HATTIESBURG — Bay Springs has been known as a defensive-minded team all season.
It was no different on Friday night.
Behind the stingy defense along with the always potent rushing attack the Bulldogs shutout McEvans 22-0 to claim the MHSAA Class 1A State Championship at Southern Miss’ M.M. Roberts Stadium.
It’s Bay Springs (14-1) second consecutive Class 1A state title and second state title in school history.
It’s the 24th time a team was shutout and first time since 2020 when Taylorsville shutout Calhoun City.
“After we won it last year, we let them enjoy it until about March we really tried to refocus and let the guys know we had an opportunity to make another run and it’s a huge accomplishment and speaks to their work ethic,” said Bay Springs coach Dan Brady. “Ty Jones is just a big player and a tough kid that gets after it.”
The Bulldogs defense didn’t allow a touchdown all postseason and held McEvans to just 149 yards of total offense, including just 45 yards passing. Bay Springs had two fourth down stops at their 1-yard line in the first quarter and the 9-yard line in the third quarter. Demarian Jones intercepted a pass at the Bulldog 1-yard line with six minutes to go to seal the win.
“Our defense plays with our defensive coordinators personality and our defensive coaches did a great job of game planning,” Brady said. “Kids played hard, and they bent but not break and I’m so proud of them.”
Malaki Page got the first score for Bay Springs has he blocked a punt and then scooped the ball up and ran it in from 4 yards to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead with 7:16 left in first quarter.
Mississippi State commit Ty Jones extended the Bay Springs lead to 14-0 on a 5-yard touchdown run with 2:43 left in first quarter.
Jones added a 19-yard touchdown run with 6:49 left in the third quarter to give the Bulldogs the 22-0 lead.
Jones finished with 131 yards rushing on 16 carries with two touchdowns and was named the game’s most valuable player.
“Before we came out Coach Brady said we do what we do and do what we’ve been doing. We came out and ran the ball down their throat. It means a lot our defense didn’t give up a touchdown all postseason and that’s a team effort and we work together,” Jones said. “They were getting tired, and we kept hearing how they were. When Malaki blocked the punt that gave us momentum and we kept it. Last year we made history, but to come back and do it again is huge.”
Christopher Watkins had 95 yards passing for McEvans. The Warriors finished the year 13-2.
“The block punt hurt us and then we missed tackles on defense,” said McEvans coach Montrell Finley. “Bay Springs is a really good team and they run the ball well. We just couldn’t get going and when we had opportunities to score we didn’t.”