BRANDON, MS (WLBT) - “I just said ‘I’ve got to stop him,’” recalls Brandon junior linebacker Zihenryon Perry.
Perry led the gang of Bulldog tacklers that stopped the Pearl ball-carrier just short of the goal line last Friday, denying the Pirates' potential game-winning 2-point conversion attempt. The win sent Brandon to this week’s 6A south state championship.
“I think 7-6 (Brandon’s record) last year really pushed us in the offseason, really lit a fire that maybe we didn’t quite have as much before,” says Brandon head coach Tyler Peterson. “They have worked some kind of hard and have earned every step of the way.”
Brandon hosts Oak Grove Friday night. The winner advances to the 6A state championship game.
The same stakes are on the line for Madison Central when the Jaguars travel to Horn Lake Friday night in the 6A north state championship.
Madison Central is in familiar territory: they’ve advanced to north state in each of the last three seasons, and eight of the last 10 overall. But in that time, they’ve failed to advance to the state title game.
“We’ve been a play away,” says Madison Central head coach Anthony Hart. “We’ve been a play away from getting to that state championship game. We’ve got to make one more play than we’ve been making in those games, and that’s what we’re going to plan on doing."
“When you go here, you expect a state championship,” says Madison Central senior defensive lineman Zachary Causey. “But for a long time, people haven’t been able to get past north state. If you get past north state, you can be a part of history and be something nobody will ever forget.”