Clinton wins Class 6A championship

Published 11:49 pm Friday, December 2, 2016

STARKVILLE (AP) — No. 3 turned Clinton into No. 1.

Cam Akers ran for five touchdowns and threw for two more to lead Clinton past Pearl 49-35 on Friday night to win the MHSAA Class 6A championship.

Clinton (14-1) won its first state championship in school history.

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Akers, a five-star college prospect and Mississippi’s most-coveted recruit, finished the night 16-of-25 passing for 228 yards and two touchdowns while also running for 217 yards and five touchdowns on 30 carries to earn the game’s Most Valuable Player honors.

Akers’ 36-yard run with 10:36 left in the second quarter gave Clinton the lead for good at 14-7. His 46-yard touchdown pass went to Jordan Patton as time expired in the first half.

“Five years ago there was a lot of people that told me not to take this job. By God, this is why we took it. I’m so proud of that bunch of kids. I’m so proud,” Clinton coach Judd Boswell said in a postgame television interview, turning and raising his arms toward the Arrows’ cheering fans for extra emphasis. “So proud of this community. But these kids, they’ve changed it. Words can’t describe it. It’s a great night to be a Clinton Arrow.”

Pearl (11-4) was led by Jake Smithhart, who threw for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Tylan Knight, Willie Brown and Jaylon Stovall each had a rushing touchdown for the Pirates.
Knight also had a game-high 17 tackles and Brown had 13.

Pearl was making its first championship game appearance since 1985. It had won nine consecutive games after losing to Petal in its Region 3-6A opener on Sept. 23.

The 49 points Clinton scored was more than the Pirates had allowed in their previous five games combined. They hadn’t allowed more than 28 in any game this season, but Clinton matched that number by halftime.

Clinton finished with 525 yards of total offense. Darius Maberry rushed for 58 yards, while Reggie Landing caught nine passes for 122 yards.

Simmons 30, Lumberton 26

Marquez Pam had two rushing touchdowns and also an interception on defense to help lead Simmons past Lumberton in the MHSAA Class 1A championship game.

Simmons (13-0) capped an undefeated season, extended its winning streak to a state-best 25 games, and won its second consecutive Class 1A championship. Simmons is coached by former Vicksburg High coach Tavares Johnson, Sr.

Pam’s second touchdown was a 4-yard run that put the Blue Devils ahead 30-20 with 4:34 left in the fourth quarter. He finished with 91 rushing yards on 21 carries and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Lumberton (12-3) was led by quarterback Jared Tribett, who had two rushing touchdowns and threw for 168 yards and a touchdown.

The Panthers had a chance to win late after recovering an onside kick with 1:43 remaining, but turned the ball over on downs on the Simmons 24-yard line.

Calhoun City 22, Bay Springs 8

Calhoun City used a dominating defensive performance in the second half to beat Bay Springs and win the Class 2A championship.

The Wildcats (15-1) won their first state title since 1989 and second in school history.
Calhoun City’s defense intercepted three passes and held Bay Springs to just 176 yards of total offense.

Calhoun City quarterback Jojo Gray threw for a touchdown and ran for another, which earned him the game’s Most Valuable Player honors.

Gray’s touchdown pass to A’Tarius Moore on a fourth down gave Calhoun City a 16-8 lead with 4:08 left in the third quarter. His rushing touchdown came from 6 yards out and gave the Wildcats a 22-8 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Bay Springs (12-4) was led by Caderius Lee, who threw for 113 yards.