Class 1A Recap: Simmons 22, Nanih Waiya 20

Simmons wide receiver Demarius Turner. Photo by Keith Warren/MHSAA.

OXFORD — The dynasty continues.

But there was drama involved.

Behind two fourth quarter touchdowns from Demarrius Turner, Simmons edged past Nanih Waiya 22-20 to claim the MHSAA Class 1A state championship at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Friday afternoon to cap an undefeated season.

Its the Blue Devils third straight 1A state title and the schools third state title overall.

Simmons (15-0) also extended its winning streak to 40 games, the state’s longest active streak.

“Heckuva game that’s all I can say right now,” said first year Simmons coach Wade Tackett. “They already won two state championships and had won 25 games in a row, so I had to keep making them hungry. I told them do want to continue the legacy or go do something and they wanted to continue the legacy.”

Turner would score his first touchdown from 43 yards out with 6:26 left in the game and after a successful two-point conversion by Marquez Pam the Blue Devils trailed 20-14.

After Nanih Waiya turned the ball over on downs at their own 44, Simmons would score nine plays later on a 4-yard touchdown run by Turner and the successful 2-point conversion by Pam gave the Blue Devils a 22-20 lead with 1:32 left.

“I expect fire to take effect and had to make a big play and glad I could do it for my team,” Turner said. “It feels great to win three in a row.”

Turner, who is a junior wide receiver, had 105 yards rushing.

Running back Marquez Pam was named the games Most Valuable Player after rushing for 139 yards and scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with 9:12 left in the third quarter to cut the Nanih Waiya lead to 14-6.

“Me and Demarius are like a 1-2 punch. Without him we ain’t here,” Pam said. “They came out with more enthusiasm and we had to match it in the second half and we did. Everyone depends on me to carry the weight for this team and I feel like I did that.”

Taemaus Glass had 182 yards rushing with a touchdown to lead Nanih Waiya.

Chris Smith added 81 yards rushing with a touchdown and also caught a 16-yard touchdown pass for the Warriors (15-1).