By Robert Wilson
Photos by Chris Todd, Brad Bridges and Brandon Jackson

​Simpson Academy was looking for its first state championship since 2013 and seventh in school history Friday night in the MAIS Class 5A state title game at Jackson Academy’s Raider Field in Northeast Jackson.

​Oak Forest, La., Academy has other ideas.

​Oak Forest limited Simpson to 62 total yards and no points in the first half to take 17-point lead and held off Simpson 24-14 for its first MAIS state title since 2014 and third in school history before an estimated 2,500 fans.

​Oak Forest finished 10-3 and won 10 straight games after starting the season 0-3. Simpson finished 9-3 lost in the state title game for the third time (2017, 2018 and this season) since winning the title in 2013.

​Oak Forest jumped out to a 17-0 lead when junior Stiles Guidry scored on a 5-yard run in the first quarter and Guidry completed a 11-yard TD pass to Tanner Spears and senior Ruston Relan kicked a 40-yard field goal in the second quarter.

​Simpson senior running back Carter Cockrell ran for a 62-yard TD to cut the Oak Forest lead to 17-7 with 8 minutes, 35 seconds to play in the third quarter.

​Oak Forest answered when senior running back Lawson Hendry scored on a 9-yard run for a 24-7 lead with 3:40 to play in the third quarter.

​Cockrell scored on a 4-yard run to cut the lead to 24-14 with 3:39 to play in the game.

​Hendry had 33 carries for 142 yards and one TD and Guidry had 21 carries for 112 yards and one TD to lead Oak Forest.

​Cockrell had 11 carries for 100 yards and one TD. Sophomore quarterback Barrett McKenney completed 15 of 27 passes for 164 yards. Senior wide receiver Tyler Stanford had six catches for 85 yards.

​“I’m proud of our team,” Simpson coach Todd Mangum said. “Turnovers and missed opportunities to make stops in the first half hurt us. Oak Forest is a very good football team and congratulations to them.”