Meridian Star


December 16, 2013

Meridian Rookies win state

MERIDIAN — Tyler Grace scored three touchdowns, including two from 80 yards out, to help the Meridian White Rookies defeat the Oak Grove Rookies, 20-6, for the Mississippi Youth Football League state championship Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg.

    The running back punched in an 8-yard run on Meridian’s opening drive before adding an 80-yard run in the second quarter, as Meridian (12-0) went into the half with a commanding 14-0 lead over the rival Warriors.

    An Oak Grove (10-2) touchdown early in the third quarter provided a scare bringing the game to 14-6.

    However, Grace once again came up big, breaking away for his second 80-yard run of the game to ice the game and a perfect season for Meridian.

    “He had a great game,” Meridian head coach Bill Malone said of Grace. “We also had an awesome defense as well. Just all the guys, the team played great.”

    Malone said his players enjoyed playing on the same field as Southern Miss football players and also said playing for a state title at “The Rock” never gets old, no matter the age. The title was Malone’s third as a head coach in the MYFL. He previously coached Meridian to a Rookies title in 2006 before winning state again in 2009 in the Midgets division.

    “It was very exciting,” Malone said. “I’m very proud of my kids. I’m happy and sad at the same time, because now the season is over with. I enjoyed coaching this team so much. They grow on you.”

    Malone won’t be far from his players for long though. The head coach will be making the switch up to the Midgets level next season where he will get the opportunity to coach some of this year’s team as they move up to the 9-10 age group.

    “They just keep improving,” Malone said. “As a matter of fact, I think we have a good chance of competing for the state championship next year.”

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