FOXWORTH, MS (WDAM) - Tylertown High School built a reputation, as well as an unbeaten record, over the first two months of the football season upon a running game of brawn and finesse.
But the Chiefs flipped the table Friday night, beating at West Marion High School at its own game, while all but grounding the Trojans' high-flying passing attack.
Tylertown junior quarterback Da'bryan Magee completed 6 of 13 passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns and the Chiefs intercepted four passes, returning one for a score, in a 38-14 victory over the Trojans.
With the victory, Tylertown (10-0) wrapped up the Region 8-3A crown and its first unbeaten regular season since the 2009 season when the Chiefs went on to capture a Class 3A state championship.
As the region's top seed, Tylertown will host Jefferson County at 7 p.m. Friday in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.
"It's a big deal," Tylertown coach Osborne Holmes Jr. said. "Winning a (region) championship, that was one goal, now, we'll take it one game at a time and try to advance in the playoffs."
With the loss, West Marion (8-3) remained in third place in the region, meaning the Trojans will take to the road Friday, visiting Wilkinson County at 7 p.m. for an opening-round playoff game.
"That's a good team over there," West Marion coach Brad Duncan said. "Tip your hat to them, they're a a good one. But we have to become road dogs now. It's a new season, free football now, so let's go see what we've got."
What West Marion got Friday was a face-full of Tylertown all night
West Marion senior quarterback Adrian Miller, who had thrown for more than 2,400 yards and 31 touchdowns coming in, completed 12 of 33 passes for 158 yards and touchdown with four interceptions.
Sophomore safety Jashon Baker picked off two passes, returning one 33 yards for a touchdown at the end of the third quarter for the first score of the second half.
Baker, Magee and senior Johnny Wilson came up with interceptions in the fourth quarter to quash any comeback notions being harbored by the Trojans.
The Chiefs unleashed a quick defense on West Marion that could cover the receivers in the Trojans' spread offense all over the field.
A long, lean defensive line also was able to disrupt Miller's timing and batted down or tipped at least five passes at the line.
"They're the first team that we've played that just took (the passing game) away from us," Duncan said. "They were athletic enough to take away our deep stuff, and they were long and athletic enough to take away our short stuff."
The Trojans did not have any better luck on the ground, with leading rusher, junior Charles Lewis, managing just 37 yards on 13 carries.
On the flip side, the Trojans brought defenders close to the line to try and contain a Tylertown ground game that entered the game averaging 264 yards a game on the ground.
So, Magee took to the air, completing five of his first six passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns as the Chiefs opened an 18-8 lead midway through the second quarter.
"They loaded the box on us, but we had tried to prepare for that," Holmes said.
Preparation paid off, as Magee found Wilson with a 15-yard pass to give Tylertown a 6-0 lead with 3:32 left in the first quarter.
West Marion answered, with Miller hitting Damien Johnson on a middle screen that the speedy receiver turned into a 48-yard touchdown.
Johnson would finish with seven catches for 116 yards, and his score, coupled with a 2-point conversion run by Miller, would put West Marion up 8-6 with 1:30 left in the first quarter.
It was the Trojans' only lead of the game and lasted all of 55 seconds as Magee threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Chardarrious Bridges to put the Chiefs up 12-8 with 35 seconds left in the first quarter.
But Tylertown was more than just passing fancy Friday
Senior Ojavious Magee, a 245-pound bludgeon of a running back, bulled his way for 98 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, while adding a 2-point conversion run for the Chiefs only points after a touchdown.
Ojavious Magee's 3-yard run with 7:47 left before halftime was the only score of the second quarter to leave the Chiefs up 18-8 at the break.
Baker's pick-six bumped Tylertown's lead to 24-8 after three quarters, but Miller's 2-yard run got the Trojans within 24-14 with 9:20 left in the game.
But West Marion would get no closer.
Magee found Keyon Jefferson behind the defense for a 58-yard touchdown, and one play after a Miller interception, Ojavious Magee popped a 43-yard touchdown run up the middle to end the scoring
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