Wesson hosts Mize in 2A playoffs

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 3, 2006

The first round of the Class 2A, 3A and 4A state footballplayoffs kick off Friday night with several area teams in the mix.One of the biggest games features a Class 2A rematch between hostWesson and Mize at Stone Stadium on the Co-Lin campus.

In Class 3A playoff action, Raymond is at Franklin County, SouthPike invades Hazlehurst and Crystal Springs travels to Tylertown.Class 4A action features Gautier at McComb.

All state playoff games begin at 7 p.m. Only the top four teamsfrom each region advanced to the playoffs.

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The 2A Wesson Cobras (Region 6 No. 2) face Mize(Region 7 No. 3) for the second time this season. Last Friday, theCobras (8-2, 4-1) recorded a huge 32-13 region win over Hinds AHS.Mize (5-5, 2-3) fell to Bay Springs 35-14 in Region 7 action.

Wesson is ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Class 2A PrepPoll.

On Sept. 22, the Cobras dropped a 20-13 decision to the Bulldogsat Mize. The loss ended a 4-game win streak by Wesson.

“We spotted them 14 points in the first game,” said Wesson headcoach Tommy Clopton. “It took us a while to catch up with them. Wedug ourselves a hole early. We came back and made it a game.

“Hopefully, we won’t have trouble matching them with intensity.Mize has tradition too. They have been where we’d like to go. Theyhave the edge in playoff experience.”

In the win over Hinds AHS, Wesson senior quarterback Micah Davisrushed the football 9 times for 133 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.Roy Williams rushed 12 times for 67 yards and a TD.

On defense, the Cobras got 13 tackles, a sack and a fumblerecovery from DAILY LEADER Defensive Player of the Week JonathanGrace. Davis, who followed with 8 tackles, scored a touchdown afterreturning a fumble 54 yards for the TD.

The Cobras have to perform well against the Bulldogs in thissecond matchup. “We have to execute better,” said Clopton. “Wedidn’t execute against them well the first time. We expect it to bea different ball game. It’s a big game at home.”

This is Wesson’s second straight appearance in the stateplayoffs under Clopton. In last year’s first-round game, eventualstate champ Lumberton defeated Wesson 52-7.

The 3A South Pike Eagles (Reg. 7 No. 3) visitthe defending 3A state champ Hazlehurst Indians (Reg. 6 No. 2) in arematch from last year’s South State finals. Last year, Hazlehurstclipped South Pike 22-19 on its way to capturing the 3A statechampionship.

South Pike, coached by Randall Huffman, stomped Jackson Bailey42-8 last Friday. Several years ago, Huffman was head coach atHazlehurst and still resides in the area.

Hazlehurst, under first-year head coach Vernon Perry, knockedoff Copiah County rival Crystal Springs 37-22 in a key region test.The Indians, ranked No. 5 in the AP Class 3A Prep Poll, finishedregular season play 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the region. The Eaglesare 4-2 in the region and 6-4 overall.

Powering the Eagles in the win over Bailey was John Taylor with16 rushes for 109 yards. Travorrious Marsalis completed 9 of 17passes for 160 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The 4A McComb Tigers (Reg. 6 No. 2) play hostto Gautier Gators (Reg. 7 No. 3) at C.C. Moore Stadium. LastFriday, McComb (7-2, 4-1) dropped the Region 6-A title game toTerry by a close score of 14-10.

Gautier (5-4, 4-2) was pounded by Vancleave 38-7 last week.

In the loss to Terry, McComb was led by Demorius Stewart with 20carries for 102 yards.

The 3A Crystal Springs Tigers (Reg. 6 No. 3)invade Tylertown (Reg. 7 No. 2) to meet the Chiefs. Under CoachDavid Virgil, Crystal Springs is 6-4 overall and finished 4-2 inthe region.

Franklin County (9-1, 6-0) is the Region 6-3A champ and stoppedTylertown 14-12 last week. The Bulldogs, ranked No. 2 in the APClass 3A Prep Poll, are under the direction of Grady McCluskey.