OXFORD – Lafayette County eliminated two-time defending Class 3A state champion Louisville with a 14-6 Class 4A second-round playoff win.
Dominique Price scored on a 2-yard run and Anfernee Gooch caught a 19-yard pass from Jeremy Liggins to lead the fourth-ranked Commodores past the Wildcats, who moved up to Class 4A this year.
- West Point 36, Canton 0: Jacoby Lee and the Green Wave ran past Canton (4-8) in a Class 5A first-round game.
Lee scored four rushing TDs to lead West Point (11-1). He scored twice on 3-yard runs and had touchdown runs of 25 and 30 yards.
- Pearl 28, Oxford 14: The Pirates pulled away in the second half to eliminate the Chargers in a Class 5A first-round contest.
Macrell Hickinbottom scored on a 1-yard run and Deante Smith caught a 25-yard pass from Guy Billups for Oxford, which finished its season at 6-6.
Pearl travels to West Point next week for a second-round matchup.
- Itawamba AHS 21, Center Hill 7: Junior quarterback Maikhail Miller led the Indians (12-0) with two touchdown passes to Austin Shumpert: a 52-yard strike in the first quarter and 29-yard toss in the fourth period.
- Vardaman 33, Shaw 20: A 20-point fourth quarter lifted the Rams (8-3) to the next round.
- Belmont 27, Water Valley 20 OT – Perhaps Belmont’s best move in the past three months was to move up a classification.
After having never reached the quarterfinals in any MHSAA classification, the Cardinals find themselves in this year’s Class 3A quarterfinals thanks to a 27-20 overtime win over Water Valley.
“It’s been a step up for the kids,” said Belmont head coach Kerry Moody, whose team improved to 9-3 in its first season since moving up from Class 2A. “They have responded well. They’ve played hard and they’ll continue to strive to get better.”
Gage Smith had two touchdowns, while Cody Sartain scored the game winner for the Cardinals, who travel to Booneville next week.
“I thought we played well tonight against a very good Water Valley team,” Moody said. “I thought the defense stepped up. Our guys made plays there in the end.”
The defense had to step up in the end because D.C. Logan was on the verge of taking the game over for Water Valley.
“They went to a wildcat formation with the Logan kid and that gave us some trouble,” Moody said.
Belmont led 12-0 at halftime and 12-7 after three quarters before the Blue Devils scored quickly in the fourth quarter to take a 14-12 lead. Smith scored on a 6-yard run to make it a 20-14 game following the 2-point conversion.
Water Valley’s Chris Conrad scored on a 29-yard run to tie the game.
Aberdeen Bulldogs do more than enough to win over Ripley Tigers
RIPLEY – Aberdeen did not take Ripley lightly entering Friday night’s MHSAA Class 3A second-round playoff game.
The Bulldogs played hard from the get-go against a Ripley team that entered Friday’s contest with five losses and traveled back to Aberdeen with a 42-16 victory.
“All year long we have had the talent and things of that nature, but hadn’t really showed up – we just did enough to win,” said Aberdeen head coach Chris Duncan. “We told them all year long, they had to focus and get ready and they did that tonight.
“They put everything together and that’s something I thought they could have did all year long.”
Aaron Andrews was 11 of 18 passing for 356 yards and four touchdowns for Aberdeen (11-2). Wide receiver Rashad Pargo had three catches for 119 yards and two TDs.
Mario Lucas also had three receptions, but for 143 yards and one TD. He also had one rushing score.
“We came into the game and thought they (Ripley) would give us some stuff we could take advantage of, and we executed to make plays early in the game. The quarterback played a doggone good football game, the receivers played great, and the offensive line blocked well in the first half.
“Midway through the third quarter we played almost error free ball against a good football team.”
Rounding out the scoring for the Bulldogs was Jalen Devauld, who had two catches for 62 yards and a score, and Jamerson Love, who rushed 15 times for 84 yards and a TD.
“We had seen Andrews on film and we thought he might give us a chance to intercept a couple of passes deep down field, but we couldn’t get any pressure on him,” said Ripley head coach Mac McCurry.
Acie Vance scored on a 1-yard run and Deante Cook scored on a 36-yard scamper in the fourth quarter for Ripley, which ends its season at 6-6.
Contributing: Kedrick Storey, Southern Sentinel.
Smithville upset in playoff opener
By Wesley Boock
SMITHVILLE – Undefeated Division 1-1A champion Smithville came up short 15-12 against fourth-seeded Coffeeville (8-4) in the first round of the Class 1A 2009 MHSAA playoffs on Friday.
“This was a really big win against a very, very physical Smithville football team,” said Pirate coach Jamaal Jackson. “We haven’t played anybody as physical as they were all year.”
This was Coffeeville’s first playoff win and Jackson’s first playoff win as well. The Pirates will face Vardaman next week.
The Pirates were led by running back Devonius Turner as he scored twice on runs of 24 and 1 yards. Trailing by 7 at the half, Smithville’s Datrune Freeman took the second half opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown to put the Noles within one after a missed PAT.
On the Pirates’ next possession, Turner would tack on his second touchdown on a 1-yard run with 4:39 left in the contest.
The Pirates would convert the two-point conversion to stretch the lead to 15-6. The Noles, however, did make it interesting when Damontrio Freeman caught a 39 yard pass from J.T. Pitts with 2:45 remaining in the game. A two-point conversion try failed.
Coffeeville would recover the Seminoles’ onside kick as the Pirates upset the Daily Journal’s top ranked small school.
“It’s just Friday night football, somebody’s going win and somebody is going to lose,” said Smithville coach Bubba Tacker. “We had a great year and a great run. … There were only 16 teams playing tonight in 1A and we were one of them. We were blessed to be playing but I hate we came up short.”
Smithville (10-1) played without its leading tackler, linebacker Bud Cox with an illness and with two linemen, Steve Adams and Zack Stephenson with the flu.
Wolverines end Wildcats’ dreams of title game encore
CUMBERLAND – Last year, East Webster could not advance past the second round of the playoffs, even with standouts Johnthan Banks, Reggie O’Briant and Tanner Roberson.
But this year’s youthful Wolverines’ squad broke through with Friday’s 28-14 victory over Calhoun City (7-6).
East Webster (7-6) collected 354 yards on the ground, and controlled the line of scrimmage to end the Wildcats’ hopes of reaching back-to-back title games. Next Friday, the Wolverines will host undefeated Ackerman with a chance to reach the Class 2A North State title game.
“It’s not always about who has the most talent,” said East Webster head coach Jimmy Shurden. “I have no doubt that Calhoun City has more talent than we do, man-for-man. But all I can say is the maroon team just wanted it more.”
East Webster sophomore Timakis Bell led the Wolverines with 176 rushing yards. The 5-foot-10 and 240-pound Bell clinched the victory with a 33-yard scoring rumble with 1:40 left in the game.
“It was about power and our offensive line,” said Bell. “We just wanted it tonight and we said we were going to fight for every yard. I have to give all the credit to my offensive line because they played great tonight.”
Junior quarterback Ledrick Patterson added 136 yards and two touchdowns on the ground for East Webster, which advanced to its third North semi-final appearances in the last five years.
‘Spread it around’
“It was key for us to spread it around,” said Shurden. “We had three pretty good weapons back there and we needed all of them tonight. Now this bunch can say they went farther than last year’s group, and that was a big mile-marker for us to reach.”
Calhoun City junior quarterback J.R. Jennings threw for 205 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception. Jennings also rushed for 39 yards and another score. On the night, Calhoun City had four turnovers and failed to score in the first half with two posessions ending inside the East Webster 10.
NEMS Daily Journal