HATTIESBURG — They can party like it is 1999.
Behind a strong rushing attack and stiff second half defense, Scott Central was able to get past Taylorsville 21-7 to claim the MHSAA Class 2A State Championship at Southern Miss’ M.M. Roberts Stadium on Saturday night.
It is the Rebels (15-1) second title in school history and first since 1999, when Scott Central head coach Devin Cooper was the quarterback of the team.
“We knew if we were going to be successful we were going to have to ground and pound and we were able to do that,” Cooper said. “We were able to just run the ball, control the clock and wear them down. It is beyond special to win a state championship at my alma mater, but this is about these kids and they are physical and fast and deserve it.”
Taylorsville would score first on the game’s second play of scrimmage on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Karson Evans to Jabez Griffith.
After that is was all Scott Central.
Hydee Barlow scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 4:43 left in the second quarter to tie the game at 7.
The Rebels then get a safety to take a 9-7 lead with 3:08 left in the second quarter off a bad snap on a punt. The punter was forced to kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone.
The Rebels would extend their lead on a 8-yard touchdown run by Treyon Wash with 4:40 left in the third quarter and Barlow tack on his second 1-yard touchdown run with 7:43 left in the fourth quarter.
Barlow finished the night with 102 yards rushing on 15 carries with two touchdowns and was named the games Most Valuable Player.
The Scott Central would get two fourth quarter interceptions by Elijah Robinson and Navonteque Strong to seal it.
“I just did what I to do to take control of the team,” Barlow said. “Defensively we had to step up in the second half we were giving up too many yards in the first half. They weren’t able to run the ball and that was the difference.”
Karson Evans would go 9-for-23 passing for 145 yards with a touchdown to lead Taylorsville.
The Tartars, the defending 2A state champions, finish the year 15-1.
“Our defense stayed on the field too much and got worn down,” said Taylorsville coach Mitch Evans. “Karson did a good job managing in the game for the most part and at the end just took chances.”