High school football roundup: BHS outlasts North Pike, Playoff pairings set in 1A-4A
Published 9:00 am Saturday, October 28, 2023
The 2023 regular season wrapped up for MHSAA schools in the 1A through 4A classifications on Thursday. Here’s a look at how area teams fared and who’d headed to the postseason that begins next week in those classifications along with the results from a crucial region game for 5A Brookhaven High.
Brookhaven High 13, North Pike 9
Brookhaven High (5-4) head coach Tucker Peavey and his Panthers will take an ugly win over a pretty loss every night of the week.
Trailing 9-7 to North Pike (3-6) after three quarters, Peavey’s Panthers gutted out a critical Region 3-5A victory that keeps BHS in the running to host a MHSAA 5A playoff game.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Brookhaven senior running back Xavier Gayten scored from the 1-inch line to put the Panthers ahead for the first time in the game by that 14-9 advantage.
Playing at Southwest Community College in Summit, the Jaguars took over their final possession of the game with three minutes left and 27-yards between them and the end zone.
Senior defensive lineman Eric Williams made a tackle for no gaom on first down and on second down the Jaguars picked up six yards via a quarterback scramble.
On third down, Brookhaven High senior Kenan Quinn shot through the line to make a six-yard tackle for a loss.
After a timeout and facing 4th-and-12 from the BHS 29-yard line, the Jaguars bobbled the ball and had their final attempt at converting never materialize.
The Panther defense only allowed 154 combined yards in the game from North Pike and the Jaguars got just 25 of those yards in the second half.
The BHS offense put up 225 yards of total offense, including 141 yards on the ground via 22 carries for Gayten.
Sophomore Timmothy Smith caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Dreamus Harron for the other BHS score.
The regular season wraps up on Thursday with BHS hosting Natchez High (5-5) on King Field. Natchez used a barrage of long scoring passes last season to beat the Panthers 48-34 on King Field. The winner of the game on Thursday will lock up the second spot in the region behind Florence and will host a 5A playoff game the next week.
Loyd Star 39, Franklin County 34
Loyd Star went to Meadville and played to win on Thursday in the regular season finale for the 2A Hornets and the host 3A Franklin County Bulldogs.
The victory pushed the Hornets and first year head coach Adam Smith to 9-1 on the season as Loyd Star will host Lake (4-6) on Friday in the first round of the MHSAA 2A playoffs.
In a radio interview after the game, Smith said he didn’t know how many touches that freshman quarterback Jordyn Kees had gotten in the game, but he knew it had been a bunch.
Kees did get a bunch of carries and piled up a bunch of yards to power the Hornet offense. He finished with 280 yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries.
Senior fullback Jaden Lea carried the ball 14 times for 70 yards and a touchdown. Running back Omarion Clay carried the ball twice for 42 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Brandon Burt led the Loyd Star defense with 14 tackles. Junior Zack Cotton made 13 tackles from his linebacker position.
Loyd Star led 24-22 in the third quarter before Clay’s touchdown run pushed the lead out to 31-22.
Franklin County kept battling and answered back early in the third quarter with a touchdown to make the Loyd Star advantage 31-28.
Burt returned the following kickoff to the Franklin County 39-yard line, but the possession ended up just short of the goal line and Franklin County took back over needing to go the length of the field with seven minutes remaining in the game and trailing by three points.
The Hornet defense put Franklin County into a third-and-long and on fourth down the Bulldogs failed to convert a fake punt. Lea scored a touchdown to ice the game soon after with three minutes remaining.
Lake High, located in Scott County, finished in fourth place of Region 5-2A after division losses to Scott Central 16-6, Clarkdale 13-6 and region winner Bay Springs 34-6. Lake won the last meeting between it and Loyd Star by a 24-6 final score in 2014.
Franklin County (3-7) opens the MHSAA 3A playoffs next week by traveling to play at Kemper County (8-2).
Bogue Chitto 29, Wilkinson County 8
Coach Gareth Sartin and his Bogue Chitto Bobcats finished off the regular season and Region 7-2A play as the no. 3 seed in the playoffs after winning in Woodville on Thursday.
Next up for Bogue Chitto (5-4) is a road playoff game on Friday at Scott Central (7-3) in the MHSAA 2A playoffs.
Senior running back Easton Sartin went over the 1,000-yard mark on the season in the win. Sartin rushed the ball 16 times for 156 yards and two scores. It was a solid way to end his senior regular season after losing his junior year to a knee injury. Sophomore Isaiah Collins rushed for 112 yards on just nine carries.
Senior Jay May also ran for a score against Wilkin County while senior quarterback Jax Leggett tossed a touchdown to junior Noah Magee from 11-yards out.
Scott Central is the two-time defending MHSAA 2A state champions.
Lawrence County 36, Forrest CAHS 31
Ahmad Hardy had one of those nights carrying the football that few high school running backs can duplicate and in doing so, locked up a second-place finish in Region 7-4A for the Cougars (5-5).
Hardy carried the ball 13 times for 241 yards and four touchdowns.
The game was tied at 14-14 after the first and second quarters. The back-and-forth nature of it all mirrored the game won last year by LCHS 47-42 in Monticello over the Aggies (5-4).
Senior quarterback Kannon Cato added 63 yards on eight carries and another score for Lawrence County head coach Jesse Anderson.
Senior linebackers Jazerrius Walker and Aundre Ingram led the Cougar defense with 11 tackles each. Sophomore lineman Jarrod Carter also had 10 stops for the Cougars.
Next up for Lawrence County is a home game on Friday in the first round of the MHSAA 4A playoffs against Mendenhall (5-5).
Jefferson County 42, Wesson 12
Jefferson County ended Wesson’s season spanning winning streak with a victory in Fayette on Thursday. The loss means coach Jeremy Loy and his Cobras (8-1) finish in second place in Region 7-3A and will host Enterprise-Clarke (4-5) next Friday in Stone Stadium.
Junior quarterback Wyatt Garrett went 7-of-11 passing for 128 yards and a touchdown. Senior Kaleb Chase caught five passes for 88 yards and had the touchdown grab.
Garrett also led the Wesson defense with 10 tackles.
Sacred Heart 45, Enterprise 8
Last season Sacred Heart played as an independent and finished 2-8. On Thursday, the Crusaders of Hattiesburg finished up the regular season with a 9-1 record after beating Enterprise on Harry Cole Field.
The Sacred Heart defense was swarming as they held the Yellow Jackets to 96 total combined yards.
Daylan Barden scored the lone EAC touchdown of the game on the ground. Landon McNickles, Payton Kyzar, Nick Harris and Preston Mooneyham all had four tackles apiece to lead the Yellow Jacket defense.
Sacred Heart will host Noxapater next week in the first round of the 1A playoffs.