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Tallulah, Briarfield advance to MAIS Class 1A championship game

Tallulah Academy and Briarfield Academy have combined to win five consecutive MAIS 8-man football championships.

Make it six.

Tallulah outlasted DeSoto School 70-52 in one Class 1A semifinal on Friday, while Briarfield beat Wilkinson County Christian 50-35 in the other to set up a clash of 8-man titans in the championship game next week.

Tallulah (8-3) and Briarfield (10-0) will square off Friday, Nov. 20 at 11 a.m. at Jackson Academy. Briarfield is the defending Class 1A champion and also won in 2017, when there was only one 8-man division. Tallulah won championships in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

“It’s going to be a fun, fun time,” Tallulah coach Bart Wood said.

Tallulah defeated DeSoto (11-1) in a game that had no punts. Every offensive possession by both teams ended in either a score or on downs. Tallulah got in the end zone midway through the second quarter on a touchdown reception by Marsh Wood, then held the Thunderbirds twice on downs and got an 8-yard TD run by Walker Sullivan in between to take a 38-26 lead into halftime.

Tallulah got the second half kickoff and scored another touchdown on a 9-yard run by Sullivan to make it 44-26 with 9:01 remaining. From there, the Trojans were able to hold serve and stay comfortably in front until the end.

“I don’t know if it was a shootout. It was a grinding game. It was just that we couldn’t stop each other,” Bart Wood said. “We didn’t think it was going to be that kind of game. That was not what we were expecting.”