By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
HOUSTON – Yazoo County quarterback Michael Collums completed two passes against Houston on Friday night.
One was fumbled and one went to the wrong team – and Houston advanced to the third round of the MHSAA Class 4A playoffs with a 34-0 win against the Panthers.
“A shutout is huge. It’s extra sweet in the playoffs,” Houston coach William Cook said. “The defense played their tails off.”
The Hilltoppers won the first playoff game in school history last week and will now travel to Louisville – one of two teams to beat them this season.
Houston (11-2) scored on its opening possession. Quarterback Sharone Wright had a 38-yard run and after a personal foul, Quon Brand scored on 3-yard TD only 79 seconds into the game.
Yazoo County (10-3) took it to the Houston 37 on its opening drive but Mississippi State-committed defensive end Chris Jones chased Panthers back Gerald Lampkin across the field for a loss on fourth down.
Houston drove 63 yards for its second score. Sophomore fullback Brandon Townsend followed a 29-yard run with a 2-yard touchdown run.
“It feels amazing. We’re having a blast,” said Townsend. “Our defense was hectic.”
Townsend had 131 yards and a pair of scores on 19 carries. Wright and Brand rushed for another 120 yards.
Wright picked off Collums’ first pass of the second half after Q Lewis tipped it and it bounced off a knee and raced 30 yards for a 20-0 lead.
“The offense played well. We moved the football without having to run a lot of stuff,” Cook said. “Brandon Townsend ran hard. We’ve already been to Louisville once and we killed ourselves. We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot. We’ve got to execute.”
The Toppers lost 35-14 there in September.
Wright lost a fumble at the Yazoo 13 in the third quarter but his team got it back when Lewis recovered a fumble on Collums’ lone completion. Wright capitalized with an 8-yard scramble for his second TD. Lewis then picked off Collums on Yazoo’s next play and went 23 yards to the 6.
Townsend scored his second touchdown on the next play.
“Their defense fed off their offense. They’re a very aggressive and sound defense,” Yazoo County coach Quentin Euell said.