PLAYOFFS BEGIN: ACCS Rebels head to Bayou Academy; Centreville Academy, WCCA each host

Published 1:53 pm Thursday, October 26, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The 2023 Midsouth Association of Independent Schools State Football Playoffs begin this Friday night with one local team being on the road in the first round and two areas teams hosting first-round games.

The Adams County Christian School Rebels take a three-game winning streak and a lot of momentum into the MAIS Class 5A State Playoffs. 

Despite an 8-3 overall record and a win over a 5-5 Oak Forest Academy team that somehow ended as the No. 5 seed, the Rebels are the No. 10 seed and will travel to Cleveland to take on the No. 7 seed Bayou Academy Colts, who finished the regular season with a 7-3 record. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

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“Bayou Academy is very athletic, very big. We watched several hours of film on them. They’re a very athletic group,” Rebels assistant coach Matthew Freeman said. “They have a defensive lineman, Alex Lopez, who’s committed to Mississippi State. He’s 6-8. He’s big. They’ve played some really good football lately.”

One thing ACCS’s defense must do is at least slow down Bayou Academy’s potent running game. If not, it could perhaps be a long night for the Rebels. Especially if they don’t cut down on penalties and turnovers.

“They have a really big offensive line. A hard-nosed running back. We have to step up and make tackles to stop the run or it’s going to be a tough night for us. They have several big linemen who play O-line and D-line,” Freeman said.

Trying to figure out what kind of defense the Colts run when the Rebels’ offense has the ball could be hard to figure out. Freeman noted that they run a multiple defense.

“They run man. They run zone. They’re solid at every position. They’re going to give us several looks,” Freeman said. “We’re going to do what we’ve been doing all season. We have a balanced offense. We run the ball. We throw the ball. After that three-hour road trip, we’re going to have players make the plays. After you get off the bus, you feel like you’re already down 7-0.”

Freeman said that the defensive line will have to have a big game, especially against the run. He added that could very well determine the outcome of this game.

“It’s going to be hard to win if we can’t stop the run,” Freeman said.

ACCS finished tied for third place in District 3-5A with Oak Forest while Bayou Academy finished second behind No. 1 seed Starkville Academy in District 1-5A.

Amite School Center at Centreville Academy

CENTREVILLE — The Centreville Academy Tigers will play host to a very familiar opponent in the first round of the MAIS Class 4A State Playoffs — District 3-4A rival Amite School Center, which somehow got in the postseason despite just one win.

Kickoff between the No. 12 seed Amite School Center Rebels (1-9) and No. 5 seed Centreville Academy (8-2) at Tiger Field is scheduled for 7 p.m. These nearby rivals played each on Friday, Sept. 8, also at Tiger Field, in the district opener for both teams at Centreville and the Tigers came out on top 35-0.

After a tough loss on the road to Bowling Green School on Friday, Oct. 6 which cost them the district championship and a bye into the quarterfinals, the Tigers rolled past Cathedral School on their homecoming game and the cruised past Manchester Academy 38-14 last Friday night on Senior Night. The Rebels lost at Brookhaven Academy 49-26 last Friday night. Amite School Center’s only win of the 2023 regular season was a 44-26 home win over Delta Streets Academy out of Greenwood two weeks ago.

River Oaks School at WCCA

WOODVILLE — Despite being blown out at home on Senior Night to the Briarfield Academy Rebels 52-6 last Friday night, the Wilkinson County Christian Academy Rams still found themselves among the 12 teams who made it to the MAIS 8-Man Class 1A State Playoffs.

And despite finishing with a 3-7 overall record, including a three-game losing streak and setbacks in six of its last seven games during the regular season, WCCA is also hosting a first-round game against River Oaks School out of Monroe, La.

Kickoff between the No. 9 seed River Oaks School Mustangs (3-7) and No. 8 seed WCCA is slated for 7 p.m. River Oaks will be on yet another long road trip after losing at Sharkey-Issaquena Academy 36-0 last Friday night.

River Oaks finished fourth in District 2-1A with a 2-3 record while WCCA came in third in District 3-1A with a 1-2 mark.