HATTIESBURG — With all the offensive talent defending 2A champion Scott Central had coming back, everyone anticipated some fireworks in Saturday's title game.
Somehow, the Rebels exceeded those expectations.
Behind another stellar performance from quarterback Quez Goss, Scott Central raced past Charleston 42-12 to claim the MHSAA Class 2A State Championship for the second consecutive season at Southern Miss’ M.M. Roberts Stadium.
It’s the Rebels (13-2) fourth state title in school history.
Last season, Goss totaled eight touchdowns in Scott Central’s win over Leflore County in the 2A title game. Saturday, he had six more.
“I’ve said it before," Scott Central coach Jeff Stockstill said. "I’m harder on him than anybody else because I expect him to play like this and he expects to play like this and he has some good players around him. He’s been a pleasure to coach and will be one I'll really miss.”
Scott Central scored on the second play of the game, as Goss connected with Antreyvious Edwards on a 50-yard touchdown pass with 11:34 left in the first quarter to give the Rebels a 7-0 lead.
Charleston answered, as Devon Olive found Deondre Riley on a 6-yard touchdown pass, but the extra point failed so the Scott Central was cut to 7-6 with 6:15 left in first quarter.
Goss then connected with Southern Miss commit Javieon Butler on a 73-yard touchdown pass to extend the Rebel lead to 14-6 with 2:06 left in first quarter. Just like the first strike, Goss's heave was right on the money.
"When you've got guys like (Edwards and Butler), it makes my job so much easier," Goss said. "I just launch it downfield and let them go get it."
After forcing Charleston to punt, Goss hit Edwards on a 31-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left in the first quarter to give Scott Central a 21-6 lead.
Goss found Edwards again on a 52-yard touchdown pass with 9:38 left in the second quarter to give the Rebels a 28-6 lead.
Goss connected with Butler again on a 28-yard touchdown pass with 2:27 left to give Scott Central a 35-6 lead going into the half.
After the break, Scott Central activated the running clock when Goss added a 21-yard touchdown run with 6:23 left in the third quarter to give Scott Central a 42-6 lead.
“These guys have been here before and there was no panic and know what it feels to be in an environment, so I was confident these kids would respond to adversity,” Stockstill said. “These guys were focused in the offseason and all season they worked hard and stayed the course, so we did what we had to do. It was a pleasure to coach these kids and glad they finished the job.”
Goss finished 9-of-14 passing for 281 yards with five touchdowns and also added a rushing touchdown to lead Scott Central and was named the game’s most valuable player.
“It was amazing to get here and be back-to-back champs. It’s hard to get here,” Goss said. “I had a pretty good game last year, but this I’m so blessed to do this again and played well.”
Olive had two passing touchdowns — both to Riley — to lead Charleston. The Tigers (11-4) only managed 97 yards of offense.
“After we didn’t score after the (first-half) fumble, everything just went over our head,” said Charleston coach Don Taylor. “We weren’t supposed to get here, but the kids kept working and got here, we just didn’t finish. Hopefully this will springboard us to get back next year.”