Greenville St. Joe’s Brice Johnson wanted to go out with a bang.
Well, he did just that.
Behind the duo of the Johnson brothers and four turnovers the Irish got past Tri-County Academy 44-14 to claim the MAIS Class AA state championship at Jackson Academy on Thursday night.
It is the Irish’s (11-2) first state title in school history.
“Usually when people mention us it is normally about offense, but tonight it was about the defense,” said St. Joe coach John Baker. “Defense wins championships and we showed that tonight the way our guys tackled and created turnovers.”
Quarterback and Navy commit Brice Johnson would finish the night 11 of 14 passing for 173 yards with two touchdowns and had 35 yards rushing on eight carries with two touchdowns.
“Brice didn’t have a big stat game he normally has, but we’ll take it,” Baker said. “I’m so proud of this team and especially the eight seniors. They’ve put in so much time and effort to get to this point and to finally get a state championship is the icing on the cake.”
Brice Johnson’s touchdown were from 24 yards out to his younger brother, Dillon Johnson. And the other 47 yards out to Tre Adams.
His rushing touchdowns were from 16 and 1 yards out.
“Its such a humbling feeling to go out on top,” Brice Johnson said. “Teams have tried to slow us down and everything, but we could always find ways to come out on top and we did tonight.”
Dillon Johnson finished the night with 158 yards rushing on 11 carries with a touchdown from 24 yards out.
Cade Shepherd had two passing touchdowns to lead Tri-County Academy, while Greyson Smith had 101 yards rushing for the Rebels (9-5)
WEST MEMPHIS (ARK.) 56, TRINITY EPISCOPAL 48 (OT)
Talk about fireworks.
There was plenty of that as West Memphis (Ark.) held off Trinity Epsicopal in overtime to claim the MAIS Class A state championship.
It is the Black Knights (11-3) second state title in school history and first since 1996.
Parker Benson would score on a 3-yard touchdown run in overtime (and the two-point conversion) to give West Memphis the lead in overtime.
Trinity would then throw four straight incomplete passes to end the game.
“I told the guys at halftime to just keep the game close and they did,” said West Memphis coach Darrow Anderson. “They couldn’t stop the quarterback option and that’s what worked for us.”
Benson would finish the game with 158 yards rushing with four touchdowns and 105 yards passing with two touchdowns to lead the Black Knights.
Jakarius Caston had two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown to lead Trinity Episcopal. Quarterback Sterling Yarbrough finished with 416 yards passing with three touchdowns for the Saints (7-6).