It is something that has never been done before.
Behind three turnovers and the passing attack of Joseph Hutchinson, Lamar School got past Simpson Academy 34-20 to claim its third straight MAIS Class AAAA Division II state championship at Jackson Academy on Thursday afternoon.
It is the Raiders (10-3) sixth state title in school history.
“I have coached for a long time and have never coached or won three state champions in a row,” said Lamar School coach Mac Barnes. “What surprised me today was they (Simpson) came out in press coverage. We threw the ball on them some but the key was running the ball.”
The Raiders were able to rush for 203 yards as a team.
After Simpson fumbled at the Lamar 7-yard line on the opening drive of the game, the Raiders capitalized on the turnover with a 4-yard touchdown run by Brooks Brock to take a 6-0 lead with 11:56 left in the second quarter.
After a bad punt snap put Simpson deep in Lamar territory, the Cougars tied the game at 6-6 on a Hooks Harvey 1-yard touchdown run with 4:04 left in the second quarter.
Lamar would answer right back to take a 13-6 lead with 3:02 left in the second quarter on a 10-yard touchdown run by Jake Ransier.
The third quarter is when Lamar School started to pull away. The Raiders outscored the Cougars 14-6 on an 8-yard touchdown run by Daulton Nelson and on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Joseph Hutchinson to Payton Mayatt.
Simpson cut the lead to 27-20 with 10:11 left in the fourth quarter on a Caleb Garner 1-yard touchdown run.
Lamar sealed the game after recovering a fumble at midfield and capped it off on a Hutchinson 1-yard touchdown run.
“Joseph is the best quarterback in the state, public or private,” Barnes said. “So thankful you can lose as many guys over the years like we’ve had and have guys step up like we did. It’s just great.”
Hutchinson, a Princeton commit, finished 9-for-16 for 161 yards with a touchdown and also had 97 yards rushing on 14 carries with a touchdown.
“The first half they came out with a different look. After the first drive we made some adjustments and were able to pull away,” Hutchinson said. “Turnovers were huge and the running game was big for us. I just thank God for winning three state championships in a row.’
Caleb Garner rushed for 129 yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns to lead Simpson Academy (10-4). The Cougars had 327 yards rushing total.
Tunica Academy 46, Union Christian (La.) 12
Behind a potent rushing attack and three first half turnovers, Tunica Academy ran past Union Christian (La.) to claim the MAIS Class A state championship and capped off an undefeated season.
It is the Blue Devils (12-0) second state title in school history and first since 1991.
“The guys played great. We needed to tackle well with their speed and I feel like we did that. Our downhill run game was hard to stop,” said Tunica Academy coach John Holcombe. “We won the turnover battle and controlled the time of possession. I knew that would be good for us. JI’m so proud of this team and it’s awesome to bring a state championship back to Tunica.”
Elijah McGee would have 183 yards rushing on 19 carries with a touchdown to lead the Tunica Academy rushing attack.
Abdullah Obad and Jake Wade had two rushing touchdowns each for the Blue Devils.
Bradley Hord had a 60-yard touchdown pass to Bailey Melton for Tunica Academy in the second quarter.
Nick Evans and Brandon Hunter had a rushing touchdown each to lead Union Christian (La.) (6-6).