Centreville celebrates while Franklin County prepares

Published 1:16 am Monday, December 3, 2007

NATCHEZ — With the high school football season all but over, one area school is celebrating its seventh state championship while another is preparing to win its second straight.

Centreville Academy capped off a spectacular season with a 36-21 victory over Marshall Academy in the MPSA Class AA State Championship game at Mississippi College in Clinton Friday night.

The win gave Centreville coach Bill Hurst his seventh championship, but first since 1999.

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“This is a special group of kids,” Hurst said of his players. “The kids deserve all the credit. There was no quit in them. They weren’t the greatest athletes, but they didn’t quit and had big hearts, and that what’s pulled us through.”

Hurst said this state championship ranked right up there with all the others.

“Each group (of players) is a little different,” Hurst said. “You can’t separate one from the other. I’ve always had great kids, including the years we didn’t win the championship. But this one ranks right up there.”

While Centreville is celebrating another championship, Franklin County will be playing for its second consecutive title this weekend.

The Bulldogs (12-2) will face perennial power Louisville (11-3) for the MHSAA Class 3A championship Saturday afternoon at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson. Kickoff will be at 3 p.m.

Franklin County coach Grady McCluskey said he feels his team is playing their best right now.

“The kids have turned it up a notch,” McCluskey said. “They’ve got that look in their eyes.”

Franklin County is coming off a 38-13 whipping of Raleigh in the South State Championship game, in which the Bulldogs rushed for 454 yards.

“Our lines have really gelled and we’re running the ball a lot better,” McCluskey said. “That’s really been the key to our success.”

After suffering back-to-back losses in the middle of the season to Tylertown and Jefferson County, the Bulldogs have reeled off eight consecutive victories, each by 18 or more points.

“I think we’re going to peak this week,” McCluskey said. “We’ve been getting better every week and I think we’re playing about as well as we can right now. It’s all come together at the right time.”