Photo by Mike Robertson/Winston County Journal
Three Indians wrap up a Louisville ball-carrier in the first round of the state playoffs Friday night. They are (from left) Yaphat Hearn, Xzaverion Crockett and Jamal Pye (44).
Photos by Mike Robertson/Winston County Journal
Byhalia’s Jamal Pye (44) and Xzaverion Crockett close in on a Wildcat during playoff action Friday.

Terrance Davis (2) trips up a Louisville ball-carrier. In back is Gavin Edwards (9). The Indians dropped a 41-0 decision to Class 4A’s top-ranked team in the opening round of the state playoffs last Friday night. It was Byhalia’s first post-season berth since the 2013 season. The Indians will go down to Class 3A next season.

Class 4A State Playoffs

• Indians eliminated by Louisville

Byhalia went up against one of the state’s best, in all classifications, to start the playoffs and was on the short end of a 41-0 score.

“We competed; we were just overmatched,” coach John Danley said about the loss to Louisville, the number one team in Class 4A.

“They have a very good football team. They’re loaded, from top to bottom.”

He said Louisville dressed out about 80 players and the roster included 26 seniors.

“And they have several D-1 guys (future major college players),” Danley said.

The Indians held their own in the early going. It was 0-0 after one quarter.

The host Wildcats then surged ahead 20-0 at halftime.

“We played pretty well in the first quarter; it was a scoreless game,” he said.

“Then mistakes hurt us. We had a bad snap over the punter’s head that set up their first score and then a fumble set up their second score.”

Louisville scored a pair of touchdowns in the third to go ahead 34-0 and added seven more points in the fourth.

The Wildcats advance to face Clarksdale in round two of the Class 4A state playoffs.

The Indians wrap up the season with a 6-6 overall record. They went 2-3 in Region 1-4A.

“It was sort of a roller-coaster season – up and down,” Danley said. “Making the playoffs (for the first time since 2013) is an accomplishment.”

Danley led the Indians to the post-season in 2013 but then went into administration. He went back to the sideline prior to the 2017 season.

“We have a lot of young guys,” he said. “We’re building for something better.”

In the new Mississippi High School Activities Asso­ciation alignment (for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021), Byhalia will move down to Class 3A.

“There are good teams in 3A, too, but it should help us a lot,” Danley said. “We shouldn’t be overmatched.”

However, he said the Indians’ non-conference sche­dule will likely include bigger schools nearby.

Cross-county rival Holly Springs will be in the same district with Byhalia the next two seasons.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
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