Rowdy's Roundup: North/South Half Championship edition
Are y’all finally dry now?
Most of these teams had to overcome very poor weather conditions in order to reach their final destination goal: Hattiesburg, MS. Some of these were downright crazy and some were just convincing victories.
Now 12 teams remain. Only six will win gold balls next week. Before we set the state for the state championships, let’s see how the North/South Half title games went.
Horn Lake - 16
Madison Central - 7
We knew both teams had an outstanding defensive group. Walker went to go see them for himself. It was just a matter of who would make bigger plays down the stretch. In this case, it was Horn Lake.
The Eagles trailed 7-0 for the majority of the contest. Then, they did what they’ve been doing all year long and wearing the other team.
Horn Lake tied the game at seven with just under three minutes left to play and then proceeded to pull out their bag of tricks to score a TD and take the lead with 30 seconds left to play. Cap all that off with a safety on the final play of the game. Fitting ending.
Horn Lake becomes the second DCS squad ever to play in a state championship game. On the other side, this was Madison Central’s fourth straight time to come up one game short of a state title berth. My goodness, that is brutal.
Oak Grove - 21
Brandon - 10
Revenge is sweet, isn’t it, Warriors?
The Bulldogs were suffocated after a slim 10-7 lead in the second half and John Rhys Plumblee and company wouldn’t be denied from that point on. Now, they get to play a state championship in their home city.
Expect a packed Rock come Friday night.
West Point - 35
Olive Branch - 0
The Green Wave made a statement… on their first play of the game.
West Point scored two touchdowns on their first three offensive plays of the game to deliver the knockout punch early. They were just the far superior team that night with their running game and front seven. Now they get to play for a three-peat.
They’ll look to join South Panola in the 10+ championship club.
West Jones - 21
Picayune - 13
Nope, no hangover for the ones who knocked out mighty Hattiesburg out cold last week.
The Mustangs on defense are something else. It isn’t easy to defend against the style of offense that Picayune has run the last 30ish years. Well, West Jones did.
Many thought this team would make a state title game in 2010 when their stars were alligned. Well, here they are eight years later.
Louisville - 17
Greenwood - 14
The PowerCats didn’t blink. As a result, they get a chance to add another gold ball to their trophy case.
After leading 10-0 at halftime. Greenwood scored two TDs within three minutes of each other to flip momentum late in the third quarter. Like good teams do though, they didn’t panic. They scored to retake the lead in the fourth and their defense delivered when it mattered the most. Well done.
Poplarville - 33
East Central - 17
You’d love this game if you like old school mentality. Two well-oiled running machines, only one winner.
Poplarville got revenge for last year’s gun show defeat against East Central on this exact same stage. These guys are white hot, guys.
Water Valley - 43
North Panola - 28
Well, Mack told us before the season began that this Blue Devil squad was going to be something special. It takes being that to knock of a North Panola squad with K.J. Jefferson on their side. They made big time plays in a big time game, like a championship caliber team.
Some of the locals in Water Valley have been comparing their team this year to that of the 1990 state championship team. That was the year the school won it’s first and only state title.
Now, this present day team will have the opportunity to do what that team accomplished: bring a gold ball back to Death Valley.
Seminary - 15
Jefferson Davis County - 9
Aaaaaaaaand, down goes the defending 3A champs.
Alright, some team tried to messed with Lance Mancuso in the postseason, and actually ended up prevailing in this slobberknocker.
Nathan Pickering and that defense were just too much to handle. A score with 2:12 left in the game did it. The Bulldogs now looking to party like it is 2003 if they can win another state title.
Scott Central - 27
Calhoun City - 0
This turnover fest turned out to be a nightmare for the Wildcats. The Rebels poured it on in the last three quarters of play.
Guys, them Rebs are for real though. Their size and ability though.
Taylorsville - 15
Bay Springs - 8
Welp, Taylorsville didn’t light up the scoreboard like usual, but they did what matters most, they prevailed and get to defend their crown in class 2A.
However, they will be without their young star next week: Ty Keyes. His ankle was broken in this game. Can they still do it? Let’s find out.
Simmons - 20
Smithville - 6
The streak lives another day.
The Blue Devils were just a cut above the the Seminoles and will get to play for a fourth straight state title against a familiar foe.
Nanih Waiya - 28
East Marion - 14
That familiar foe that Simmons will face: These guys.
The Warriors had to overpower a team who made a very solid postseason run to make it back to this point. Can they put Simmons away this time and avenge that loss?
**Photo Courtesy of Zac Chamblee, Sports601.com