MHSAA 4A Football Championship – Mendenhall vs. Louisville at a glance
It’s championship week in Mississippi and all six games are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at MM Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg.
Here’s a look at the MHSAA Class 4A State Championship game scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday
More: Click here to see the full MHSAA Class 4A Football Playoff bracket
Mendenhall (12-1) vs. Louisville (13-1)
Mendenhall at a glance
- Recording: 12-1 (4-0 in Region 5)
- head coach: Chucky Allen (6th year, 51-22 overall)
- Key Characters: QB Tayton James, LB Davin Chung, DL Markquise King
- State Championships: 3 (1983, 1987, 1988)
The year began on a rather unfavorable note with a 21-16 loss to defending champion 4A champ Columbia, but the Tigers rebounded with wins outside the region over 5A contender Laurel, perennial favorite 3A Jeff Davis County and defending champion 2A champ Scott Central.
They went 4-0 in the region with an average win percentage of 30.8 points and overcame Columbia again in the playoffs before sending Quitman and Stone County to get here.
the thin one
The Tigers are as salty on defense as ever, with a unit that has only allowed 113 points in 14 games. Davin Chung, Markquise King and Mylin Jenkins form the core of one of the best defenses in 4A.
But they wouldn’t be in this position without star quarterback Tayton James. The junior has thrown for more than 2,000 yards and rushed for another 1,000 yards in 26 total touchdowns. They also have some great plays around him, with a 900-yard rusher in Darious Dampier and lead receiver Walter Owens (51 catches, 579 yards, six TDs).
If the offensive line can give James room to act, watch out.
Louisville at a glance
- Recording: 13-1 (5-0 in Region 4)
- head coach: Tyrone Shorter (4th year, 47-8 overall)
- Key Characters: QB Key Jackson, DL Gabe Moore, LB Kendon Sanders
- State Championships: 10 (1985, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2018, 2020)
The Wildcats have had some dominant seasons, but this one is right up there with the best of them.
Louisville opened the season with convincing victories over West Point, Kemper County and Columbus before suffering their only loss of the season with a 21-20 loss to 6A contenders Starkville.
Since then, they’ve won 10 straight games and absolutely made Region 4 a laughingstock with an aggregate score of 200-33 in five games.
They got through the first four rounds of the playoffs, though the 31-21 win over Houston at North State was closer than many expected.
the thin one
Louisville is definitely the goliath in this matchup, and for good reason — the Wildcats were more physical than any team they’ve played against, and that includes a Starkville team that managed to beat them.
Key Jackson has been phenomenal since going from receiver to quarterback, passing for 1,371 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushing for 471 yards and 10 touchdowns. Jykevious Goss is his top target, with 57 catches for 702 yards and seven touchdowns.
But the real strength of Louisville’s team is the defense led by Gabe Moore. The Wildcats are down just 111 points in 14 games, and they get mad when they don’t get the shutout.
Here’s the stat that tells the story: The Wildcats have 193.5 tackles to a loss, averaging nearly 14 per game.