Coverage Breakdown: 6A Championship
When: Friday, 7:00pm
Pearl Pirates (11-3)
Pearl quietly piled up wins while the rest of the state was busy talking about Clinton, Brandon and Tupelo. All of the sudden, people looked up in time to see the Pirates defeat Brandon for the division. Then they stormed into the playoffs and eventually knocked off the defending 6A South State Champions. Now they stand ready to claim the crown.
It has been a load of juniors getting things done for the Pirates this season from their quarterback Jake Smithhart to their running back Johnny Winston and even their two leading tacklers on defense. The season aged these young men into season vets and they seem to be riding a wave of momentum into this final contest of the year.
Clinton Arrows (13-1)
After Clinton knocked off Brandon, it was hard to see them potentially losing a single game this season. However, a late season loss to Warren Central opened things up in 6A. Now they have battled all the way back to this title game.
Cam Akers has had the year everyone expected. He was recently named the 2016 SES Mr. Elite Award recipient. He really is and has been phenomenal. This is his team and as he goes, so go the Arrows.
How The Game Will be Won:
For Pearl, winning this football game will come down to something that sound somewhat easy. They need to contain Clinton's quarterback. Now, the problem with that is that Clinton's quarterback happens to be Cam Akers. However, the Pirates possess the kind of athleticism needed defensely to stand up to the challenge. Tackling machine Willie Brown will have his capable hands full all night long and Smithhart will need to play lights out football. All very doable for this incredibly complete football team.
Clinton will need to do Clinton things on offense. Akers will need to break out for his usual 50 yard scrambles and Maberry will need to get loose a few times as well. They have showed time and time again that on any given play, from any spot on the football field, they are capable of going the distance. The challenge and the matchup of the game becomes the Clinton Defense versus the Pearl offense. If the Arrows can somehow slow down the Pirates' offensive stars then wrap this one up in in Red and Black. If not, then get ready to see pictures of Coach Perry and the Pirates holding up the golden football all over your Saturday morning newspapers.
SES Staff Picks:
John Luke McCord-----Clinton
John Macon Gillespie-----Clinton