BASSFIELD – The Class 2A South State Championship between Bassfield and East Marion was billed as the rubber match between the Yellowjackets and Eagles.
In 2011, East Marion beat Bassfield in the South State finals.
Last year, the Yellowjackets edged the Eagles on their way to a State Championship.
Both games were close, hard-fought, evenly-matched affairs that many say could’ve gone either way.
So Friday’s contest was supposed to be a call-back to those matchups.
Instead, it turned out to be a repeat of a game from earlier this season where Bassfield trounced East Marion 48-6.
The only difference was the final score – but not by much. Final: Bassfield 48, East Marion 14.
The Yellowjackets improve to 14-1, while the Eagles’ season ends at 12-3.
Bassfield will meet Calhoun City in an attempt to repeat as the 2A State Champions at 3 p.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson.
“It basically came down to preparation,” Bassfield head coach Lance Mancuso said. “These guys are so focused. They just take everything with a lot of maturity.”
The Yellowjackets got off to a fast start, going for broke early, scoring four touchdowns within their first nine offensive plays.
Senior A.J. Moore popped a 54-yard run to put Bassfield up 7-0 with 10:56 left in the first quarter. The Ole Miss commit scored three times against East Marion Friday.
With 9:51 left in the first, junior T’Rodrick Daniels scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 2-yard run.
Three plays into Bassfield’s next possession, Daniels scampered in again, this time from 12 yards out. Daniels finished the game with 13 carries for 90 yards.
Then, Moore scored on a 40-yard run with 2:32 left in the first quarter to give Bassfield a 27-0 lead.
“Coach told me he was going to feed me the ball a little bit this week, and I told him I was ready,” said Moore, who racked up 114 yards on six carries. “They gave me the ball, and I did what I was supposed to do.”
After that, the defense took care of the rest with the exception of a pair of second-half East Marion touchdowns. The Yellowjackets led 41-0 at halftime.
East Marion head coach Kevin Jackson said his squad was never able to contend with the home team’s defensive pressure.
“They got out to a fast start, and we just never could recover," he said. “They were bringing a lot of pressure with their middle linebackers and we weren’t able to pick up their blitzes. They blitzed us well and at the right time.“
Bassfield defensive back Curtis Mikell, a Southern Miss verbal commitment, said it simply boiled down to keeping the momentum away from East Marion.
“We came out fighting, jumped on them, and just kept it going," he said. “We didn’t let them get any momentum."
Senior quarterback C.J. Moore (A.J.’s twin brother) said the Yellowjackets had three goals they wanted to accomplish during the week leading up to Friday’s game.
“This whole week, we just wanted to execute, play together and be smart," said Moore, who added a touchdown run of his own in the second half. “When we came out (Friday), everyone was just playing together and executing. That’s how we did it."
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Editor Prentiss Headlight
Superintendent Ike Haynes feels misunderstood when it comes to his proposed plans for consolidating the public schools in Jeff Davis County.
At a special-called meeting of the School Board of Directors on Thursday, Haynes presented an architectural plan of a feasible consolidation alternative.
“I’ve heard that people are saying we can’t spend $60 million on new schools when our tax base is only $80 million,” said Haynes. “That dollar amount was if we build all new schools for K-12, which is not the plan.”
In March 2012, the consulting firm, Volkert, Inc. presented their finding from reviewing building conditions for the five campuses of the Jeff Davis County school system. Their estimation to build all new educational and sports facilities for all students would cost in the range of $60 million.
“I want the facts known,” said Haynes, “We will make the buildings currently on high school campuses K-8 sites and move high school students to a new school built in Carson.”
In the map below which depicts the area in Carson around the current Career Center, the district currently owns the land below the “Existing Property Line” and has plans to purchase the land located above that line and across Vo-Tech Road.
Haynes estimates the cost of building only the most necessary buildings for high school students would cost approximately $23 million. “We obviously won’t worry about a football field right away,” said Haynes.