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Copiah Co. boasts 2 football powers

Copiah County is becoming known as Football Country in 2005. TheCopiah Academy Colonels are basking in the glory of a berth in theMPSA Class AA state championship game which will be held atMississippi College in Clinton. The Gallman-based Colonels, coachedby Mitch Mitchell, will kick it off at 7 p.m. next Thursday night,against the two-time defending state champion Simpson CountyCougars.

Meanwhile, in nearby Hazlehurst, the unbeaten Indians (10-0)entertain Greene County tonight in the MHSAA Class 3A statequarterfinals. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Robert McDaniel Sr. Field and alarge crowd is expected.

This is the third straight year for Coach Willie Brown’s Indiansto reach the state quarterfinals. The well-coached team featuresexplosive speed, quickness and athletic ability.

Brown, a former defensive coach at Alcorn State, is in his sixthyear at the Hazlehurst helm. He coached for Cardell Jones atAlcorn, back in the good ‘ol days.

In the other South state quarterfinals game tonight, CoachRandall Huffman’s undefeated South Pike Eagles (12-0) host theMorton Panthers. If Hazlehurst and South Pike win, the South statechampionship game would be played next Friday night atHazlehurst.

Due to the huge crowd potential, it would be great if the gamewas moved to Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Stone Stadium whichhas an approximate seating capacity of 10,000. Of course, few teamsare willing to give up their home field advantage in the playoffs.Who could blame them?

Two games of local interest in Class 1A send Gulfport St. Johnto Puckett and Lake to Mt. Olive. Puckett (11-0) and Mt. Olive(12-0) are both undefeated. Obviously, the dream matchup would benext Friday night between Mt. Olive and Puckett. However, strangethings do happen in the playoffs.

In Class 4A, where the Ole Brook Panthers were defending statechampions, Wayne County is favored to win the South title. The WarEagles (12-0) are at Region 6-4A foe Mendenhall (9-3) tonight.Terry (11-1) travels to West Jones (9-1) in the other 4A Southstate game.

Terry boasts the probable Player of the Year in running backAnthony Dixon but he may not be enough to beat the Mustangs ontheir home turf. The only loss for West Jones came at the hands ofWayne County early in the season.

Speaking of Wayne County, Greene County head coach JohnnyAinsworth was an assistant at the Waynesboro-based school 10 yearsago when Lincoln County native Anthony Hart was coaching there asdefensive coordinator. Bubba Davis, now at Petal, was the headcoach at Wayne County back then, before he migrated to Jasper,Ala.

Congratulations to the Pearl River Community College Wildcatsfor winning their third straight football state championship. TheWildcats. coached by Tim Hatten, defeated Gulf Coast 25-19 lastSaturday at Perkinston in a state title game witnessed by a crowdof 5,500

For Pearl River (8-1), the defending NJCAA national champion,the victory avenged a 55-47 loss to Gulf Coast earlier in theseason. Due to Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 season was pushed backthree weeks.

Bowl bids went out last week and Pearl River was bypassed infavor of Gulf Coast (7-2). If you remember, Co-Lin almost beat GulfCoast at Wesson, losing 30-27 when a fumble killed a late scoringdrive.

In a 1-6 campaign, Co-Lin’s effort against Gulf Coast wasprobably the best of the season. Hopefully, Coach Glenn Davis andhis staff can recruit some more outstanding players, and theWolfpack will climb the South Division ladder next year.

When last seen, Professor Hoopla B.S., was trying to climb apine tree, using his deer hunting stand. He needs two more arms andlegs.

Hoopla predicted the winners of 14 games last week and only got9 correct. Special congratulations to the Mississippi CollegeChoctaws for winning the Backyard Brawl.

Looking at the local scene, it’s a sparse menu. There are twogames of note that deserve a prediction.

Greene County at Hazlehurst: In an offensive show, theIndians eke out a victory. Hazlehurst 34-28.

Morton at South Pike: Eagles are especially difficult todefeat in Magnolia. South Pike 31-17.

Tulane at Southern Miss: To remain bowl eligible, theGolden Eagles notch a victory at The Rock. Southern Miss27-14.

Ole Miss at Mississippi State: Critics have referred tothis Egg Bowl as the Sludge Bowl. Two losing teams battle foryear-long bragging rights. Bulldogs are overdue. State18-14.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILYLEADER, P.O. BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mailsports@dailyleader.com