Moss Point stands two victories away from winning a Class 4A state championship.
The top-ranked Tigers (12-1) travel to Jones County tonight to face Laurel in the South State championship game. The winner meets Noxubee County or Kosciusko for the state title on Dec. 8 at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson.
Moss Point takes a rare visit “between the bricks,’’ to Watkins Stadium, said Tigers coach Jerry Alexander. The Tigers played their first three playoff games at home.
“It’s been a long time since we last played there,’’ Alexander said. “It was sometime during the 1980s. All I can remember is the outcome wasn’t pretty.’’
Meanwhile, George County hits the road as well, visiting Meridian in the South State Class 5A finals. It is a rematch of their strange secondround game of a year ago, when Meridian won 17-14 despite showing virtually no offense. The Rebels have won 12 games in a row.
For the Tigers to pull off a road win, they must stop Laurel’s nohuddle offense. Quarterback Akeem Davis is a threat to run or pass for the Tornadoes.
“Laurel’s very talented,’’ Alexander said. “They have as good as skilled wide receivers as we’ve seen this year. Akeem is like another running back. Kendrick Kennedy runs a lot for them.
‘’Their offensive line gives them plenty of time to throw the ball. We need to slow them down. We need to make plays against them, and not give up the big play.’’
Moss Point defensive lineman Willie Packer is confident that the Tigers’ hard-hitting defense will rise to the challenge. Packer, who has committed verbally to Ole Miss, has made 75 total tackles.
“We’ll play good at Laurel,’’ the All-South Mississippi performer said. “All we have to do is keep focused. If we do that, we’ll win the game.’’
Moss Point hopes to get its offense untracked against the Golden Tornadoes (12-1). The Tigers were inconsistent against Picayune in the quarterfinals last week.
Running back Meco Brown has rushed for 1,207 yards and 13 touchdowns, adding another 308 yards and three scores receiving.
Quarterback Quayshaun Williams continues to grow into the starting role, throwing seven touchdown passes with only two interceptions. Wide receiver Kevin Barkley is closing in on a 1,000-yard season, catching 52 passes for 978 yards and 15 TDs.
“We need to be consistent on offense,’’ Alexander said. “We need to play all four quarters. We played well at times against Picayune. Other times, we had penalties.’’
Tonight's state football playoff lineup:
Class 5A - George County (12-1) at Meridian, 7 p.m.
Class 4A - Moss Point (12-1) at Laurel, 7 p.m.
Tigers game by game
Moss Point (12-1) this season:
|St. Martin (h)||38-19|
|East Central (a)||35-7|
|Edna Karr (h)||31-13|
|Long Beach (h)||43-7|
|NE Jones (h)||18-13|
|Picayune (h)||17-10 OT|
George County Rebels (12-1) this season:
|Wayne County (a)||6-23|
|Greene County (a)||42-21|
|Oak Grove (h)||29-21|
|Harr. Central (h)||34-15|
|Ocean Springs (h)||21-0|
|Oak Grove (h)||34-28|