Friday night roundup: Hornets get gritty win at Amite County, Wesson now 6-0
Published 9:00 am Saturday, October 7, 2023
Here’s the rundown of how local high schools faired in another Friday night of football action.
Loyd Star 19, Amite County 12
Apologies for borrowing a turn of phrase from Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, but it was a “bring your own guts” kind of ballgame Friday night in Liberty between the Amite County (2-5, 1-1) Trojans and Loyd Star Hornets (6-1, 2-0).
Trailing 6-0 at halftime, the Hornets owned the fourth quarter in locking up a huge road win and sole possession of first place in Region 7-2A after the first two weeks of division play.
Loyd Star looked to be driving for the first touchdown of the game just before halftime. The Hornets coughed up a fumble though that was returned 85-yards for a touchdown with 33 seconds left before halftime.
The score remained 6-0 for the homestanding Trojans through three quarters.
The final 12 minutes of action started with a strong drive by the Hornet’s single wing offense that was getting positive yardage on each snap while the clock continued to run.
Freshman quarterback Jordyn Kees plunged in from the 1-yard line to finish the drive with 8:11 left in the game.
Handling snaps on special teams and executing those types of plays was an issue for both teams all night. The PAT kick attempt after the Kees run was blocked and the game sat tied at 6-6.
As it had done all night, the Loyd Star defense held strong and gave the Hornets possession again following their first score.
Kees then hit the big run that the Loyd Star fans in attendance had been hoping for all night. His 56-yard touchdown scamper put Loyd Star up for the first time as the PAT kick by Cooper Redi gave the Hornets a 13-6 advantage.
The Hornets stayed hot when sophomore Cooper Creel intercepted left-handed Amite County quarterback Markell Smith on the next Trojan drive.
Last week, Smith accounted for 362 yards of total offense in a 36-28 win at Bogue Chitto. On Friday, he was hemmed up and harassed all game long.
Kees scored again with 2:44 remaining in the game to make the score 19-6 for Loyd Star. The Trojans scored the final points of the night with 90 seconds, but failed to capture the onside kick, which allowed Loyd Star to bleed out the clock.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been proud of a team that I’ve coached,” said first year Loyd Star head coach Adam Smith. “We don’t win the game without the effort of our defense. We were able to start to wear them down in the fourth quarter with our offense and the credit goes to our guys up front for being physical.”
This sets up a monumental 2023 edition of the Possum Bowl next week between the Hornets and their rivals from Bogue Chitto at Loyd Star.
If you’ve seen the construction lately on the campus of Loyd Star, all signs point to the game being the first played at the school’s new football complex.
Bogue Chitto is currently in possession of the Possum Bowl Trophy after winning 17-16 last year in overtime at Loyd Star.
Silliman Institute 43, Brookhaven Academy 19
Don’t see the final score of this homecoming matchup at Brookhaven Academy and think that the visiting Silliman Institute Wildcats dominated the game.
When the contest was in its early goings, the Cougars gave SI fits with their passing attack and a defense that was flying to the ball.
As has been an issue for the Cougars who don’t have a deep roster, the Wildcats were able to wear them down in the second half after only leading 22-19 at halftime.
BA and coach Reggie Lea jumped out to 10-0 lead in the first quarter behind a potent passing attack. Senior quarterback Samuel Evans spread the ball around all night to his skills players as he connected with senior wideout Thomas King on the opening drive of the game for a 13-yard touchdown.
The Cougar defense then forced a turnover on the first Silliman drive by stripping the ballcarrier and recovering a fumble on their own 31-yard line.
On fourth down for BA after the turnover, the Cougars ran a fake punt that drew a pass interference penalty to convert the first down to the Wildcat 25-yard line.
The drive stalled soon after, but senior kicker Cooper Strickland booted through a 34-yard field goal to put the Cougars up 10-0.
Evans finished the game by passing for 212 yards on 26-of-41 attempts. He spread those receptions out to King, Strickland, Carson Mowdy, Braden Revere, Nathan Poole, Walt Smith and Wilson Calcote.
King led the BA wideouts with five catches for 70 yards.
Silliman countered with a deep stable of runners as Charles Rist Hunt, Jackson Day, John Barley Dawson and Trey Villavaso split carries early.
Dawson broke off a 60-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to put his team up 15-10 with 8:20 until halftime.
BA quickly responded as Silliman had little luck stopping the Cougars from gaining positive yards. Evans kept the ball on a read-option and cut right through the middle of the Silliman defense for a 65-yard touchdown run.
Adding to his strong night throwing the ball, Evans also led the BA rushing attack with 87 yards on 12 carries.
It only took 20 seconds for Silliman to answer the score as they got another touchdown via a 65-yard run by their quarterback Walker.
Strickland hit a 20-yard field goal with two seconds left before halftime to cut the lead to 22-19 at the break.
The Wildcats didn’t attempt a pass in the first half, but in the second half they started things off with a screen that developed down field with blocks and ended with Dawson scoring from 26-yards out.
The last great BA drive of the night came on the subsequent possession, but that scoring chance ended with a blocked 30-yard field goal attempt from the home team.
Silliman moves to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in MAIS District 3-5A with the win. Brookhaven Academy is 1-7 and 0-4 in district play. They’ll wrap up division play next week at home against Parklane Academy (6-2, 4-0) and BA closes out the regular season on Oct. 20 by hosting Amite School Center (0-8).
Bogue Chitto 41, West Lincoln 0
The Bogue Chitto Bobcats (4-3, 1-1) picked up their first Region 7-2A win of the season with a big win over their county rivals from West Lincoln (2-5, 0-1).
The Bobcats scored on their first drive of the game and then kept that going for much of the first half as they led 34-0 at the halftime break.
Bogue Chitto closes the season out with back-to-back road trips to Loyd Star and then Wilkinson County. West Lincoln will play at Wilkinson County next week before hosting twice more this season against Loyd Star and Amite County.
Wesson 45, Port Gibson 12
For the first time since 2010, Wesson is 6-0 to start the season. The Cobras also made history at homecoming by beating Port Gibson for the first time ever after previously being 0-9 all-time against the Blue Wave.
Most importantly, coach Jeremy Loy and his Cobras (6-0, 1-0) won their first Region 7-3A game.
Wesson led 20-6 at halftime as the Cobras scored 12 points in the first quarter, eight in the second quarter, 12 points in the third quarter and 13 more points in the fourth quarter.
Next up for Wesson is another region game, this one at Franklin County. The Bulldogs beat Wesson 19-13 last season in Meadville to snap a three-game win streak by the Cobras in the all-time series.
Resurrection Catholic 36 Enterprise 6
The Resurrection Catholic Eagles out of Pascagoula are now 5-1 and 2-0 in Region 8-2A after getting a big win Friday at Enterprise (3-4, 0-2).
Enterprise is back at home next week on Harry Cole Field to host the Salem Wildcats (0-7).
University High (Baton Rouge) 48, Lawrence County 26
Lawrence County had its three-game winning streak snapped Friday in Monticello by the visiting University High Cubs.
The game was tied 6-6 after the first quarter and U-High led 20-12 at the break before pulling away in the second half.
U-Lab has won six LHSAA state titles in its history and features a nationally ranked junior quarterback in Emile Picarella.
The LC Cougars (3-4, 1-0) and coach Jesse Anderson have a big home game coming up next week against region foes Purvis (4-3, 1-1).