As the final seconds ticked off the clock, a couple of Starkville Academy players grabbed the water cooler and doused coach Chad Peterson.
They were celebrating their second Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, District 2, Division II title.
The Volunteers (6-1) did it in convincing fashion with a 35-0 win over Copiah Academy at J.E. Logan Field Thursday night.
"It is all about the kids," Peterson said. "They decided that they were going to win that game (Thursday). We went to Copiah last year and they beat us. They just decided that they were going to win this thing this year. I couldn't be more proud of our football team."
Many of these kids will get their chance to play on Friday nights next season.
"Coach (Jeff) Terrill is anxiously awaiting these kids," Peterson said. "Me and him talk all the time and we are both very happy with the state of our football program."
The Volunteers were forced to punt on their first series, but there wasn't any panic on the sideline.
"That was a little bit of us," Peterson said. "I'll take the blame on that. We didn't have our first few series scripted like we wanted. We didn't have the right personnel in, but we settled in on the second one."
The Vols corrected their mistakes on the second series and Grant Wolfe capped it off with a 46-yard touchdown run with 1:35 to go in the first quarter to make it 7-0.
Quarterback Houston Clark found Colt Crestman for a 19-yard scoring pass early in the second quarter and SA held a 14-0 lead.
The defense stepped up the pressure and Drake Gordman intercepted a pass deep in SA territory and returned it for a touchdown midway through the second for a 21-0 lead.
Clark picked off a pass on the Colonels next drive to set SA up with good field position.
"You can't say too much about our linebackers and defensive backs," Peterson said. "We are so tough in the front. They allow us to be able to play. You can't say enough about Drake's interception return, that was big. That probably sealed it."
Clark then found Parker Guest for a 32-yard touchdown strike to give SA a 28-0 lead at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Wolfe struck again and rattled off a 75-yard touchdown pass to end the scoring.
Wyatt Allen connected on all the extra points.
The 7th grade Volunteers took a 12-0 decision in the afternoon game.
SA is back in action next Thursday night when Parklane comes calling. Times are 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. for 7th grade and junior varsity, respectively.
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