“Every team is good this time of year, no matter who you play,” said one area coach this week as he prepared his squad for the next opponent that stood in their way.

“We’re gonna have to play our best football of the season for a full 48 minutes to win this game,” said another.

Actually, both quotes could have been attributed to either coach because, as the first one said, “Everybody is good this time of year.”

Kossuth hosted Amory in Round 3 of the MHSAA playoffs – otherwise known as the North Mississippi Semifinals – while Biggersville traveled southeast to face the top-ranked and undefeated 1A team in the state, Simmons.

Amory 14, Kossuth 0

KOSSUTH – Kossuth had fielded one of the best defensive units in north Mississippi the entire season.

Friday night, that defense gave them every chance to win, forcing three Amory turnovers, the first one coming on the Panthers opening drive inside the Aggies five yard line. But the KHS offense was unable to convert those miscues into points, while turning the ball over multiple times themselves and bogging down on drive after drive.

When the clock read all zero’s after four quarters of action Amory walked away from Larry B Mitchell Stadium with a 14-0 hard-fought victory to improve to 11-2. They will advance to next Friday’s 3A North Half Championship Game where they will face North Panola, a 52-20 winner over Winona.

Amory took the opening kickoff and staged a drive downfield mixed with a nice blend of run, pass and power. However, on third down inside the Kossuth five yard line the snap flew high over the quarterbacks head all the way to the 21 where Aggie defender Evan Patton pounced on it.

On the ensuing drive Kossuth made a push just past midfield, but it ended when quarterback Jack Johnson, the Region 1-3A Most Valuable Player, was sacked at his own 40 on third down forcing a Hunter Bright punt.

The teams exchanged punts on the following two possessions while time expired in the first quarter just ahead of another Aggie punt.

Amory went three and out, punting back to Kossuth. The Aggies drive stalled and they punted again. But this time the Panther return man bobbled the punt and lost it as Kossuth recovered at the 28. Coach Brian Kelly’s squad went backwards, including another tackle behind the line of scrimmage by Amory.

The Panthers ran the first half clock out on the ensuing possession to end a scoreless first two quarters of play.

On the final AHS possession of the half, Johnson was injured making a tackle, resulting in an arm injury that knocked him out of the game. Hunter Bright started the second half at QB for Kossuth before giving way to sophomore Jake Allen.

Since the Panthers received the first half kickoff, Kossuth got the ball first in the third quarter. The Panthers kept the defensive pressure going as they forced a fumble on the drive, only to have an Aggie defender rip the ball out of the Amory defenders hands that had fallen on it. The drive stalled and KHS punted again. The bad news was it was a short punt and AHS took possession at Kossuth’s 29. It took Panther running back Cameron Haynes one play to find the end zone for the first score of the game with 3:55 remaining in the third. The PAT made it 7-0.

Kossuth once again began a drive that moved into Amory territory. And once again the Aggies went backward and were forced to punt once more on the second play of the fourth period.

The Panthers and Aggies stiffened on defense, resulting in exchanged punts. But following Kossuth’s eighth punt of the contest, a short kick that gave AHS possession on the Aggies 39, All-Region 1-4A running back Charleston French scored on the first play down the visitors sideline with 3:33 remaining.

“It was just a really good defensive game by both teams,” said Kelly. “Both teams are really good. It was hard for either one to get started tonight. We sure would have liked to turned one of those first half turnovers into points but the way things went we had to feel good going in at halftime tied at zero. But losing Jack just before halftime really hurt. He’s tough as nails but I knew as soon as he came off the field he couldn’t go on.”

“This senior group set the stage for the upcoming senior class. We had a great year, won the division and advanced to the third round. We have nothing to hang our heads about. These kids went out and won the off-season after we had a down season last year and came back and put together a year to remember.”

Kossuth ends the 2021 campaign with a sparkling 10-3 record.

Simmons 66, Biggersville 30

HOLLANDALE – Top-ranked Simmons opened an early 22-0 lead en route to a convincing 66-30 victory over visiting Biggersville Friday behind a powerful and super-fast offense.

The Blue Devils improve to 13-0 and move on to next weeks North Half 1A Championship game, where they will face Region 1-1A champion TCPS, a 40-24 winner over McEvans.

The Lions conclude the season at 10-3.

Due to technical difficulties a complete game summary was not available at deadline. The complete game summary can be found soon online.

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