Tigers upset Cobras on senior night

Published 10:55 am Friday, October 27, 2023

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FAYETTE — With the MHSAA Region 7-3A championship at stake on Senior Night, Jefferson County head football coach Roderick Holmes decided to mix things up offensively to throw off a Wesson Attendance Center team that went into Thursday night’s game undefeated.

First, he went with a two-quarterback system with starter Jabari Watson and back-up Royale Shelvy. Then he went with a mix of different concepts to confuse Wesson’s potent defense. Both of those worked to perfection.

Watson threw for one touchdown pass and ran for another while Shelvy threw one touchdown pass, ran for two more, and even had a touchdown reception as the Tigers cruised to a 42-12 win over the now-previously undefeated Cobras to win the Region 7-3A title.

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“I said we were prepared for them,” Holmes said last Friday morning.

As for what worked so well for Jefferson County offensively, Holmes said, “First and foremost, my quarterback. He controlled the game and created no turnovers. Both of my quarterbacks had equal opportunities. Watson had a superb game. We mixed some pro concepts with some spread concepts. We had them off balanced all (game long).”

In addition to what Watson and Shelvy did under center, Jefferson County got a touchdown catch from Luke Bolin and a touchdown run from Jamari Tenner.

“Royale had five touchdowns, but one was called back for a holding penalty,” Holmes added.

The Tigers’ defense was led by defensive back De’anthony Miller, whom Holmes noted pretty much locked down Wesson sophomore wide receiver O’mari Johnson.

“When we took him out of the game, the defense was able to step up and tackle. We had a good night tackling last night,” Holmes said. “Two other people who stepped up defensively were JJ Claiborne and KeDerian Washington.”

Wesson finished 8-1 overall and 3-1 in region play and will be the Region 7-3A No. 2 seed. Even if South Pike High School defeated Port Gibson High School, which was originally scheduled for last Thursday night but was postponed until Friday night, the Eagles will still be the No. 3 seed. Franklin County High School, which lost its Senior Night game to Class 2A Loyd Star Attendance Center 39-34 last Thursday night, will be the No. 4 seed.

Jefferson County (6-3, 3-1 in Region 7-3A) will play host to Region 5 No. 4 seed Southeast Lauderdale High School in the first round of the MHSAA Class 3A South State Playoffs next Friday at 7 p.m.