Wildcats take 18-16 thriller, Advance to third round
Trailing by four points late in the fourth quarter, the Kemper County High School defense came up big, giving the Wildcats a chance to rally for an 18-12 win in the second round of the MHSAA Class 3A State Football Playoffs.
The Wildcats will travel to Pelahatchie Friday night for a third-round matchup with the Chieftains. The winner of that game will face the winner between Scott Central and Newton in the South State Championship.
“I'm overjoyed,” said KHCS interim head football coach Dicenzo Miller, “ We are playing one more week. That is all you can ask for.”
KCHS Athletic Director Jackie Jackson reminded fans that they must buy their tickets in advance to purchase them to visit gofan.co.
The stands and sideline in Scooba were electric Friday in the Kemper County Wildcats 18-16 win over the Velma Jackson Falcons. After a quick and scoreless first quarter the first touchdown of the game did not come until Aaron Steele broke away for a 20-yard touchdown run, giving the Wildcats a 6-0 lead. Not much happened for the rest of the half as the Wildcats went into the locker room with a 6-0 lead.
The third quarter is where things became a lot more interesting. With just under seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, Junior Miller ran the ball into the end zone from four yards away, giving the Wildcats a 12-0 lead. Velma Jackson answered fast when Gavin Griffin scored on a ten yard touchdown run with 4:37 remaining in the third. The two-point conversion cut Kemper County’s lead to only four. After many scoreless drives, Falcon quarterback Terrence Mack ran in from two yards away, and the two-point conversion gave the Falcons a 16-12 lead late with just over five minutes to play.
The Wildcats were rolling on their next drive but fumbled on the 10-yard line with little time remaining. However the defense came up strong to force Velma Jackson to punt the ball away with just under a minute remaining. The Wildcats made many big plays and had the ball on the two yard line with two seconds on the clock.
“I knew what play they wanted,” said Coach Miller. On the final play, Steele powered into the end zone as time expired to win the game for the Wildcats and send them to the third round of playoffs. “ I can’t ask for better kids to come out and play and find a way to win,” said Miller “They fight,” Miller credited the defensive staff in the huge win. “They made some key stops”, said Miller.