Saturday 10 of the top high school teams from the state of Mississippi converged on Davis Wade Stadium on the campus of Mississippi State University for a jamboree.
Louisville, Noxubee County, Morton, Starkville, Aberdeen, West Point, Philadelphia, Columbus, McComb and New Hope all participated in the five game event. The games consisted of two 20-minute halves of play with a junior varsity period separating the two.
Bulldawg Junction was on hand for all the action and brings the following exclusive notes package from the jamboree.
Louisville 21, West Point 20
The shocker of the day came in the day's opener as Louisville capitalized on early West Point turnovers to knock off the defending back-to-back Class 5A State Champion Green Wave 21-20.
Head coach M.C. Miller's potent passing attack picked on West Point's young secondary, who had no answer for Louisville star receiver C.J. Bates. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder hauled in a pair of touchdowns - a 53-yarder to go along with a six-yard scoring grab. Sophomore Wyatt Roberts tossed both of those scores to Bates as well as a 65-yarder to Lathomas Brown.
West Point's strong backfield led by quarterback DeQuinten Spraggins, Tez Lane and Mario Virges chewed up 199 yards on 22 carries on the day. Lane led the way with 78 yards including 51-yard touchdown scamper. Spraggins also added a 40-yard touchdown run while Virges plowed in from 4-yards out.
Aberdeen 10, Morton 0
The most anticipated matchup of the day showcased two of the state's top prospects - Aberdeen defensive end Channing Ward and Morton defensive tackle Quay Evans. Neither player disappointed and created big plays for his respective team.
Evans got things started on the very first play of the game, busting through a double team and causing a fumble that got his offense on the field early. But the Panthers struggled to move the ball all afternoon and tossed up two interceptions to Aberdeen sophomore safety Sammie Burroughs.
Ward played both ways for the Bulldogs but came up big on the defensive side of the ball recording a sack in the end zone for a safety. Junior linebacker Justin Lucas also helped keep the Morton offense out of the end zone. Aberdeen scored the game's only touchdown when Damien Walker scored from a yard out.
Starkville 7, McComb 0
Like many jamboree games go, these two teams felt each other out most of the afternoon and it seemed like a back and forth battle right from the start. It also pitted the team with longest distance from MSU against the school down the street from Davis Wade Stadium.
Jamie Mitchell's Yellow Jackets picked up 112 yards on the ground and scored the only touchdown on a 44-yard scramble down the left sideline by quarterback Gabe Myles.
McComb was limited to just 27 yards rushing. 6-foot-2, 215-pound sophomore quarterback Alex Woodall had 49 yards passing. Mississippi State three-star commitment Deonte Evans played on both sides of the ball lining up at running back, slot receiver and outside linebacker for the Tigers.
Columbus 27, Noxubee County 12
Columbus certainly came out ready to play jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first half against the Tigers. Credit Noxubee County though with answering back with a pair of scores to start the second pulling within 21-12 before the Falcons put the game away with another touchdown.
Columbus was led by senior quarterback Cedrick Jackson who totaled 120 yards and two touchdowns in the scrimmage. Running back Damian Baker also added rushing scores of 6 and 4-yards paved by junior offensive tackle Jake Thomas. Senior receiver Deontae Jones made several long gainers in the passing game including 40 and 33-yard receptions.
Noxubee County started its second half comeback with a 59-yard scoring strike from senior quarterback Deangelo Ballard to senior flaker Terrence Brown. The Tigers final score came following a Columbus fumble as Ballard and Brown again hooked up, this time from 8-yards out.
New Hope 7, Philadelphia 0
The most evenly matched game came in the nightcap between host New Hope and Philadelphia. It appeared the game was going to end in a scoreless stalemate heading into the final minute with neither team finding the end zone.
The Tornadoes were making one final push to put points on the board driving down to the 5-yard line before disaster struck. Tailback Marquise Matthews coughed up the football into the awaiting arms of New Hope junior defensive tackle Juan Cedano who took advantage of a three-man escort down the field 95-yards with just 31-seconds remaining in the game.
The two teams also met in the finale of the jamboree last year as well with New Hope also coming out on top.