MHSAA championship roundup: Picayune, Bay Springs, Raleigh take state titles
Published 11:24 pm Friday, December 2, 2022
HATTIESBURG — Picayune prevailed in a clash of Mississippi football titans.
Dante Dowdell rushed for 190 yards and three touchdowns, Christopher Davis added 104 yards on the ground, and Picayune defeated West Point 31-21 in the MHSAA Class 5A championship game on Friday.
Picayune (15-0) beat West Point (11-3) in the Class 5A championship game for the second year in a row, and claimed its seventh title overall.
West Point was in the 5A championship game for the seventh consecutive season. It won the first four, but has now lost the last three.
The Green Wave looked good early Friday, jumping to a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter following touchdown passes of 41 and 86 yards from Quinterion Tillman-Evans to Ahmari Cox.
Picayune took control after that. It outscored West Point 28-7 from that point on as Dowdell ran for touchdowns of 1, 22 and 37 yards. The Maroon Tide’s other touchdown came on an 80-yard pass from Brady Robertson to Darrell Smith.
Picayune finished with 358 rushing yards as a team, and had 24 first downs.
West Point managed just 270 total yards, with 125 coming on its two early touchdowns. Kahnen Daniels ran for 57 yards and a TD.
Bay Springs 22, McEvans 0
Tyrick Jones rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns, and Bay Springs completed a dominant postseason run by shutting out McEvans in the MHSAA Class 1A championship game.
Bay Springs (14-1) won its second consecutive state title. It posted its sixth shutout of the season, and fourth in the last five games. The Bulldogs outscored their four playoff opponents 180-6.
Bay Springs held McEvans (13-2) to 45 rushing yards and 149 yards of total offense. It intercepted McEvans quarterback Christopher Watkins twice.
On offense, Bay Springs rolled up 270 rushing yards and only attempted two passes. Malaki Page ran for 70 yards and Anthony Ross had 61.
Jones scored on runs of 5 yards late in the first quarter, and 19 yards mindway through the third.
The Bulldogs’ other touchdown came on a 4-yard blocked punt return by Page with 7:16 left in the first quarter.
Raleigh 55, Noxubee County 52
Suntarine Perkins rushed for 334 yards and four touchdowns, and also had a key interception late in the fourth quarter, to lead Raleigh to a wild 55-52 victory over Noxubee County in the MHSAA Class 3A football championship game Friday.
With Raleigh clinging to a 47-46 lead, Perkins intercepted a pass and then scored on a 16-yard run with 2:37 remaining to put the Lions ahead 55-46.
Kamario Taylor threw a 28-yard TD pass to Anthony Little with 2:03 left to pull Noxubee County (10-5) back within three points. Its two-point conversion was no good, however, and Raleigh (14-1) was able to run out the clock following the kickoff. Perkins converted two third downs on the final drive to seal Raleigh’s first state championship.
Taylor finished with 14-of-24 passing for 282 yards with five touchdowns to lead Noxubee County. Little had seven catches for 134 yards, with four touchdowns
It was the highest MHSAA state championship game ever. The 2021 Class 2A title game between Scott Central and Leflore County had held the record, with 96 combined points.
MHSAA championship schedule
All games at M.M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg
Friday, Dec. 2
Class 3A – Raleigh 55, Noxubee County 52
Class 1A – Bay Springs 22, McEvans 0
Class 5A – Picayune 31, West Point 21
Saturday, Dec. 3
Class 4A – Mendenhall vs. Louisville, 11 a.m.
Class 2A – Scott Central vs. Charleston, 3 p.m.
Class 6A – Brandon vs. Starkville, 7 p.m.