JACKSON – The Starkville Yellowjackets laid claim to the Class 5A, Region 2, District 6 championship for the second consecutive season.
With Friday night's 34-16 win over the Callaway Chargers, Starkville coach Jamie Mitchell was glad to say that his program had secured another title.
“All I know is that we are the division champions and we needed this,” Mitchell said. “I told this to a bunch of people before the season ever started that (Callaway) was the next best team in our region. I really feel that way. They were a handful.”
Mitchell’s Yellowjackets (7-3, 6-0) didn’t play their best football but found a way to make the big plays when they needed them the most, particularly from senior quarterback Gabe Myles who put the game away with a 53-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
“Gabe didn’t play his best and we missed so many deep balls running open in the field," Mitchell said. "We’ve got to execute those but a win is a win, but he did come up big when we needed him.”
Starkville saw its streak of 20 consecutive quarters without allowing a touchdown on defense snapped early in the game when T.J. Washington connected with Chris Mitchell to put the Chargers on top early 8-0.
The Jackets answered with a 15-yard toss from Myles to Stanley Higgins and with the two-point conversion, the game was tied.
SHS took a halftime lead of nine into the locker room after a 29-yard reception by Kentrell Spencer who caught six passes for 81 yards and a pair of scores, and a Taylor Wise 39-yard field goal.
To open the second half, the Jacket defense made what Mitchell called the play of the game when it forced a fumble setting up a short field with the ball at the 11-yard-line.
“That big turnover right of the bat was huge," Mitchell said. "We got the football with a short field and I thought that pretty much sealed the deal. In the second half, we were lights out. We’ve got a chance now to enjoy a week and get ready for the playoffs.”
For the night, Myles was 10 for 24 through the air for 118 yards and three touchdowns, in addition to his touchdown run.
Next week Starkville returns home to face Neshoba Central to wrap up the regular season with first place in the region already clinched.