By Brandon Speck
JACKSON – Calhoun City wasn’t favored coming into Friday afternoon’s Class 2A state championship game. The Wildcats didn’t feel too favored after it was over.
Bassfield beat Calhoun City 48-7 at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Yellowjackets (15-1) got serious.
“You’ve got to play about a perfect game to beat that team,” Calhoun City coach Perry Liles said.
Quarterback Calvin Moore threw three touchdown passes in the quarter en route to Bassfield’s third title in five seasons. It took a 14-0 lead on a perfect 38-yard pass from Calvin Moore to Southern Miss commit, Curtis Mikell. Mikell caught the final touchdown of the half for a 27-0 lead. Moore also placed a touchdown pass on the fingertips of tight end Brandon Mancuso.
Steele Liles scored on a 32-yard run in the final minute for City (11-4). Wildcats quarterback Chakel Gates was held to 11 rushing yards on 13 carries.
“I am so proud of our kids. I think we shocked a lot of people by being 0-0 after the first quarter,” Perry Liles said. “We’ll get started Monday on the next season.”
The teams traded turnovers to start the game – Liles recovering a fumbled lateral. But it was Bassfield taking advantage of Cornell Armstrong’s pick of Gates, turning it into a touchdown.
“Those guys had their ears pinned back in the first quarter,” Bassfield linebacker Alvin Moore said. “Coach let us know what we had to do and here we are with a state championship.”
Armstrong is a Southern Miss commit, two of four players on the roster who’ve committed to Division I schools. Brothers Moore are Ole Miss commits.
Bassfield added to the lead on Tra Darrell Cook’s 4-yard run, a 6-yard run from Dan Tario Magee and a 45-yard fumble return from Jamal Peters.
“We played a good first quarter,” Calhoun City senior Cartin McBride said. “But after that, it just kind of fell apart after they started scoring.”