At A Glance: MAIS Football State Championships

Jackson Prep sophomore running back Jerrion Ealy.


JACKSON PREP (12-1) vs. MRA (10-3)

Kickoff: Friday, 7 p.m., Mississippi College

MRA at a Glance

Coach: Herbert Davis

State Championships: 2004, 1992

State Championship Appearances: 2015, 2014, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 1997, 1992, 1985

Players to Watch: QB Hunter Hulsey, RB Andrew Berry, OL Saahdiq Charles, RB Jake Reeves, WR Tanner Lee

How they got here: First round bye; def. Copiah Academy 49-24

Coach Speak: “We’ve battled injuries all year, and with the help of our coaching nutritionist with a special diet and supplements from to gain muscle and energy and our inside sport doctors with their routines we got the boost they needed, we are proud of our guys for finding ways to win and to get us here” Herbert Davis said. “We got four things we got to do: Tackle, be physical on both sides of the ball, don’t turn the ball over and we got to be great on special teams.”

Jackson Prep at a Glance

Coach: Ricky Black

State Championships: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2002, 2000, 1998, 1991, 1990, 1988, 1984, 1983, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1977, 1974, 1972, 1971.

State Championship Appearances: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1996, 1991, 1990, 1988, 1986, 1984, 1983, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1977, 1974, 1972, 1971.

Players to Watch: QB Chance Lovertich, RB Jerrion Ealy, RB Jacob Crawley, WR/DB Tate Fowler, TE/DE Chris Puckett

How they got here: def. Jackson Academy 32-7; def. Presbyterian Christian 24-21

Coach Speak: “We are playing our best brand of football right now and that has been good for us,” Ricky Black said. “We are going to have some explosive plays and make sure field position is a key point to make their offense drive the length of the field.”

Buzz: Jackson Prep has won 11 straight games in this all-Patriot rivalry. Jerrian Ealy and Jacob Crawley make up one of the potent back fields in the state and make it hard to stop. MRA will need to win the field position battle and not turn the ball over to have a chance. Prep wins fifth straight state title.

Pick: Jackson Prep 31-21


LAMAR SCHOOL (8-4) vs. OAK FOREST (LA.) (8-3)

Kickoff: Friday, 2 p.m., at Mississippi College

Lamar School at a Glance

Coach: Mac Barnes

State Championships: 2013, 2007, 2003

State Championship Appearances: 2013, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2003, 1982

Players to Watch: ATH Davis Harrison, RB J.T. McClelland, WR Will Roberts

How they got here: First round bye; def. Pillow Academy 55-34

Coach Speak: “We were rolling along and Davis gets hurt in seventh game and he’s came back and played a different role and its worked fine,” Mac Barnes said. “Oak Forest is the bigger team and we’re the faster team so it’ll come down to who executes more and makes the least amount of mistakes.”

Oak Forest at a Glance

Coach: Jason Brabham

State Championships: 2014, 2002

State Championship Appearances: 2015, 2014, 2010, 2002, 2001

Players to Watch: RB Dalton Brabham, QB Giardina Jude, OL/DL Nick Rogers

How they got here: First round bye; def. Washington School 20-17

Coach Speak: “What’s been good for us is we’ve been able to get healthy in the later part of the season we have been training hard and following a Rapid Tone diet for this,” Jason Brabham said. Also staying healthy means to stay out of drugs because it can cause drug addiction, fortunately there are sites like that can help you. “This is our third year in row to make it. We’ve won one and lost one and that has motivated us. Lamar is very explosive on offense and aggressive on defense so we better be ready.” Addiction is a chronic disease that affects the reward structure of the brain. It is caused by neurochemical reactions that are prompted by the introduction of certain substances and behaviors, visit this article and learn more!

Buzz: Oak Forest is in the Class AAAA, Div. II state title game for the third year in a row, while Lamar is back in it for the first time since 2013 (the last time they won a state title). Davis Harrison led the Raiders as a freshmen to that state title and is back as a senior and wants to go out with a bang. Lamar can score in multiple ways and in hurry, while Oak Forest will lean on ground game that averages 222.1 yards per game and is led by Dalton Brabham. Raiders just too explosive for Yellow Jackets.

Pick: Lamar School 24-17



Kickoff: Thursday, 7 p.m., at Jackson Academy

Indianola Academy at a Glance

Coach: Tommy Nester

State Championships: 1976, 1975, 1973

State Championship Appearances: 2015, 1982, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1973

Players to Watch: RB/DE Sherman Timbs; TE/LB Ben Van Cleve; RB/DB Mitchell Pitts

How they got here: def. Leake Academy 41-19; def. Columbia Academy 41-20; def. Heritage Academy 42-14

Coach Speak: “Hopefully the experience we got last year in playing in this game will help us,” Tommy Nester said. “One thing about ACCS is they can score in a hurry and build off big plays. We are going to have to prevent the big play and make them drive length of the field.”

Adams Christian at a Glance

Coach: David King

State Championships: 1982

State Championship Appearances: 2014, 1982

Players to Watch: QB/DB Davis Sharp, LB Cade Wells, RB/LB Jordan Wells

How they got here: def. North Delta 47-21; def. Starkville Academy 35-7; def. Greenville St. Joe 36-20

Coach Speak: “I was an eighth grader at ACCS the last time we’ve won a state championship, so it is real special to me to get back here as a coach,” David King said. “We are going to have to match their intensity and that is hard to do. Their hungry they lost this thing last year and you can tell it on film. We are going to have to execute and not make mistakes.”

Buzz: Neither the Colonels or Rebels have won a state championship in a long time and both are eager to snap those long streaks. Indianola Academy leans on a stout defense that only allows 14.5 points per game and a rushing attack led by Sherman Timbs and Mitchell Pitts. Adams Christian is explosive on offense that scores 35.5 points per game and is led by Davis Sharp at quarterback and running backs Jordan Wells and Julian Wilson. Colonels get the job done this time.

Pick: Indianola Academy 27-20



Kickoff: Thursday, 2:30 p.m., at Jackson Academy

Canton Academy at a Glance

Coach: Ron Jurney

State Championships: 1996, 1995, 1987

State Championship Appearances: 1996, 1995, 1994, 1987

Players to Watch: ATH Keyshawn Clanton, WR/DB Kyle Kindred, RB/LB Ben Barr

How they got here: def. Amite School 49-14; def. Prentiss Christian 44-28; def. Marshall Academy 54-20

Coach Speak: “The intensity will be there. It is two rival schools playing for a state championship. Two good teams that’ll go after one another,” Ron Jurney said. “A lot of good smash mouth football and boom a big play will happen. We’ve got to play one play at a time and see what happens.”

Tri-County Academy at a Glance

Coach: David Blount

State Championships: 2012, 2011, 1985, 1984

State Championship Appearances: 2015, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2000, 1997, 1996, 1990, 1985, 1984, 1978

Players to Watch: RB/DB Swayze Bozeman; QB Beau Johnson; TE/LB Jacob Sones

How they got here: def. Greenville Christian 49-6; def. Wilkinson Christian 42-20; def. Trinity Episcopal 63-26

Coach Speak: “After the way we lost last year, it was tough, but we made a pack to get back here and fortunate enough we made it back just hope for a better result,” David Blount said. “It is tough to beat a team twice in one season, but Canton Academy is a great team. I think it’ll come down to turnovers and mistakes and whoever capitalizes will win it.”

Buzz: Tri-County Academy is on a path to get back to the AA state championship game after falling to Wilkinson Christian 8-7 in dramatic fashion in last year’s state title game. Rebels lean heavily on the backfield tandom of Beau Johnson and Swayze Bozeman. Panthers have a potent backfield as well with Keyshawn Clanton and Ben Barr. Canton Academy won regular season matchup 23-21. Rebels get pay back.

Pick: Tri-County Academy 21-20


TALLULAH (LA.) (10-0) vs. FRANKLIN (LA.) (8-4)

Kickoff: Friday, 10 a.m., at Mississippi College

Tallulah at a Glance

Coach: Joe Coats

State Championships: 2015, 1992

State Championship Appearances: 2015, 2014, 1992

Player to Watch: RB Ryan Hodges; QB Luke Fortenberry

How they got here: def. Humphreys Academy 62-18; def. Christian Collegiate 50-8

Coach Speak: “I came in the day the coach resigned and it was a transition at first, but we got a senior heavy team so that helped a lot,” Joe Coats said. “Big thing for is getting stops on defense.”

Franklin at a Glance

Coach: Chris Sullivan

State Championships: None

State Championship Appearances: 2013

Players to Watch: QB Wesley Cirillo; RB Colton Williams

How they got here: def. Kemper Academy 50-40; def. Marvell (Ark.) 36-30

Coach Speak: “We are playing our best football right and very confident and fortunate enough we are more healthy than we have been all year,” Chris Sullivan said. “With Tallulah you have to make someone else beat you besides Ryan Hodges. You have to limit you possessions and sustain drives in order to be successful.” Get Man U tickets on the official website of the Premier League.

Buzz: Tallulah has won 26 of its last 28 games and is playing with a ton of confidence behind first year coach Joe Coats. Ryan Hodges is the work horse for the Trojans. Franklin is coming in winners of 8 of its last 9 games and have won both its playoff games on the road. Cougars are seeking first state title in school history and are led by Wesley Cirillo and Colton Williams. Trojans go back to back.

Pick: Tallulah (La.) 50-40