ABERDEEN -- Aberdeen High School football coach Mark Bray and third-year North Panola coach Derek King expected a close game when their teams met Friday night in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A North State playoffs. That's the way things started, as Aberdeen nursed a 20-16 lead at halftime. But Aberdeen scored 26 unanswered points in the second half and the defense held the Cougars to -2 yards rushing, 6 yards passing, and one first down (on a penalty) en route to a 46-16 win.
MACON -- The Noxubee County High School football team looked sluggish early in its Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A North State playoff game against Senatobia. The Warriors had just returned a kickoff to the Tigers' 17-yard line, which forced a frustrated Noxubee County coach Tyrone Shorter to yell a simple message from the sideline. "They better not score!" Shorter warned his players as they took a knee during an injury timeout.
GREENWOOD -- The Starkville Academy football team wrapped up its regular season Friday night with a 31-0 victory against Pillow Academy in a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, District 1, Division II game.
A wake-up call is what the New Hope School football team received Friday night in a 32-29 loss to Class 5A, Region 1 rival Saltillo in the regular-season finale for both teams. New Hope (9-2, 5-2 region), which clinched the No. 2 seed in the region last week with a victory at West Point, was plagued by penalties and turnovers all night and trailed all game. Still, the Trojans' Brenton Spann scored on a 3-yard run to cut the Tigers' lead to 32-29 with 1 minute, 11 seconds remaining.
Starkville-Clinton Breakout Items
CLINTON -- Starkville High School senior quarterback Brady Davis and Clinton High School sophomore quarterback Cam Akers staged one heck of a battle Friday night. In the end, Davis had the good fortune of having Raphael Leonard, A.J. Brown, and Matt Fuller in his huddle.
VALLEY HEAD, Ala. -- The South Lamar High School football team celebrated its return to the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs in grand fashion Friday night. Playing in a postseason game for the first time since 2008, South Lamar went on the road and upset region champion Valley Head 39-13 in an opening-round game of the Class 1A playoffs.
COTTONDALE, Ala. -- The Victory Christian Academy football team won its fourth Christian Football Association title in rousing fashion Friday night. Sparked by a six-touchdown performance by senior Anthony Sharp, top-seeded Victory Christian defeated third-seeded Tuscaloosa Christian 44-8 at Warrior Field.
STARKVILLE - While Starkville High School has maintained perfection through its first 10 games of the football season, the Yellow Jackets still have no hardware to show for that success.
MACON -- Approach. Focus. The little things.
One more win.
CALEDONIA -- Brandon Henry knows how far the Caledonia High School football program has traveled in the past two seasons.
WEST POINT - Chris Chambless has no time to feel sorry for his football team.
STEENS -- On the road to a season filled with firsts, Columbus Christian football coach Greg Watkins has watched his team mature.
Barrett Donahoe doesn't have any problem putting David Herrington in a conversation with the state's best football players.
The mark of a good team is its ability to bounce back from a tough loss or to recharge after an emotional high.
Randal Montgomery's facial expression says all you want to know about Leon Payne. Even though it's a small smile, one that barely moves his lips, the question about his senior defensive lineman gets the first-year Columbus High School football coach to reveal how much Payne has meant to the team's success this season.
There's just something about Tuscaloosa Christian that gets to Bo McCrary and Shane Bradford. The Victory Christian football players don't know exactly what it is about their archrivals that they dislike so much. Upon further review, McCrary and Bradford know hyperbole and bombast typically are associated with heated rivals. They want to assure you there is no need for those things in this rivalry because the teams know how serious matters are when they meet.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School junior defensive lineman Lorenzo Dantzler gathered his teammates and delivered a simple message. "One turnover," Dantzler said. "I thought one turnover, one stop, one big play. I felt like that would turn this whole thing around." Sophomore Abdural Lee heard the message and took it to heart.
STEENS -- Years from now, Thomas Dantzler and Ben Campbell can say there were there. They will be able to remember if others who claim they were in Steens on a windy Halloween night in October in 2014 are telling the truth or if they are spinning a tale. Dantzler and Campbell will remember Friday night because they were on the sidelines watching the Columbus Christian Academy football team beat DeSoto School (Ark.) 34-14 in the school's first Mississippi Association of Independent Schools 11-man home playoff game.
1. Starkville, South Panola eager to renew rivalry HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. MSU defense looks for one more stellar performance COLLEGE SPORTS
3. May anchors offensive line for Noxubee County HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. MSU Offensive Keys against Ole Miss COLLEGE SPORTS
5. MSU Defensive Keys against Ole Miss COLLEGE SPORTS