON – There was one play #themblankets didn’t cover on Friday night.
It proved costly.
Oak Grove scored on a fake field goal late in the third quarter to defeat the Tupelo Golden Wave 14-7 on a cold, damp evening at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium to fall in the MHSAA Class 6A state championship.
Tupelo – popularly known on the social media site Twitter by the hashtag #themblankets – was seeking the 117th overall state title for the school and its second in football.
The Golden Wave last won a state championship in 1992 with James “Booty” Sloan coaching and Kirk Presley playing quarterback. Presley would later become a first-round draft selection of baseball’s New York Mets.
Football was Tupelo’s third major sport in four seasons to reach the state finals – 2011 baseball and 2012 basketball.
It was a dreary day weather-wise and result-wise for Northeast Mississippi’s 1A and 2A championship game entries.
Smithville (11-4) saw its option attack stopped in a 27-6 loss to French Camp in the Class 1A title game while Calhoun City (11-4) dropped a 48-7 decision to Bassfield – a team with five NCAA Division 1 prospects – in the 2A championship.
“Give it to (French Camp’s) defense and the big plays they made on offense,” said Smithville senior quarterback Drew Lann, who scored his team’s lone touchdown on a 13-yard run in the third quarter.