PHOTOS BY DAVID BRUNT
Copiah Academy went into Friday night’s MPSA Class AA South State second-round game against Centreville Academy with an 11-1 record, whose resume included wins over the likes of Leake Academy, Oak Forest and Simpson Academy.
The Colonels are also the two time defending Class AA South State and the defending AA State champions. Yet despite all that, the District 4-AA runners-up were the underdogs against the 10-2 and District 5-AA champion Tigers.
Perhaps it was because Centreville has been undefeated in Tiger Stadium this season. And having the home-field advantage; as well as the one-two punch of Zach Sinclair and Nick Goudeau helped the Tigers defeat the Colonels 35-13.
Goudeau, who had 120 of his 159 rushing yards in the first half, got things going for the Tigers early in this second round MPSA AA playoff contest. Goudeau ran in from 7 yards out four plays after they picked off a Daniel Sims pass at the Copiah 22-yard line. Kyle Brown’s extra point gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Centreville appeared on its way to making it a 14-0 game late in the second quarter when Goudeau ran 10 yards to the Copiah 4-yard line, only to fumble the ball. The Colonels Ben Boone fell on it and, six plays later, the Colonels scored on a 1-yard run by Brandon Greer with 2:41 remaining until halftime. Richard Henley’s extra point made it a 7-7 game at the break. The highlight of the drive came on a 70 yard strike from Daniel Sims to Bryce Guess on the 2nd play of the drive.
Then Sinclair got loose in the second half. First he scored on a 38-yard run with 8:47 to go in the third quarter to give the Tigers a 14-7 lead. Then he added a 27-yard touchdown run with 2:45 to go in the quarter for a 21-7 lead.
After Daniel Sims scored on a 12-yard run with 11:42 left in the fourth quarter the Richard Henley PAT was blocked and the score stood Centerville 21 Copiah 13. Centreville ended any thoughts of a rally by Copiah (11-2) when Sinclair scored on a 21-yard run with 7:46 left and Goudeau scored from 3 yards out with 4:10 to go in the ball game.
Sims was much of Copiah’s offense as had 11 carries for 46 yards and completed eight of 24 passes for 171 yards, but he also threw three interceptions. Again Alex Guess was the leading tackler for the Colonels and not far behind was Matthew Wright, Bryce Guess and Cullen Gentry.
The main story line of the evening was untimely turnovers and injuries that continued to mount even during the contest Friday evening. Brandon Greer suffered another shoulder stinger and Rob Pyron endured a painful knee injury that could possibly prove costly to the Colonels basketball team as well. The Colonels had a total of 6 turnovers, one of which was a turnover on downs after failing to convert on a fourth down attempt. The Tigers turned 3 of those turnovers into points which was ultimately the difference in the contest.
Speaking post game, Coach Scotty Cline, “It is tough right now, these guys (Senior’s) are a special group and we (Copiah) are going to miss them. They don’t have anything to hold their head about, they did what we asked all year and we played until the final horn blew hear tonight. I am extremely proud of this Colonel Football team and we had a great year, it is just hard right now after this loss. My hat’s off to Centerville, they are well coached and have a good football team.”
This year’s senior class will be greatly missed and will go down as one of the most storied in Colonel History with a mark of 32-8 and 7-2 in post-season play.