Leake Academy advances to MAIS championship


The Leake Academy Rebels have advanced to the finals of the MAIS Class 5A football playoffs as they rolled over Lamar School 45-14 last Friday night.

The Rebels, now 12-0, take on Adams County Christian School in the Mississippi Independent Schools Association championship game Thursday night. The game will be played at Jackson Academy with at 7 p.m. kickoff.

ACCS of Natchez advanced to the championship game with a 22-20 overtime victory over Heritage Academy.

“They are a very physical style of a football team,” Coach Brian Pickens said, “They have some really good running backs and run the ball well. They play very good defense. We are going to have four quarters of very physical football. If you look at their scores, they don’t give up many points.”

Pickens was proud of his team which beat Lamar School for the second time this season.

“It’s hard to beat somebody twice the same year,” Pickens said. “I am really proud of what this team had done in the playoffs.

“We had a lot of sophomores and juniors starting on this team. We also have several seniors on this team but we will have a lot coming back next year.”

The Rebels got on the scoreboard when Whitt Welch ran 22 yards for a touchdown with 10:41 left in the first quarter. Cole Arthur kicked the extra point and Leake Academy led 7-0.

But Lamar quickly answered to tie the game at 7-7.

Leake Academy quarterback Rhett Atkinson went to the air and connected with Thomas Cheatham on a 39-yard TD pass. Arthur’s kick was good and the Rebels led 14-0.

Leake Academy got the ball back and scored again before the end of the first quarter. This time, Arthur kicked a 50-yard field goal with 1:50 left in the first quarter to make the scored 17-7 and that’s how it stood at the break.

Leake Academy scored the only points of the second quarter when Riley Myers hit pay dirt on an 11-yard run. Arthur’s kick was good and the Rebels led 24-7 at the half.

In the third quarter, Myers returned an interception for a touchdown. Arthur’s kick was good and the Rebels led 31-7.

Lamar scored when Will Morris connected with Hayden Farrar on an 11-yard TD pass. Miller Hodge kicked the extra point and Leake Academy led 31-14.

Parker Thomas returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards for a touchdown. Arthur’s kick was good and the Rebels led 38-14.

Leake Academy’s final score came when Whitt Welch scored on a 21-yard run.  Arthur kicked the extra point to make it 45-14.

Leake Academy finished with 320 total yards and 16 first downs. The Rebels rushed 39 times for 204 yards and completed 4-of-11 passes for 98 yards. The Rebels were penalized six times for 50 yards and had one lost fumble.

Lamar School had 220 total yards on offense and 17 first downs. The Raiders picked up 71 yards on 24 rushes and completed 15-of-31 passes for 149 yards. The Raiders had two penalties for a loss of 20 yards and had five turnovers; four interceptions and a lost fumble.

Atkins had all of Leake Academy’s passing yards and rushed twice for 21 yards, giving him 119 total yards.  Whitt Welch had 11 rushes for 92 yards while Myers had eight rushes for 51 yards. Canon Parks had 41 yards on 17 carries. Cheatham had three catches for 78 yards while Myers had one catch for 20 yards.

Myers had a busy night on defense with seven tackles and three interceptions. Nick Gomillion had 11 tackles Kade Marble had five solo tackles. Cheatham had seven tackles and one interception. Ethan Davis had six tackles.

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