Photos by Robert Smith
Story by Robert Wilson
There have been many spectacular individual performances in the MHSAA football championships over the years, but there likely aren’t many who could top what Magee senior quarterback Chandler Pittman did Friday.
Pittman ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns and two-point conversion and passed for 132 yards and three TDs to lead Magee to a 49-26 victory over Noxubee County in the Class 3A state championship game at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, giving the Trojans their first state title in 20 years.
Magee finished 12-0 and won its fifth state title in school history. Noxubee finished 10-2 and was denied its fifth state title this decade and lost in the championship game for the second straight season.
Magee’s win overshadowed an outstanding game by Noxubee County senior quarterback Chrishaad Rupert, who completed 24 of 37 passes for 308 yards and two TDs and ran nine times for 43 yards and one TD.
Magee coach Teddy Dyess won his third state title as a coach (he won two at Lumberton in 2004 and 2005) after winning two as a player at Bassfield.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Pittman, named the Class 3A Mr. Football, completed TD passes of 14 and 1 yards to sophomore Kyerston Tucker and 4 yards to senior Xavier Franks and ran for TDs of 8 and 3 yards. Pittman finished his senior season with 2,120 passing yards and 28 TDs and 1,237 rushing yards and 13 TDs. Senior Cayden Bridges scored on a 11-yard run, junior Jawon Shaw scored on a 2-yard run. Sophomore Gavyn Chafin kicked three extra points and junior Thomas Dyess kicked two.
Rupert completed TD passes of 15 yards to junior tight end Demone Cunningham and 42 yards to junior wide receiver Antonio Fowler and ran for a 14-yard TD. Senior running back Bobby Shanklin scored on a 4-yard run and a two-point conversion. Senior wide receiver Macardi Johnson caught a game-high nine passes for 105 yards.