Centreville, Franklin County advance to state finals

Published 12:01 am Monday, November 26, 2007

NATCHEZ — Four teams down, two remain.

Huntington felt the pain of losing running back Jody Cottongin by being shutout 23-0 by Glenbrook in the MPSA Class A South State Championship.

The Hounds were held to just 87 total yards, minus 7 on passing and 94 yards rushing.

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Centreville showed Trinity’s first win was just a fluke and reasserted their dominance with a 35-14 win.

The Tigers stuck to their game plan by running the ball 53 times for 219 yards.

Running backs Nick Goudeau and Zach Sinclair combined for 42 of those carries and 187 yards.

“Our plan was to keep Trinity’s offense off the field,” Centreville assistant coach Brian Stutzman said.

Trinity’s speed was neutralized by the Tigers’ aggressive defense. The Saints turned the ball over five times and could never get their running attack in order.

“In that first game, we were struck with the turnover bug,” Stutzman said. “It was a total opposite this time. We were able to force the turnovers.”

Trinity running back R.J. Fleming was held to just 62 yards.

Trinity’s two touchdown scores came on Parker Brumfield passes to Matthew Freeman.

Brumfield finished the game with 156 yards through the air.

Centreville moves on to play for the MPSA Class AA Championship Friday at Mississippi College. This is the 11th time Bill Hurst has led Centreville to the State Championship.

They will face Marshall Academy and a familiar face in their head coach, Keith Whicker.

Whicker was a coach at Centreville from 1988-1995, then came back to coach in 2000.

“We all good friends,” Stutzman said. “He’s done a good job up there.”

Franklin County advanced to the next round of playoffs after dominating Newton County 43-23.

The Bulldogs fell behind early but held Newton County scoreless in the second half to come back and win.

“We know what it takes to play in the playoffs,” Franklin County head coach Grady McCluskey said. “Our players know how to handle the pressure situations.”

Franklin County used the legs of Jamie Collins and Alex Smith to tally 279 yards on the ground.

The Bulldogs will host Raleigh Friday night in the South State Finals. The winner moves on to the Class 3A Championship.

“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” McCluskey said. “We have two weeks left in the season. We’ve been here before.”

McCluskey said he doesn’t think his team has peaked yet and the biggest contribute to their success was getting players healthy at the right time.