From staff reports
The Meridian Star
Jacardius Griffin scored three touchdowns and Philadelphia beat Wilkinson County 34-14 Friday to advance to the third round of the MHSAA Class 3A playoffs for the second straight season.
"It's a huge deal," Philadelphia coach Teddy Dyess said. "And I think this was our best game yet, from offense to defense to special teams. For it to be our 13th game and still improving, that's fantastic."
The Tornadoes, who improved to 13-0, took the lead in the first on Griffin's first score from 1 yards out. The junior running back added scoring runs of 9 and 4 yards in the second quarter, each time putting Philly up by two scores. In between those touchdown runs, Wilkinson County got a 22-yard scoring pass from Devin Voorhies to Damon McMorris.
"These guys have been in a lot of big games and so when they made their run, we didn't hit the panic button," Dyess said.
Philadelphia then pushed the lead to 34-6 with a third-quarter touchdown pass from Romon Gray to Anthony Triplett and a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown from Kaleb Moore. WC added another Voorhies touchdown pass, this time to Allenzae Staggers late.
The Tornadoes travel to West Marion, a 50-9 winner against McLaurin, on Friday with a trip to South State on the line.
"Can't wait," Dyess added. "In the playoffs, it's all about survive and advance. We survived and advanced and now go to West Marion and we're excited about it."
— Jamie Wachter
MAIS Class A
Newton County Academy 32
Riverfield (La.) Academy 26
The third time was the charm for the Generals as their third straight trip to the second round of the MAIS Class A playoffs finally netted a trip to South State.
The Generals, who moved to 8-4, led by two scores late when a bad snap on a punt gave the Raiders a short field. After the Riverfield touchdown, NCA recovered the onsides kick and ran out the clock.
Regan Reiss led the Generals with 210 yards and scoring runs of 24, 35 and 18 yards on 19 carries. Zack Meeks added 37 yards and a 4-yard touchdown run on 16 carries, while Thomas Jones rushed for 36 yards on three attempts. Tanner Smith completed 4 of 12 passes for 54 yards and Alex Harrison recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.
"This is big," NCA coach Robert Roberts said.
The Generals will travel to Wilkinson County Christian Academy next week after WCCA beat Heidelberg Academy 30-0.
— Jamie Wachter
After a back-and-forth first half, the Bulldogs used their speed to hit too many big plays for the Yellowjackets to handle in the second round Friday.
Trailing 7-0, Union went up 8-7 when Laviel Wells scored a touchdown and Jesse Gill ran in the two-point conversion. However, Mize returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to regain the lead.
The Yellowjackets, who end the season 10-3, answered back with a 55-yard touchdown pass from Gill to Bogan and then Wells' two-point run pushed Union ahead 16-14.
However, from there all Union mustered was a 3-yard Gill touchdown run and Bogan 2-point conversion.
"We gave up too many big plays," Union coach Brad Breland said. "We'd hold them for a few plays and then they'd break loose. They returned a kickoff and an interception for a touchdown and hit a few big passes."
It was the second straight season that Union won 10 or more games, won the Division 5-2A title and advanced to the second round of the playoffs, and Breland hopes that can overcome the understood disappointment of the season ending.
"That's what I told them after the game, 'Even though you are hurting, still hold your head up high and be proud,'" Breland said. "We won the division again and nobody outside of our locker room thought we could do that."
— Jamie Wachter