Mississippi Sports

Jared’s Guide to the 3A State Championship Game: Magee vs. Noxubee County

(Noxubee County’s Bobby Shanklin carries the football in last year’s MHSAA Class 3A State Championship game. Photo courtesy of Keith Warren, MHSAA.)

The first of six state championships features a doozy right off the bat. Two tradition rich football programs, but in separate timeframes. One team has made frequent appearances here over the past decade, the other looking to restore the glory of one of south Mississippi’s finest brands. 

The Tigers had a great shot and had their chances in Hattiesburg last year, but ran into the juggernaut we know as Lance Mancuso and his Jefferson Davis County Jaguars. This year, it’s no surprise they’re here. Their offense has the capability to create separation on the scoreboard. However, their defense is what makes them great and has done so for over a decade. Eight points allowed per game is no easy task against anybody. Also consider were they did it, arguably the best area of prep football in Mississippi. However, they’ll have their biggest test of the season come Friday.

It’s hard to understate what Chandler Pittman has meant to Magee High School, both on and off the field. They survived by all measures the toughest region in Class 3A, and not only that, they were perfect in doing so. Pittman’s yards speak for itself, but just like their opponent Friday, they play defense, some outstanding defense. They’re allowing right at seven points given up per game, and only surrendered 16 total points in the postseason thus far. Will they have what it takes Friday? They’re going up against a team that almost never loses when they’re on this stage, last year being an anomaly.

Magee Trojans (11-0):

Head Coach: Teddy Dyess

Championship Road:

1st: Yazoo County (W 43-0)

2nd: Morton (W 27-10)

3rd: Raleigh (W 35-0)

South: Columbia (W 14-6)

Championship History:

Wins: 1984, 1989, 1997, 2000

Losses: 1985, 1993, 1998

Player Watch:

QB – Chandler Pittman (61% com., 1988 yds, 25 TD, 7 INT) (135 car, 1052 yds, 11 TD)

WR – Xavier Franks (68 rec, 1087 yds, 13 TD)

ATH – Cayden Bridges (21 car, 81 yds, 5 TD) (38 rec, 545 yds, 6 TD) (45 tkls, 5 TFLs, 3 INT)

LB – Javon Durr (97 tkls, 24 TFL, 5 SK, 2 INT, 2 FF)

LB – Jameyian Spencer (113 tkls, 14 TFL, 3 SK)

Keys to Victory:

– Keep Tigers off the field, sustain drives

– Win 3rd down

Noxubee County Tigers (10-1):

Head Coach: Teddy Young

Championship Road:

1st: Byhalia (W 54-6)

2nd: Booneville (W 32-8)

3rd: North Panola (W 39-14)

North: Winona (W 50-7)

Championship History:

Wins: 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017

Losses: 2007, 2019

Player Watch:

QB – Chrishard Rupert (56% com., 1590 yds, 13 TD, 8 INT) (32 car, 199 yds, TD)

RB – Bobby Shanklin (110 car, 911 yds, 12 TD) (18 rec, 175 yds, 2 TD)

LB – Trillo Brown (127 tkls, 7 TFL, 2 SK, FR)

LB – Chaunessay Triplett (71 tkls, 11 TFL, SK, 2 PD)

FS – Zack Andrews (34 tkls, 4 INT, INT-TD)

Keys to Victory:

– Contain QB

– Avoid penalties

The Outlook:

Don’t expect either team to score over 25 points Friday night. As far as being battle tested, there’d no way you can say Magee isn’t, given their schedule and being able to win in the clutch. However, Noxubee County is no stranger to big games, historically speaking. The Tigers haven’t really been in any tight contests to date. Has anyone stopped Chandler Pittman this season? Not very often. I look for him to do the same thing Friday. Give me the Trojans ending the two decade drought.

PICK: Magee 22, Noxubee County 14

Jared Redding

Jared Redding is a senior journalism major at the University of Mississippi and a lifelong native of Oxford, Miss. Jared has previously served with SES Mississippi and currently contributes to the Oxford Eagle and HottyToddy.com.

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