West Jones, Taylorsville, Louisville win MHSAA football titles
JACKSON — One of the longest-running dynasties in Mississippi high school football history came to an end Saturday night.
Kentrel Pruitt rushed for 70 yards and three touchdowns, including a 4-yarder early in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game-winner, as West Jones defeated West Point 33-27 for the MHSAA Class 5A championship.
West Jones (13-2) won the first state title in the school’s 55-year history, and denied West Point (11-4) a place in state legend.
West Point won four consecutive Class 5A championships from 2016-19. It missed a chance to join South Panola (2003-07) as the only schools in the playoff era to win five in a row.
West Point has won 11 state championships in all, and lost for only the third time in 14 championship game appearances.
Pruitt scored on runs of 5 and 1 yards in the first half, but it was his 4-yarder with 11:20 left in the game that finally put West Jones ahead to stay, 33-27. It was the seventh time in the game that the lead changed hands or the score was tied.
Alan Follis completed 14 of 18 passes for 215 yards for West Jones, and also ran for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Cameron Young ran for 70 yards and three touchdowns for West Point, and Antonio Facella returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown in the final minute of the first half.
Taylorsville 42, Calhoun City 0
Ty Keyes threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score, and Taylorsville cemented its dynasty in Class 2A by crushing Calhoun City in the championship game Saturday.
Taylorsville (14-1) won its second consecutive Class 2A championship and third in four years. It also lost in the 2018 title game. It was the first shutout in an MHSAA football championship game since Bassfield beat Eupora 35-0 for the 2A title in 2012.
Jeffery Pittman rushed for 162 yards and a touchdown on only 12 carries for the Tartars. One of them was a 97-yard touchdown in the second quarter that made it 21-0.
Travis Keyes ran for 73 yards and a TD on eight carries for Taylorsville.
Calhoun City (10-3) was playing in a state championship game for the 11th time in school history, but its only victories were in 1989 and 2016.
Louisville 15, Poplarville 14
Jace Hudspeth threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Rush with 36 seconds remaining, and Jaden Triplett scored on the two-point conversion run to lift Louisville (13-1) over Poplarville (10-4) in the MHSAA Class 4A championship game.
Louisville’s game-winning drive started at its own 18-yard line with 6:28 left. The Wildcats converted two fourth downs along the way. They were 5-for-7 on fourth down in the game, and 6-for-14 on third down.
After the touchdown pass from Hudspeth to Rush pulled Louisville to within 14-13, it went for two and the win. Triplett took a handoff and tried to go off left tackle. He was hit in the backfield, but broke the tackle at the 2-yard line, planted one hand in the ground, and made an off-balance lunge just across the goal line for the go-ahead conversion.
Hudspeth completed 24 of 40 passes for 273 yards and the one touchdown. He also scored a rushing touchdown.
Tyron Holston ran for 111 yards on eight carries for Poplarville, and Greg Swann added 92 yards and a touchdown. The Hornets only threw one pass in the game — on their final play, which resulted in an interception.
Louisville remained perfect in state championship games. It has won in all 10 appearances, and claimed its second Class 4A crown in three years.
Poplarville lost in the 4A title game for the third year in a row.
MHSAA championship game schedule
Class 3A – Magee 49, Noxubee County 26
Class 1A – Lumberton 20, Biggersville 14
Class 6A – Oak Grove 29, Oxford 28
Class 4A – Louisville 15, Poplarville 14
Class 2A – Taylorsville 42, Calhoun City 0
Class 5A – West Jones 33, West Point 27