HATTIESBURG • The Corinth Warriors finished business.
Corinth and its powerful rushing attack cruised past Poplarville, 55-21, in the MHSAA Class 4A state championship on Saturday afternoon. The Warriors rushed for 389 yards and six touchdowns en route to the first state championship in program history.
“It’s very surreal and very humbling. I’m very blessed,” Corinth coach Todd Lowery said. “I’m proud for the city of Corinth, for Alcorn County, for the school district, for these boys and for the coaching staff. You just can’t say enough about them.”
Corinth (14-1) spent no time putting points on the board. After forcing a punt on its first defensive series, Corinth’s offense scored in three plays.
DT Sheffield outran everyone along the left sideline and raced 49 yards to put Corinth up 7-0.
After a Poplarville (9-6) touchdown tied the game, Corinth scored 27-consecutive points to go up 34-7 at halftime. Tam Patterson rushed for two touchdowns, Sheffield hit DK Gaines for a 69-yard touchdown pass, then Sheffield added a 30-yard touchdown run with 10 seconds left in the half.
Corinth scored a touchdown on all five of its drives in the first half. Overall, Corinth’s only possession that didn’t result in points was the game-ending drive.
“We’ve always had a chip on our shoulder so we had to come and finish our unfinished business,” Sheffield said. “Our offensive line blocked really well so I know we had to punch the ball in every time we got the chance.”
In the second half, Sheffield added two more touchdowns on Corinth’s first two drives. He hit Gaines for a 43-yard touchdown, then raced 72 yards to put the Warriors up 48-13. Patterson put the finishing touches in the game with a 35-yard touchdown run in the final minutes.
“When we walked out of the locker room before the game, I told them to leave no doubt for the whole state of Mississippi,” Lowery said. “A lot of people have underestimated us all along. I said ‘After today, there will be no doubt left.’ …”
“When we got done, I told them, ‘Business is finished guys.’ They went crazy.”
Turning Point: Sheffield hit Gaines for a 69-yard touchdown pass to put the Warriors up 28-7 with 6:20 left in the second quarter.
Point Man: Sheffield, the game’s MVP, finished with 10 carries for 220 yards and three touchdowns. He was 5 of 6 passing for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Tam Patterson added 134 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Talking Point: “I can’t explain how much of an asset those two guys are for us. I don’t want to block for anybody else. Those are two of my favorite people on this football team and I cannot express how important they are to this program.” senior lineman Cooper Frazier said of Sheffield and Patterson.