Kemper County Wildcats win Region 5-3A championship
The Kemper County Wildcats claimed the Region 5-3A championship Friday night when they defeated Forest 48-46 in prep football action.
The Bearcats led 34-32 at the half. Kemper County kept it close and the score was tied at 40-40 going into the fourth quarter.
Forest went up 46-40. But the Wildcats came back to tie the game when quarterback Aaron Steele connected with Ty Steele on a 24-yard TD pass to tie the game at 46-46 with around five minutes left.
Dicenzo Miller Jr. scored the two-point conversion and the Wildcats took the lead.
Forest went four-and-out after the kickoff. Kemper County drove the ball down to the Bearcats one-yard line before running out of downs with about 50 seconds left. Kemper County held on for the victory under first year head coach Ray Westerfield.
The Wildcats finished with 594 total yards. They had 443 rushing yards on 47 carries and completed 6-of-9 passes for 153 yards.
Miller had a busy night. He rushed for 269 yards on 26 carries while scoring two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 96 yards on one touchdown.
Aaron Steele had 99 rushing yards on 19 carries. He had all of Kemper County’s passing yards, giving him 252 total yards. Dion Windham seven rushed for 70 yards and one touchdown. Ty Steele had one catch for 30 yards and a touchdown while Heaven Coleman had two catches for 35 yards.
Ishmael Naylor had eight tackles and recovered a fumble. Taylor Robertson and Jakylan Bourrage both had four tackles.
Kemper County will open play in the Class 3A state playoffs Friday when they play host to Wilkinson County. The game will be played on the East Mississippi Community College campus in Scooba.
We never gave up and found a way to win,” Coach Westerfield said. “We have a tough test this week with Wilkinson County. We have played them in the past. They are a good team. They have good team speed and size.”
The Mississippi High School Activities Association announced its reclassification of schools for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years.
Kemper County dropped from Class 3A to Class 2A. They will play in the new Region 5-2A along with Philadelphia, Nanih Waiya, Lake and Newton High School.