Starkville runs past Petal for 6A state title

A.J. Brown at tThe Opening Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. Photo courtesy of



OXFORD — A.J. Brown normally gets all the publicity for Starkville, but on Friday night it was Andreus Swanigan.

Behind’s Swanigan career night the Yellowjackets ran past Petal 27-7 to claim the MHSAA Class 6A state championship at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Ole Miss.

Starkville’s (14-1) claimed their sixth state championship in school history and first since 2012.

Swanigan, Starkville’s back up running back, had 161 yards on 24 carries with three touchdowns. He scored on runs from 7, 18 and 1 yards out.

Four-star receiver A.J. Brown had 10 catches for 117 yards and scored on a 32-yard touchdown pass with 9:53 left in the second quarter to give Starkville a 14-0 lead.

Quarterback Montario Montgmery finished the night 13 of 19 passing for 144 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Samuel Hopper led Petal had 154 yards on 17-of-33 passing with a touchdown and two interceptions. He hooked up with Nigel Wood on a 3-yard touchdown pass with 4:25 left in the second quarter for the lone Panther touchdown.