Yarborough, SLU Lions hunt 6th win

Published 6:00 am Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wide receiver Simmie Yarborough and his Southeastern LouisianaUniversity teammates will be seeking another win for their ailinghead coach, Mike Lucas, when the Lions tackle Nicholls StateSaturday in Thibodaux, La. It is the Southland Conference seasonfinale for both teams.

Yarborough (6-1, 195), a freshman from Brookhaven, has enjoyed abanner campaign with the Lions. He leads the team with 51receptions for 490 yards and 6 touchdowns. That’s just 1 step aheadof senior teammate Jay Lucas who has 50 catches for 495 yards.

The Lions roared to a 30-27 road victory over Sam Houston Statelast Saturday, inspired by Lucas who was recovering from heartvalve surgery.

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A win this Saturday would give the Lions (5-6, 2-4) their firstnon-losing record since football was reborn in 2003. The Lions beatNicholls State 17-13 last year in Hammond.

Yarborough caught a season-high nine passes with a touchdown atCentral Arkansas. His first career reception was a 14-yard TD catchin the first quarter against Alcorn State,

The Lions have a strong-armed quarterback in Brian Babin (6-5,220, jr.) who is from St. Amant, La., by way of Texas A&M. Hehas passed for 2,553 yards and 24 TDs.

Wide receiver Chris Wilson (6-4, 200, jr.) needs 3 catchesSaturday to give SLU a trio of receivers with 50 or more catchesthis season.

In a major decision this week, the Mississippi High SchoolActivities Association reversed the final outcome of a statefootball playoff game in Leland and awarded the victory to Walnut.Leland had pulled out a thrilling 24-21 victory on a touchdown passwith no time left on the clock.

After reviewing video of the final two plays in the game, it wasdetermined that Leland’s game-winning TD pass should be disallowed.The play came one play after Leland had been penalized for anillegal forward pass with no time on the clock.

Officials gave Leland another down and the Cubs responded with aTD pass. It was the first time the MHSAA Executive Committee hasever reversed the outcome of a game, overruling the officiatingcrew that have been placed on probation for the 2009 season.

Walnut (10-2) was granted a 21-18 Class 2A victory. Leland(9-3), under the direction of former BHS assistant coach EugeneSanders (1988-90), and his team were devastated by thereversal.

Who wouldn’t be devastated?

Congratulations to Delta State University and Millsaps Collegeon their achievements of making the NCAA football playoffs.Millsaps (10-0) will host LaGrange Saturday at noon in the openinground of the Division III playoffs. Delta State (9-1) received anopening round bye after winning the Gulf South Conferencechampionship and will host Tusculum Saturday at 1 p.m. in theDivision III playoffs at Cleveland.

The Magnolia State produces a high level of college footballyear-in and year-out. Jackson State has clinched the SWAC’s EasternDivision title and a trip to the SWAC Championship game but firstof all, the Tigers must take care of Alcorn State in the annualSoul Bowl.

When last seen, Professor Hoopla B.S., was looking for the mostsavory soup bowl on a cold November night. He predicted the winnersof 14 games last week and got 12 correct.

On the high school level, Franklin County is the only area teamleft alive in the state playoffs. We were sorry to see Brookhaven,Lawrence County and Bogue Chitto fall by the wayside last week.Hazlehurst also had a very good team but the Indians caughtFranklin County in the South Class 3A quarterfinals.

Here’s a preview of this weekend’s winners, starting with a highschool playoff special.

Franklin County at Columbia: Bulldogs won’t find it easy on theroad so they must play well to avoid an ambush in Marion County.Franklin County 24-14.

Ole Miss at LSU: Tigers might have to wear sunglasses for thisSaturday afternoon prime time contest. Rebels will play hard but itwon’t be quite enough. LSU 17-14.

Arkansas at Mississippi State: All signs point to a Razorbackvictory in Starkville. In a defensive struggle, Arkansas 13-10.

Alcorn State at Jackson State: Coach Ernest Jones boldlypredicted a Braves’ victory over the Tigers when he was hired lastwinter. Obviously, he was delirious. Jackson State 38-12.

LaGrange at Millsaps: Majors win another big one for Coach MikeDuBose. Millsaps 21-7.

Tusculum at Delta State: Statesmen flex their GSC musclesSaturday for Coach Ron Roberts. Delta State 28-10.

Alabama A&M at Valley State: It’s a cold day in Itta Benaand the future doesn’t look bright for the MVSU coaching staff.Alabama A&M 29-7.

Open date at Southern Miss: Golden Eagles have an open date todream about a possible bowl bid.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O. BOX551, Brookhaven, MS or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com