JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) -Magee’s “Magic Man” mesmerized Noxubee County High School Friday afternoon in the Class 3A Mississippi championship football game.
Senior quarterback Chandler Pittman picked up 345 yards with his arm and legs and had a hand in five of the Trojans’ seven touchdowns as Magee High School earned its first state championship since 2000.
Pittman, who was tabbed Class 3A’s “Mr. Football” this season, was named Friday’s title game’s Most Valuable Player.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to achieve in my life,” Pittman said about bringing the state crown back to Magee. “For my community, it hasn’t been done in 20 years, so I wanted to be the one to change that.”
A change, indeed, as the Trojans pocketed the school’s fifth state football championship and the first under third-year head coach Teddy Dyess.
“When Coach Dyess came here, I already knew it was going to be something special in the making,” Pittman said. “I’m so proud that he is my coach. I look at him as a father figure. He loves us like we’re his own. That’s why we go out here and play so hard for him.”
Dyess, who won back-to-back state crowns at Lumberton High School in 2004-05, said playing against the Region 8-3A competition that the Trojans faced helped shape Magee for moments like Friday.
“By gosh, every Friday night, it’s a rock throwing contest,” Dyess said. “It prepares you for games like this.”
“This” was a back-and-forth track meet of a football game that appeared would come down to who had possession last.
That was until Magee seized control of the game with three, unanswered scores between the end of the first half and the 5-minute mark of the third quarter.
With the game tied 20-20, Pittman appeared to have killed a Magee drive deep in Tigers’ territory with an interception. Instead, a pass interference penalty wiped out the turnover and set the Trojans up at the Tigers 3-yard line.
Pittman bolted into the end zone on the next snap, and then followed it with a two-point conversion run.
By halftime, Pittman already had amassed 212 yards and had a hand in all of Magee’s points.
The Trojans then blew the game open by adding touchdowns on the first two possessions of the second half.
Pittman did his best Steve McNair, rolling right to the sideline, paused for two heartbeats, reversed field to his left, and then about halfway across the width of the field, side-armed a pass to Tucker for a 2-yard touchdown.
Noxubee County (10-2) then fumbled away the football at its 26-yard line. Two plays later, Cayden Bridges scored on an 11-yard run to give the Trojans a 42-20 lead.
Rupert, who threw for 308 yards and rushed for 33 more, scored on a 1-yard run with 2 minutes, 55 seconds left in the third quarter, to keep the Tigers’ most devout interested, but Jawon Shaw scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to ice the game.
Pittman finished with 187 yards rushing with two touchdowns on 23 carries and completed 15-of-28 passes for 158 yards and three scores.
Shaw had 54 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, while Keywhaun Ducksworth ripped off 46 yards on a fake punt to set up a score.
Bridges had 24 yards and a score on three carries and caught four passes for 49 yards.
Franks had five catches for 56 yards and a score and Tucker also had four catches for 45 yards and two touchdowns.
Macardi Johnson had nine catches for 105 for Noxubee County, while Fowler had five catches for 94 yards and a score and Anthony Little had five catches for 72 yards.
Running back Bobby Shanklin ran for 45 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, as well as 2-point conversion.
Rupert hit 24-of-37 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns with netted 33 yards and a TD on the ground on 10 carries.