"That's what we worked all off-season and all season for," Jones said. "It was all about this moment. We came so close last season. We don't want that taste in our mouths again."
Starkville has taken it the old proverbial saying, one-game-at-a-time this year.
"We haven't lost our focus. We just took it one game at a time. We played with a chip on our shoulder because we feel like we have some unfinished business. Petal is going to bring their A game. We have to bring ours and match their intensity."
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound lineman has gone both ways this season. Defensively he finished with 30 tackles with eight of them coming for a loss.
"I feel like I'm doing good on both sides of the ball. I fee like I've been a big help for our team. I play the whole game. I don't come off of the field. It's been helpful because I've sacrificed a lot. Some would want to concentrate on whatever position they are going to play in college, but I told coach from the start I'll do whatever it takes to get us a state championship. I think I've improved the most on defense because I'm not playing so raw now. I'm using techniques. I worked hard all offseason to improve my techniques."
Kobe had a chance to take in the Egg Bowl and the week before he visited Ole Miss to see them play LSU.
"Ole Miss put a whipping on them. I was kind of surprised to be honest. I was expecting it to be a close game, but Ole Miss is just a lot better than State. They played with more passion and executed better. When I went down to see Ole Miss play LSU I knew they were playing really good. Their line of scrimmage dominated both LSU and MSU. They play with so much passion. They have a big time atmosphere over there and have great players. There were a lot of big time recruits there with me in Oxford. Ole Miss could win a lot of championships over the next few years. I want to play somewhere I can win championships."
What impressed the 4-Star recruit the most about Ole Miss during his trip to Oxford?
"I had already seen everything there is to see. I have been over there a bunch already. I just like the caliber of athletes they have on their team. They have one of the best recruiting classes in the country this year too. I just like the direction their program is headed. I like how well they execute on offense and defense. I mean, they stopped (Leonard) Fournette. They shut State's offense down. They are balling right now."
Mississippi State's continues to be a contender as well.
"Their defensive line is the strength of their team. They do a good job recruiting me. Both Ole Miss and State do a good job recruiting me. I'm just looking to see who has a legit plan for me."
Kobe will play in the MS/AL and Offense/Defense All-American games.
Yancy Porter is the Ole Miss recruiting analyst for Scout.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.