Photo by Mike Robertson/Winston County JournalThree 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 JournalByhalia’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
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.