By Robert Wilson
Photos by Hays Collins
Lumberton used junior quarterback Rodney Parker’s arm instead of Class 1A Mr. Football Robert Henry’s legs to win the MHSAA Class 1 state championship Friday afternoon at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Parker completed a 42-yard touchdown pass to senior K’Naylan Willis with 24 seconds to play to give Lumberton a 20-14 victory over previously undefeated Biggersville for Lumberton’s first state title in 10 years.
Lumberton finished with an 11-1 record and won its 11th straight game since a 32-0 loss to Bay Springs in the season opener. Biggersville, playing in its first state championship game in school history, finished 13-1.
Biggersville rallied from a 14-0 halftime deficit to tie the game at 14-14 when senior quarterback Goldman Butler scored on a 1-yard run with 58 seconds to play. Butler was stopped short on the potential game-winning two-point conversion. Butler completed a 52-yard pass to junior JarellJones to the Lumberton 2 to set up the tying TD. Butler completed 10 of 14 passes for 113 yards. Junior Dylan Rowsey scored on a 7-yard run and junior Zae Davis added the two-point conversion to close the Lumberton lead to 14-8.
Henry gained 111 yards on 27 carries and scored on a 9-yard run and a two-point conversion. Henry finished his senior season with 1,951 yards and 28 TDs.
Willis scored on a 4-yard run to give Lumberton a 6-0 lead.