Twice is nice for the Columbus Middle School football team.
Columbus defeated Tupelo 14-0 on Oct. 18 to win its second championship in as many years.
The only blemish on Columbus’ record was an 8-0 loss to Kosciusko.
“It would have been nice to remained undefeated as we did last year,” Columbus coach Lee Davis said. “However, it just wasn’t meant to be. That loss was on me. We suffered a few key injuries and lost of few starters, but I didn’t get them ready and we dropped our one and only game.”
Columbus finished the season 6-1. Davis said the season lacked the drama of last season, when the Falcons went undefeated. They rallied from a 16-6 deficit and scored on the final play of the game to beat previously undefeated Tupelo to help clinch the title.
Davis said the 2011 team relied more on a strong defense led by coordinator Cody Rader and line coach Doug Beddies. That defense came up big with a safety in a 2-0 victory against West Point.
Columbus also defeated Louisville (26-0), Starkville (14-6), Noxubee County (32-0), and New Hope (20-16).
Davis praised the efforts of the team’s coaches. He said offensive line coach Patrick Holmes did a great job after changes were made on the line and worked well with running backs/receivers coach Chris Childress to form a powerful one-two punch.
Davis also thanked the players for all of their hard work and singled out the play of quarterback Kiren Sharp, fullback Mario Braddford, and running backs Demontae Kidd and Kendra Conner.
“We got better and improved game by game,” Davis said. “I was proud at how we ended the season playing offensively. We may have not been the most talented team every Thursday night, but our kids believed and played really hard to accomplish what we did this year. … I was really proud at how they responded to the challenge (against Tupelo) and found a way to win.”
Davis said cornerbacks Darren Walker and Demorious Hudson, safety Hakiem Staples, and outside linebackers Sharp and Kidd played key roles in shutting down Tupelo’s passing game and explosive offense.
“It was a great way to end the season, and I appreciate each and every player on the team,” Davis said. “We had 86 kids on the seventh-grade team and 82 on the eighth-grade championship team. Each and every kid is a champion.
“Our Principal Cindy Wamble, Mrs. Dismukes, and Mr. Howard have supported our student-athletes and the coaching staff. Their commitment to excellence and leadership makes it possible for us to enjoy this success and the 2011 championship.”
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