Make room for No. 6 at Centreville

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 1999

They’re back. And who would’ve thought it. Certainly not Centreville Academy head football coach Bill Hurst.

After going 14-0 last season and capturing the MPSA Class AAA state championship, the Tigers appeared to be in a rebuilding state – rebuilding for Centreville that is.

Centreville became the first team to win state championships in three divisions (A, AA and AAA) last year as Bill Hurst collected his fifth state championship trophy. The Tigers defeated Carroll 41-7.

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But here they are, playing for the state championship Friday against Heritage in Clinton.

Hurst had to replace six offensive starters and seven on defense, including all-stars Justin and Mitch Sawyer and versatile 2,000-yard running back Derek Tate.

&uot;We’re inexperienced in a lot of positions, and we’re weak in some areas,&uot; Hurst said in the preseason, not that he has ever heaped glowing praise on one of his teams before the season.

The Tigers did lose three of their first five games, but a lot of that had to do with injuries, including linebacker, running back Rob Robertson, who committed to Ole Miss.

Sophomore John Vincent replaced injured Justin Simpson at quarterback and looked good enough early against ACCS&160;to move Simpson to split end when he returned.

The Tigers have won eight straight, including an impressive performance against nemesis Simpson last week.

Make room for another one coach, Heritage Academy will join the long line of runners-up: Centreville 28, Heritage 14.

Vidalia High hopes to keep going on all cylinders as the Vikings have run roughshod over most of their opponents heading into Friday’s regional playoff game at Christian Life.

Count Vidalia personnel as not being too thrilled with the new seeding format that has the fourth-ranked Vikings traveling to lower seed Christian Life.

The Crusaders will prove to be a much more formidable opponent than East Beauregard was last week.

Since the first of the season, the Vikings have done a better job of being ready to play at the opening whistle.

That will be the scenario this Friday as Vidalia High sets the tone early: Vidalia 22, Christian Life 6.

Ferriday High shocked a lot of folks by upsetting Vinton last week in a wild 36-31 contest.

Many, which visits Ferriday Friday, is one of the few teams in southwest Louisiana which plays a little wide open football.

The Tigers have not seen an offense with the capabilities of the Trojans, however.

It’s going to be another wild one for Ferriday, and another win: Ferriday 32, Many 28.

Wilkinson County probably had one of the toughest playoff openers of any district champion in the state last week, but the Wildcats handled Velma Jackson 26-18.

Wilkinson County possesses one of the top running games and defenses in Class 3A.

The Wildcats will be traveling to Forest for a second round contest.

Forest defeated Greene County, who would have been coming to Woodville if they had won.

Instead, the Wildcats will be traveling east on I-20.

Forest will think the Wildcats are still on the bus when they put their offense in gear: Wilkinson County 26, Forest 12.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at