The MHSAA state football championships kick off this Friday. To help you prepare for the games, which are being played at Vaught Hemingway Stadium on the campus of Ole Miss, here’s an A to Z guide on everything you need to know.
Avery Brown is the catalyst of Starkville’s offense, having rushed for over 100 yards in each of the Yellowjackets’ last five outings.
Before the season began, Oxford’s Johnny Hill announced his plans to retire after 40 years of coaching and 22 years in the Oxford School District.
Conner bloodline is synonymous with successful QBs at Noxubee County. Omarr Conner went on to play at Mississippi State while Temarcus Conner won a state championship in 2008 and Timorris Conner aims to lead the Tigers to back-to-back 4A titles.
Dandy Dozens are aplenty in this year’s championships with Oxford’s D.K. Metcalf and Jack Abraham, Starkville’s A.J. Brown and Kobe Jones, Wayne County’s Benito Jones and Noxubee County’s Jeffery Simmons.
Eleven state championship appearances for Ricky Woods in stops at Ackerman, South Panola, Peabody (Tenn.) and now, Starkville.
Four straight state championships are on the line for Bassfield in the Class 2A title game.
Gridirion Classic Football Championships will be live streamed on the NFHS Network at misshsaa.tv and on television networks across the state.
Home field advantage? Oxford will play in the 5A championship less than two miles from its high school stadium.
In one calendar year, Wayne County had to play Laurel four times on the road. The War Eagles are 1-3 against the Golden Tornadoes, but captured the 5A South State championship last week.
Jack Wilson began calling plays for East Webster long before he earned the starting QB job as a sophomore. As a freshman, Wilson played slot receiver and called out plays on offense.
Key matchups were broadcast nationally on ESPN for three state championship teams: Oxford vs. Starkville in Week 2 and Wayne County vs. Archbishop Rummel (La.) in Week 5.
Look out for Petal’s Stephon Huderson, who leads all state championship running backs with 2,031 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns.
Myles Brennan, St. Stanislaus’ veteran starting quarterback, ranks third nationally in passing with 4,980 yards.
Noxubee County didn’t win a game in September with losses to Aledo (Tx.), Meridian, West Point and Kemper County before compiling an undefeated district record and winning four playoff games.
Ole Miss’ Vaught Hemingway Stadium is the site of the MHSAA state championships in 2015 and 2017.
Petal, East Webster and Wayne County are the only programs that reached the state championship without winning their respective regions.
Qendarrion Barnett leads Noxubee County with 155 tackles (11 TFL) and 4.5 sacks.
Rematches and revenge are the themes of the 3A, 4A and 5A championships. Collins looks to defend its title against Charleston, St. Stanislaus aims to top last year’s 4A champion Noxubee County and Oxford hopes to set aside its two previous championship woes.
Statistically speaking, Simmons boasts the top defense in the MHSAA by only allowing 2.73 points per game.
Third time’s a charm for Oxford? The Chargers will appear in their third straight 5A title game and have yet to walk away with the gold football.
Undefeated teams marched into the Class 1A championship. Simmons and Resurrection haven’t lost a game with a combined 24-0 record.
Very few defensive lineman are as versatile as Noxubee County’s Jeffery Simmons and Wayne County’s Benito Jones. Simmons has scored four TDs this year as a fullback, while Jones, a big-bodied defensive tackle, turned a fake punt into a 9-yard gain against Laurel in the 5A South State championship.
Wide range of wide receivers will participate on Friday and Saturday, including Mississippi’s top wideouts in Starkville’s A.J. Brown (1,254 yards receiving, 14 TDs) and Oxford’s D.K. Metcalf (1,308 yards receiving, 14 TDs).
X marks the spot. Starkville punter Ben Griffith has had 15 punts land inside the 20-yard line.
Youth played a positive role in Resurrection reaching the 1A title game. The Eagles’ starters include seven sophomores and a freshman.
Zero. That’s how many championships Simmons, Resurrection, East Webster, Petal and Oxford have won.
Contact Courtney Cronin at (601) 961-7091 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @CourtneyRCronin on Twitter.