Two of the state’s most potent running attacks collide in Foxworth on Friday when West Marion hosts Philadelphia in a battle of unbeatens in the third round of the Class 3A football playoffs.
The Tornadoes (13-0) average 288.5 yards rushing; the Trojans (12-0) average just under 320 yards a game.
“It is going to be a good one,” Philadelphia coach Teddy Dyess said. “This is the type of game you want to play in as a high school football player and fortunate for us we play better on the road.”
Philadelphia has two 1,000-yard rushers: juniors Jacardius Griffin (1,445 yards, 24 touchdowns) and Romon Gray (1,112 yards, 12 TDs).
“It is going to be a good ol’ smashmouth football game,” West Marion coach Brad Duncan said. “This game is going to come down to a turnover.”
West Marion is led by senior running back Vonnie Harrell (1,325 rushing yards, 20 TDs). Tre Pace and Jamar Cole each have 10 rushing touchdowns for the Trojans.
The Tornadoes have two of the state’s best cornerbacks in Dandy Dozen Montreal Jordan and Anthony Triplett. Triplett has 11 interceptions.
“Nobody throws towards Montreal’s side ’cause he’s Dandy Dozen,” Dyess said. “So teams throw to Anthony’s side and he makes them pay.”
Duncan and Dyess used to be on the same coaching staff at Columbia Academy back in 1993.
“We go way back, but are not going to be friends for two hours,” Duncan said. “But after the game is over we’re going to be friends again.”
Bogue Chitto on roll
Prior to this season, Bogue Chitto had only won one division championship and that was in 1984.
This season, the Bobcats are 12-0 and ranked No. 1 in Class 1A.
“The kids just enjoy playing with each other,” Bogue Chitto coach Gareth Sartin said. “Defense is playing really well and on offense we can do so many things that throws our opposition off.”
Bogue Chitto averages 288 yards per game rushing and is led by Brandon Wells, a Mississippi State commit who has rushed for 1,171 yards and nine TDs.
But the Bobcats are going to have their hands full Friday when they host Pelahatchie (10-2) in the second round of the 1A playoffs. The Chiefs are averaging 366 yards a game rushing.
Youth was served at the girls state cross country meet Saturday at Choctaw Trails when the top three times were turned in by an eighth-grader (Kate Mattox of Starkville) and two ninth-graders (Rebecca Buteau of Madison Central and Regen McGee of Pass Christian). Mattox repeated as 5A winner in 14:49.2 for 4K, Buteau won 6A in 15:04.5 and McGee repeated in 3A with a time of 15:06.3.
The Callaway boys basketball team, No. 1 in The Clarion-Ledger preseason rankings, is 23rd nationally in the MaxPreps preseason rankings.