High school football roundup: Trojans eke past Bobcats, LS rolls Wilkinson

Published 8:00 am Saturday, September 30, 2023

Here’s how area teams fared Friday night.

Amite County 36, Bogue Chitto 28

Bogue Chitto and Amite County traded big hits on defense and big gains on offense quarter after quarter Friday on Troy Smith Field. In the end, it was the Trojans from Liberty that struck last as their final touchdown with 3:58 remaining in the game was the go-ahead score in the Region 7-2A opener for both teams.

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AC came into the game with a 1-4 record but had played some larger competition close including tough losses to Franklin County and Hazlehurst.

Playing for a third different coaching staff in the last three years, the Trojans are big up front with a couple 6-foot-4ish lineman and have speed to burn when they hit the open field.

Amite County jumped up 14-0 in the first quarter when senior quarterback Markell Smith ran for a scored and threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Bailey for another score.

Facing 4th-and-long in that early hole, BC quarterback Jax Leggett found freshman Jayden Poole on a pickup that got just enough to move the chains.

A few players later, Leggett hit junior receiver Noah Magee in stride as he scored from 20-yards out on the final play of the first quarter. The Andrew Merrell PAT kick was good, and Bogue Chitto cut the lead to 14-7.

The Trojans again went up by two scores when Smith ran in for a 40-yard touchdown. Faking a handoff to his running back, the left-handed Smith tucked the ball back and cut right through the middle of the line of scrimmage, he stutter-stepped a defender and then shot outside on a clear lane to paydirt.

Leggett to Magee got Bogue Chitto quickly back within a single score as the pair connected on a 33-yard scoring pass with 4:04 left on the second quarter clock.

The 6-foot-5 Magee went up and high-pointed the ball before spinning around to run past a trio of Amite County defenders who stumbled in his wake.

Merrell’s kick was good and that 20-14 advantage for Amite County was the halftime score. The game was played in front of a huge homecoming crowd as senior Jacey Frazier was crowned 2023 Homecoming Queen at halftime.

BC head coach and play caller Gareth Sartin put his son, leading rusher Easton Sartin, in as the quarterback in a wild-cat formation early in the third quarter and the yards gained by that look pushed Bogue Chitto into getting its first lead of the night.

Sartin ran hard behind strong blocking up front and scored from 8-yards out to put his team ahead 21-20 with 8:25 left in the third quarter.

That drive was a good example of the type of possession that BC put together throughout the game as multiple ball carriers did their part and positive play after positive play led to a grinding route down the field.

However, the next Amite County possession was a good example of the lightning quickness with which the Trojans could score.

Less than a minute after BC went up by a point, Smith flung a pass to receiver Calvin Johnson Jr. in the flats. A would-be Bogue Chitto tackler grabbed Johnson Jr. around the waist and looked like he was going to sling the ball carrier to the ground.

Johnson Jr. didn’t go down though, he went forward and stayed on his feet towards an empty patch of grass ahead of him. Regaining his footing, he scored from 65-yards out to help AC regain the lead 28-21 just one minute after the Bobcats had first taken an advantage.

Magee caught his third scoring pass of the night on another throw from Leggett with 1:07 remaining in the third quarter to knot the game up at 28-28.

The Bogue Chitto defense turned away an invading drive by the Trojans in the fourth quarter as Sartin got a tackle for a loss on second down and then Brayden Wright made a tackle for loss on third down to force Amite County into a 4th-and-24.

Like the Greeks filling a wooden horse with warriors at the fall of Troy, the Amite County Trojans tried some trickery to pick up the first down by running a fake punt.

It was almost successful, but Leggett came up as the punt returner and lowered his head to make a tackle that kept AC 1-yard short and gave the Bobcats the ball back near midfield.

Bogue Chitto converted a third and long on the drive, but a turnover with just over six minutes remaining gave the ball back to Amite County and set up their game winning score.

It was who else but the quarterback Smith that scored the final points for Amite County on a 4-yard touchdown run with 3:58 left in the game. Bogue Chitto crossed midfield in an attempt to tie the game, but a pass in the endzone was batted down on 4th down to turn the ball back over to the Trojans with 60 seconds remaining.

Bogue Chitto (3-3) plays its final home game of the season next week when they host West Lincoln (2-4) for an inter-county Region 7-2A game. Amite County (2-4) will look to stay in first place in the division next week when hosting Loyd Star (5-1).

Loyd Star 44, Wilkinson County 30

First year head coach Adam Smith and Loyd Star moved to 5-1 on the season and 1-0 in Region 7-2A with a big win over Wilkinson County. The Wildcats from Woodville are the new kids in the division after dropping down from the 3A ranks due to reclassification.

Loyd Star travels to Liberty next week to face Amite County in a battle for first place in the region.

West Lincoln 15,

Sylva-Bay Academy 14

Senior offensive lineman Zackary Taylor ran in a 2-point conversion with 1:36 remaining in the game to give West Lincoln (2-4) a thrilling 15-14 win over the Sylva-Bay Academy Saints (0-7).

Sylva-Bay led 14-7 at halftime and Bland called for the conversion attempt and the win rather than playing for overtime on Perry Miller Field.

West Lincoln will make the short trip to play at Bogue Chitto next week in the Region 7-2A opener for the Bears.

Simpson Academy 55,

Brookhaven Academy 12

Coach Reggie Lea and his Cougars (1-6) are done with the road portion of their schedule after losing to fellow MAIS 5A member Simpson Academy on Friday in Mendenhall.

The Cougars wrap up the 2023 season by hosting three straight home games against Silliman Institute, Parklane Academy and Amite School Center.

Lumberton 41, Enterprise 2

The homestanding Lumberton Panthers (3-3) won big over visiting Enterprise (3-3) in the Region 8-1A opener for both teams.

Resurrection Catholic and Sacred Heart Catholic were the other teams in the region to win their opener on Friday. Resurrection beat Salem 56-26 and will travel to EAC to face the Yellow Jackets next week on Harry Cole Field.