Tigers advance to South State Championship

Published 10:48 pm Friday, November 17, 2023

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SEMINARY — Jefferson County defeated Seminary 30-17 to advance to the MHSAA 3A South State finals Friday night. The road victory was hard-fought.

Head Coach Roderick Holmes said his team played a complete game. Offense, defense and special teams all executed to earn the big win. Momentum swung in Jefferson County’s favor right before halftime. 

Trailing 10-8 with 35 seconds left in the second quarter the Tigers called a pass play. Senior quarterback Jabari Watson threw a dime to Luke Bolin for a touchdown and the Tigers converted the two point conversion to take a 16-10 lead before halftime. 

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“It changed the game. For one we got the ball back after halftime and were trying to put one in the endzone and we got it in,” Holmes said. “I talked to the guys at halftime and told them when we come back out we need to capitalize and we did exactly that.” 

Jefferson County scored two quick touchdowns to go up 30-10 with 8:40 left in the third quarter. Seminary would get a touchdown back and threaten to score a few times. 

One of the best chances for the Bulldogs to narrow the lead was down at the goal line. Jefferson County forced a turnover on downs to get the ball back and keep Seminary from scoring. 

“Our defense made a huge fourth down stop on the goal line. I want to shout out my defensive coordinator Kiwaski Tenner,” Holmes said. “On the offensive side, we had a number of guys step up. Jabari Watson had some good plays. He found a number of receivers and capitalized. On defense, Jermal Williams stepped up with a big fumble recovery for a touchdown. Ty Johnson stepped up on defense and Deanthony Miller made three interceptions tonight.” 

Jefferson County will finally host a playoff game. The Tigers will play Noxubee County who beat Jefferson Davis County 29-22. Jefferson County is now 9-3 this season with a 3-1 district record. The big boost for Jefferson County tonight will come into play next Friday as well. 

“We had our band this week. It neutralizes the home field advantage and really helps us. We brought our 12th man,” Holmes said. “Noxubee has a good quarterback and running back. We look forward to a good game and we will be prepared for them.”