Simpson beats Copiah, to meet Magnolia Heights in semifinals

The Simpson Cougars hosted Copiah Academy from Gallman on Friday, in the first round of the MAIS AAAA DII Playoffs.

Simpson kicked off to start the game and forced a Copiah punt after a three and out. The Cougars started their first drive on their 37 yard line and drove the 63 yards in nine plays capped off by a Caleb Garner 5 yard touchdown run. The PAT by Hooks Harvey was good and with 4:54 left in the first quarter Simpson led 7-0.

Simpson’s defense forced another three and out. Simpson took over on the Copiah 35 yard line and scored in seven plays on a Caleb Garner 4 yard touchdown run as the horn sounded to end the first quarter, Hooks Harvey added the PAT and Simpson led 14-0. Hooks Harvey intercepted a Copiah pass on the first play of the second quarter, setting Simpson up on their own 38 yard line. The Cougars were unable to get anything going and were forced to punt. Hunter Cline intercepted a Copiah pass at the Copiah 45 yard line. Simpson fumbled on their second play from scrimmage and Copiah’s Dalton Hayles returned it to the Simpson 26 yard line.

Copiah scored on a 2 yard run by Dalton Hayles. The PAT was no good and with 1:53 to go before halftime Simpson led 14-6. Simpson drove down to the Copiah 15 yard line as time expired in the first half.

Simpson took the second half kickoff and drove to score in six plays on a Michael Winstead 40 yard run. Hooks Harvey added the PAT and with 8:10 to go in the third quarter Simpson led 21-6. The Cougar defense forced another three and out. The Cougars took over on their own 40 yard line and drove 60 yards in 11 plays as Caleb Garner scored on a 2 yard run as the fourth quarter started, Hooks Harvey added the PAT and with 11:14 to go in the game Simpson led 28-6.

The Cougars drove the 76 yards in seven plays and scored on a Michael Winstead 45 yard touchdown run. Payton Keith added the PAT and Simpson led 35-6 with 3:22 to go in the game. Copiah then scored quickly on a Dalton Hayles to Torriq Cooper 48 yard pass. Eli Hamlin added the PAT and with 3:02 to go in the game Simpson led 35-13. Simpson ran out the clock and secured their 35-13 victory to advance to the semifinals of the playoffs. The win improved Simpson’s record to 9-3 on the season.

The Cougars were led offensively in the rushing game by Michael Winstead with 11 carries for 221 yards and two touchdowns, Corbin Hosey 15 carries for 93 yards, and Caleb Garner with 17 carries for 70 yards and three touchdowns. The Cougars were led on defense by Daniel Pepper with 11 tackles, Thomas Pepper 5 tackles, and Corbin Hosey 4 tackles. Getting sacks or tackles for loss were Daniel Pepper with 3 and Thomas Pepper 1. Simpson had two turnovers, an interception by Hunter Cline and Hooks Harvey.

In team stats Simpson had 423 yards of total offense, 423 rushing yards, and picked up 23 first downs. Copiah had 131 yards of total offense, 57 rushing yards, 74 passing yards, and picked up 8 first downs.

The Cougars will travel Magnolia Heights in Senatobia on Friday, November 9, in the semifinals of the MAIS AAAA DII Playoffs with the kickoff set for 7 p.m. This will be the first time Simpson and Magnolia Heights have met on the gridiron.