Many’s back-to-back state championship bid falls short against Amite

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NEW ORLEANS, La (KMSS/KTAL) – Heading into their state championship bout with the Amite Warriors, the Many Tigers were averaging close to 49 points per game. In the 2A state championship game, points were much more difficult to come by, and the Tigers fell to Amite, 17-6.

“You have to hand it to Amite, that’s a tremendous program and they played a great game tonight,” said Many Tigers Head Coach Jess Curtis. “We had our opportunities tonight and just didn’t take advantage.”

The Tigers outgained Amite offensively, 211 yards to 153, holding the Warriors to just 1.5 yards per carry. But it was a second quarter holding penalty that negated a Jeremiah James touchdown that turned the tide against the Tigers. The penalty pushed them back and Many eventually missed a 29 yard field goal that would have given the Tigers the lead. It was a battle of field position for the rest of the quarter, and after the Warriors pinned Many deep and the Tigers failed to pick up a first down, a 15 yard punt gave the Warriors prime field position. Amite kicked a field goal right before half for the game’s first points, carrying a 3-0 lead into the break.

Jess Curtis has lead the Tigers to five state championship appearances sine 2013 with two championships.

“We just made too many mistakes tonight and good teams make you pay for mistakes,” said Coach Curtis. The Tigers committed seven penalties for 65 yards, with a roughing the kicker penalty giving the Warriors another chance after they missed a 44 yard field goal. Earl Jackson would punch it in from nine yards out to give the Warriors a 17-0 lead. From there, Many managed to score a fourth quarter touchdown and recover the ensuing onside kick to keep the game alive. The Tigers would turn the ball over on down, effectively ending the game.

“We’ll go back to work, we love to work. I’ve got a great group. We’ll have 17 starters returning from the group that just played, and they’re not happy. They’re sad. They were this close to their dream of back to back, and fell short,” said Coach Curtis. “But what champions do, they go back to work. And they go back to work soon.”

London Williams was the player of the game for the Tigers, racking up 101 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown.

The player of the game for the Tigers was senior running back London Williams, who mustered up 101 yards on 22 carries with the Tigers lone score against a stout Warrior defense. “I know these guys will be back and fight to get back to this stage next year,” said Williams.

Despite the loss, Coach Curtis preached to his players they had plenty to be proud of after the game. “I wanted this so much for these kids, but that’s life. That’s football. But we’re gonna be ok. We’ve got a lot to be proud of. That’s my message to them right now while they’re hurting. Adversity makes the man. We’ll be better for it,” said Coach Curtis.

The Tigers will look to make it four straight state championship appearances in 2022.

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