Title game appearances on line for ACCS, Centreville Academy

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 9, 2017

Besides two appearances in state title games, Adams County Christian School has never had to travel for a playoff game under head coach David King.

But, there is a first time for everything.

ACCS — the No. 3 seed in MAIS Class AAA — is set to travel to No. 2 seed Starkville Academy at 7 p.m. Friday for a semifinal postseason matchup.

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“This is our first road trip, and what a doozy it is,” King said. “We like to be at home in familiar surroundings, but you think over the course of the season playing together it wouldn’t end up affecting the game. We will have to wait and see.”

King — who is in his sixth year coaching for the Rebels — has led his team to championship games in 2014 and 2016, yet losing both. ACCS last won a state championship in 1982, and for a chance to get there again King said his team must stay true to what it knows best.

“We are still playing,” he said. “It’s a matter of not turning the ball over and no penalties.”

King said Starkville presents a multitude of threats.

“They are the best football team we have faced no doubt,” King said. “They don’t have any weaknesses, and we will have to earn everything we get. They are physical and fast, so they match up with us in pretty much every position.”

The Rebels (11-1) are coming off a win over Heritage Academy in the quarterfinals, 42-20. Senior Julian Wilson rushed for two touchdowns in the win, while Mj Thornburg caught three interceptions and returned one for a score.

Starkville (11-1) shut out Central Hinds last week, 30-0.

“When you get to the semifinals, you expect the best of the best,” King said. “It’s a long trip, but it’s exciting.”

Class AA Semifinals

St. Joseph Greenville (10-2) at Centreville Academy (10-2)

CENTREVILLE — The Centreville Academy Tigers will look for a measure of revenge Friday when it hosts the St. Joseph Catholic High School Fighting Irish from Greenville in the semifinals of the MAIS Class AA State Playoffs.

A lot more will be on the line this time around, as the winning team is granted a trip to the Class AA state championship game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

St. Joseph Catholic, better known as Greenville St. Joseph, traveled to Centreville on Nov. 4, 2016 and pulled off an upset over the Tigers 42-0 in the quarterfinals behind E’darius Hendrix’s 139 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Also in that game, Centreville quarterback Tyler Thomassie threw three interceptions. the The Tigers’ signal caller will be senior Jace DeLee as Thomassie is out with an injury.

“We’re going to have to throw the ball some this week. If our running game can go like I know we can, I feel like we’ll throw the ball when we want to instead of when we need to and be successful,” Tigers offensive coordinator Will McNabb said.

This year, Centreville (10-2) is the No. 2 seed in Class AA and is coming off a 52-33 win over No. 7 seed and District 4-AA rival Brookhaven Academy to move to the semifinals.

Stone Reynolds had 28 carries for 251 yards and three touchdowns to lead a Tigers’ rushing game that racked up 479 total yards and 22 first downs. Wyatt Brabham and Daniel Vine combined for 168 yards on the ground and three scores.

The Tigers’ defense picked off four passes and recovered one fumble.

“I was most pleased with how we stayed in the game. We could’ve laid down a couple of times,” McNabb said.

One thing Centreville will have to clean up is the penalties. The Tigers were penalized 20 times last week, with 17 of them accepted for 160 yards.

“Some of the penalties I feel like we deserved and others I feel like we didn’t deserve. We have to be disciplined. Penalties will kill us this week,” McNabb said.

The Fighting Irish (10-2) advanced to the semifinals by upsetting No. 3 seed and District 2-2A foe Manchester Academy 35-0 last week.

“They’re not as big up front as they were last year. They’re still really fast. They’ve got speed everywhere on the field,” McNabb said.

Senior quarterback Brice Johnson completed 18-of-31 passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns to go with 14 carries for 97 yards and one score.

“He’s really good throwing the ball and running the ball. He’s going to be the best player we’ve faced all year,” McNabb said about Johnson. “He’s going to be a challenge to stop.”