MHSAA football: West Point, Corinth and Taylorsville claim state titles
Published 11:34 pm Saturday, December 7, 2019
HATTIESBURG — West Point maintained its place as the king of Class 5A, and also earned a place in the Mississippi high school football record book.
Brandon Harris passed for 109 yards and a touchdown, and added 58 yards and two TDs on the ground as West Point beat Picayune 38-26 in the MHSAA Class 5A championship game on Saturday night.
West Point (15-1) won its fourth consecutive Class 5A title, and its 11th championship overall. The latter total ties South Panola for the most in MHSAA history.
The Green Wave has a 57-3 record during its four-year reign, and its 16 consecutive playoff victories is the longest active streak in the state. In Mississippi history, only South Panola and Bassfield, who both had 23-game streaks from 2003-08 and 2012-16, respectively, have won more consecutive playoff games than West Point.
Championship No. 4 was not easy. Picayune (14-1) trailed 21-20 at halftime after Jaylen Hall returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown with 2:47 left in the second quarter.
Picayune’s only touchdown in the second half, however, came on a 70-yard pass from Isaac Hickman to Cameron Thomas with 5:55 left in the fourth quarter. West Point put together three long scoring drives that ate up a combined 13 ½ minutes to both control the clock and pull away.
Thomas finished with 147 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries for Picayune, along with his touchdown reception.
Corinth 55, Poplarville 21
Dontayvious Sheffield and Tameron Patterson each rushed for three touchdowns, and Corinth (14-1) routed Poplarville (9-6) to win its first football state championship.
Sheffield finished with 220 yards on only 10 carries carries, and Patterson had 134 yards on 22 carries. The Warriors finished with 389 rushing yards as a team.
Sheffield also completed 5 of 6 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns, both to D’Kyndric Gaines.
Poplarville only attempted three passes and finished with 374 rushing yards of its own — Chase Shears had 154 yards and one touchdown — but couldn’t keep up.
Six of Corinth’s eight touchdowns covered 30 yards or more. Sheffield’s 30-yard run with eight seconds left in the first half put the Warriors ahead 34-7, and his 43-yard TD pass to Gaines made it 41-7 with 9:59 left in the third quarter.
Poplarville lost in the Class 4A championship game for the second year in a row, and third time in four seasons.
Taylorsville 49, North Side 18
Jeffery Pittman ran for 113 yards and three touchdowns, Travis Keyes added 84 yards and two TDs, and Taylorsville (15-1) won its second Class 2A championship in three seasons.
Taylorsville won its seventh state championship overall. It also lost in the Class 2A title game last season.
North Side (14-1), which is led by former Vicksburg High coach Tavares Johnson and is only in its third year of existence, had its quest for an undefeated season derailed by a nightmarish second quarter.
After easing out to a 12-7 lead, everything unraveled for the Gators. Keyes scored on runs of 7 and 13 yards as Taylorsville scored 21 points in the second quarter, and 35 in a row before North Side finally answered with a 14-yard TD pass from Ja’Terrance Moore to Jalen Ward with 8:15 left in the fourth quarter.
North Side finished with just 42 rushing yards and 167 yards of total offense. It fumbled four times, but only lost one, and committed 13 penalties for 105 yards.
Moore was 15-of-21 passing for 125 yards and two TDs.
MHSAA championship games
Class 3A – Jefferson Davis County 25, Noxubee County 15
Class 1A – Nanih Waiya 28, Lumberton 13
Class 6A – Oxford 31, Oak Grove 21
Class 4A – Corinth 55, Poplarville 21
Class 2A – Taylorsville 49, North Side 18
Class 5A – West Point 38, Picayune 26