Simpson Co. Cougars victory shy of 3-peat

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Simpson County Academy’s football tradition runs deep. TheCougars (10-2) have won two straight Class AA state championshipsand go for a 3-peat Thursday night when they meet the CopiahAcademy Colonels (11-1).

Talk to Simpson head coach Billy Wayne Hankins and he said he’ssurprised by his team’s success this season. He lost 18 seniorsfrom last year’s state title team.

“It’s been a good year,” said Hankins, a 1985 SCA graduate. “Iwas surprised. Nobody expected us to be here.”

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Senior running back Shannon Steed has carried the Cougars thisseason. His breakaway speed has provided many big-play touchdowns.For the year, Steed has rushed for 1,983 yards and scored 23touchdowns.

Hankins said he’s impressed by Copiah’s defense. “We have a lotof respect for them. They have a great defense. They’ve given upjust 72 points in 12 games. That’s unreal.”

Steed has expressed his intentions to play baseball for MeridianCommunity College next season. An excellent defender in football,he has 48 tackles and 7 pass interceptions at safety.

“If we win Thursday night, I’ll be satisfied,” said Steed.

Simpson lineman Brian Colson praised tomorrow night’s opponent.”Copiah has a good defense. No. 73 (Preston Berry) is a real threaton the line.”

SCA quarterback Ben Maddox also praised the Colonels. “Copiah isreally good. They have a good defense.”

Maddox, used mainly as a runner, has gained 612 yards and scored5 TDs, his longest run 80 yards.

The Cougars average a mere 4.5 passes per game. Maddox hascompleted 11 of 44 passes for 278 yards and 4 TDs.

Fullback Clark Wallace blocks mainly for Steed but he has rushedthe football 86 times for 433 yards and 5 TDs.

The Cougars boast a tough, swarming defense. They are led byWallace who has 104 tackles. Senior linebacker Jeremy Duckworth has86 tackles, 50 of them solo stops. Zac Sanders has 75 tackles.