Coaching change doesn’t slow Tallulah

Published 11:00 am Friday, October 17, 2014

Justin Bigham’s coaching debut with Tallulah Academy couldn’t have come during a more chaotic week — or been a bigger success.

Bigham moved up from assistant to head coach prior to last week’s homecoming game with Family Christian Academy when his father, Greg, stepped down. Greg Bigham’s wife took a teaching job in Florida, and he left Tallulah to be with her, Justin Bigham said.

The younger Bigham, who was playing football at Ole Miss a year ago, guided Tallulah to an 80-34 win over Family Christian in his first game as a head coach.

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“With all the stuff going on, with him having to leave and it being homecoming, the guys did pretty well with all the hoopla around them,” Justin Bigham said.

The Trojans did really, really well. Quarterback Mason Todd completed 9 of 11 passes for 276 yards and six touchdowns, and ran for 123 yards and one touchdown on only five carries.

Todd was one of three Tallulah players who ran for more than 100 yards, along with Zach Boney and Ryan Hodge. Dakota Cone caught four passes for 181 yards and four touchdowns, and Boney caught four passes for 95 yards and two scores.

The Trojans had 651 yards of offense and didn’t punt as they improved to 5-1.

“The boys had fun,” Bigham said, before taking a more critical look at the performance. “We put up some pretty good numbers on offense, but so did they. You’re never going to be perfect.”

Tallulah plays a non-district game against Delta Streets Academy tonight, and can clinch a playoff berth with a win next week at home against Clinton Christian.

The Trojans’ success in their first season of eight-man football and their talent have Bigham feeling like he stepped into an ideal situation for his first head coaching gig.

“The boys have been playing really well, and I think they’re excited to be competitive, because we haven’t been that way in a while,” Bigham said. “It’s starting to all come together. For me, it’s probably the best situation I could’ve asked for.”


Carroll at Madison

Madison Parish (3-3, 0-1 District 2-3A) had its three-game winning streak snapped with a 51-20 loss to Rayville last week, but has a good chance to get back on the right side of things tonight when winless Carroll (0-6) comes to town.

Carroll reached the Louisiana Class 3A quarterfinals in 2010, but has an 8-29 record since then and has lost 10 consecutive games.


SIA at Delta Academy

Since giving up 30 points in its season opener against Kemper Academy, Sharkey-Issaquena Academy has allowed a total of 40 in a dominant seven-game rampage through the MAIS eight-man ranks.

For the season, SIA has allowed 70 points — an average of about eight per game -— and posted two shutouts in the offensive-oriented eight-man league. They’ve only forced four turnovers, but have 21 sacks to their credit.

Sharkey-Issaquena has also outscored its opponents 198-28 in the first half this season.

The Confederates (8-0, 2-0 District 6-A), the defending state champions, have clinched a playoff berth and can wrap up the district title with a win tonight against Delta Academy (2-6, 0-1).


ACCS at Central Hinds

Central Hinds (3-5) kept its playoff hopes alive last week by beating Wayne Academy 62-41, as senior running back Brian King rushed for 287 yards and seven touchdowns.

King has more than 1,500 rushing yards this season and is averaging close to 200 yards per game. He had 187 yards and a touchdown in a 14-7 win over Tri-County two weeks ago.

Central Hinds will play Adams Christian (7-1) in a non-district game tonight, then faces Simpson Academy next week with a playoff berth on the line.

Central Hinds must beat Simpson to get into the playoffs, but can still get knocked out if a couple of other results go against it.


About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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