State Championships Bring Out Top Talent

The state of Mississippi will crown six state football champions this weekend. Only one team, Charleston, has the chance to defend their title from a season ago. There is some new blood as well as some old favorites in the mix this weekend at Veteran's Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi.

1A Stringer vs. French Camp Academy

Despite a winning season last year, French Camp sat home during the post season.

Perhaps that frustration provided the motivation the Panthers needed to break out this fall.

French Camp knocked off a talented Shaw team in the North State championship last weekend and enter today's contest at 11-2.

The Red Devils of Stringer were expected to be a good team this year.

Their path to Jackson proved to be a difficult one. The Red Devils knocked off defending 1A champion Noxpater and #1 ranked Bogue Chitto in back-to-back weeks to earn a spot in the title game.

Stringer quarterback Tevin Moore is one of the most productive players in the state of Mississippi regardless of classification.

Moore is more of a runner than a thrower, but he will keep the defense honest.

2A Eupora vs. Bassfield

Ole Miss commitment Derrick Jones will look to lead the Eagles against one of the state's most dominant teams this season, Bassfield.

Eupora is 14-1 and extremely talented on both sides of the ball. The team really found their groove in district play and that has carried over into the playoffs.

Bassfield comes in undefeated and loaded to the gills with talent.

The Yellowjacket defense has shutout five opponents this year and only allowed one team to score three times in a game.

The season high 18 points for a Bassfield opponent came in 62-18 win over Collins.

Senior linebacker Larry Graves is a D1 talent.

Senior running backs Jerome Keys and Rod Williams have combined for nearly 2,800 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns this season.

Senior Jeffrey Smith is the team's leading receiver and perhaps one of the most overlooked players in the state of Mississippi.

Junior standouts A.J. and C.J. Moore are two of the state's top junior prospects and should factor prominently in the game plan this weekend.

3A Charleston vs. Hazlehurst

This year's 3A title game is a rematch from last year's contest that Charleston won 34-8.

Hazlehurst has not lost a game since.

Running back Demetrius Cain is a hidden gem and is one of the most powerful runners in the state.

Cain has rushed for over 1,600 yards on the campaign, but the name of the game for the Indians this fall is balance.

Senior quarterback Kenneth Coleman has been one of the more prolific passers in the state racking up 2,267 yards and 22 touchdowns against just five interceptions.

Charleston will counter with offensive power of their own. The Tigers have scored 45 points or more in eight consecutive games.

Senior Kameron Myers has put up nearly 2,500 all purpose yards to go along with 7 interceptions during his time on defense.

4A Greene County vs. Noxubee County

Some expected Tylertown to win the south, but Greene County dispatched the Chiefs in the second round.

The Wildcats are 10-4 on the season and had to win a rematch with Quitman, a team that beat them earlier this season, to win the south state title.

Noxubee comes into the title game pretty much as scripted.

The Tiger defense has been especially stingy holding ten of fifteen opponents under ten points.

Senior defensive tackle Dylan Bradley will lead the athletic defensive unit much like he has done all season, by example.

Bradley is one of the state's top defensive players and he has the film to prove it.

State touchdown record holder running back Darrell Robinson has the chance to be the first player in Mississippi football history to score 50 touchdowns in a single season.

5A Starkville vs. Pascagoula

The Yellowjackets of Starkville return to the 5A state title game for the second straight year.

Starkville fell to Picayune last season in the season finale and was considered the favorite to win the north half again this fall.

The Jackets stumbled out of the gate with a 1-3 start, but are undefeated since.

Mississippi State commitment Gabriel Myles threw a touchdown pass on 4th and 15 last week in overtime against West Point to keep the dream alive.

A play later, Myles strolled in with the two point conversion for the win.

Last season Picayune and Pearl River Central played each other in the 5A south state title game.

Both programs beat Pascagoula during the regular season this year.

To get to Jackson and compete for a shot at it all, the Panthers avenged both losses in back-to- back weeks in the final two rounds of the playoffs.

Dual threat QB Stacey Warren will look to be the catalyst for the PHS offense against a talented Starkville defense.

Keep an eye on a solid pair of bookend defensive ends, senior Deric Daughtry and junior Caleb Caston.

6A Brandon vs. South Panola

The south was a lot more competitive than usual, so Brandon enters the state title game battle tested.

Senior sparkplug Tayler Polk has been the emotional leader for the Bulldog defense. His effort and emotion will be big in this match-up.

Anchored by sophomore defensive tackle Fletcher Adams, the Brandon defensive line is extremely athletic.

Sophomore quarterback Gardner Minshew has been a steady performer under center this fall. Minshew will depend on a solid offensive line led by David Mahaffey to give him time to make plays down the field.

The matchup between Brandon senior wideout Dylan Knott and the Tiger secondary will be interesting to watch.

The Tigers are loaded as usually and huge on the offensive line. Deon Mix and Terrance Malone manage the interior and their play will be key in this game.

QB Rip Kirk has become a solid game manager and was a huge part of the win over Madison Central a week ago.

Of South Panola's 20 seniors, Antonio Conner is the most well known.

Conner, a five star talent, is one of the most talented and instinctive players in the state.

Three years ago, Conner was the MVP of the state title game as a sophomore. He has been in the spotlight every since.

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