The high school football championship games have wrapped up in Hattiesburg.
From 6A to 1A, each game had its fair share of lead changes, big plays and clutch performances. Below you’ll find a recap of each game:
3A – Water Valley vs. Seminary
In the early matchup, Water Valley captured their first state title since 1990 by holding on for a 34-28 win over Seminary. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Blue Devils held a 34-12 lead, but Seminary battled back. With a TD late in the fourth, the Bulldogs had to attempt an onside kick that they couldn’t recover, and Water Valley survived.
Blue Devil WR Bud Tolbert caught 4 TDs in the championship game and was named the game’s MVP.
1A – Hollandale Simmons vs. Nanih Waiya
Simmons came into the championship game with the nation’s longest winning streak at 54 games, and they had won the past 3 titles in 1A. All that came to an end today as Nanih Waiya took them down by a 21-18 final to claim their first title in school history.
While QB Donovan Turner was named the MVP, it was the defense that came through to seal the win. With just over 4:30 remaining in the game, a Simmons fumble on the Nanih Waiya 6-yard line kept the score at 21-18. Simmons would get the ball back with 2:30 left and threw an INT on the very next play.
6A – Horn Lake vs. Oak Grove
Two down the wire games set up the final game of the night in Hattiesburg, and it didn’t disappoint. A back and forth game was sealed with a minute left as Oak Grove QB John Rhys Plumlee was intercepted by Horn Lake DB Drew Leverson to seal a 31-27 win for Horn Lake.
A critical moment came when Oak Grove attempted a fake punt on their own 44-yard line while leading 27-24, and couldn’t covert early in the 4th quarter. Horn Lake drove down and scored to take a 31-27 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
Horn Lake QB Raydarious Jones was named the game’s MVP. Jones’ 51-yard TD pass early in the 3rd quarter kicked off the scoring in what was a busy second half.
4A – Louisville vs. Poplarville
After 45 years of roaming the sidelines for Louisville, head coach M.C. Miller is set to retire, and he will do so as a state champion once again after his Wildcats beat Poplarville 25-20 to claim the 4A title.
Poplarville took a 19-6 lead into the half, but a strong 2nd half from the Wildcats would put them on top when the clock hit :00. The Wildcat offense went as QB Deontae Yarbrough went, and after a shaky first half, he would bounce back to finish with 140 yards in the air with 2 TDs and 160 yards on the ground before being named the MVP.
This is Louisville’s first title since 2013.
2A – Scott Central vs. Taylorsville
Scott Central captured the 2A title with a 21-7 win over Taylorsville, who was without starting QB Ty Keyes. Filling in for Keyes was Karson Evans, who threw a 55-yard TD pass on the second play of the game, but that would be the Tartars only score of the game.
From there on out, Scott Central used a strong running game to take control of the game. The Rebels got a rushing TD from Treyon Wash and 2 from MVP Hydee Barlow. Two 4th quarter INTs by the Rebel defense helped clinch the Rebels’ first title since 1999.
5A – West Point vs. West Jones
For the third straight year, the West Point Green Wave are the 5A state champions after taking down West Jones 27-12. On offense for West Point, QB Brandon Harris did it all en route to earning the MVP as he rushed for 120 yards on 23 carries while rushing and throwing for a TD.
The honor could’ve also gone to Ryan Melton, who was an instrumental part of the victory. Already up 7-3, Melton would block a punt, pick it up and score to extend the West Point lead in the 1st quarter. He would add an INT in the 4th quarter to help seal the win.
This is West Point’s 10th state title in school history.