The last time a team not named Taylorsville won the MHSAA 2A South State title, Tartars quarterback Ty Keyes was a 14-year-old sitting in an eighth-grade classroom.
State championship football schedule
11 a.m.: Jeff. Davis (9-5) vs. Noxubee Co. (10-5)
3 p.m.: Nanih Waiya (13-2) vs. Lumberton (12-3)
7 p.m.: Oxford (13-1) vs. Oak Grove (11-3)
11 a.m.: Corinth (14-1) vs. Poplarville (9-5)
3 p.m.: North Side (14-0) vs. Taylorsville (14-1)
7 p.m.: West Point (14-1) vs. Picayune (14-0)
Since then, Keyes has led Taylorsville to a 44-3 record over three seasons with three Region 5-2A titles, two state title appearances and one state championship. On Friday, Keyes and the Tartars defeated the reigning state champion Scott Central Rebels, 14-6, earning a third consecutive South State title and another trip to the pinnacle of 2A football.
Taylorsville is scheduled to meet unbeaten North Side (14-0), from Shelby in the Delta, at 3 p.m. Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg.
The Tartars’ contest against the Rebels was a rematch of their season-opener, which was labeled a revenge game after Scott Central defeated Taylorsville in the 2018 2A title game. The Tartars won the opener 32-12 on the road in Forest. Unwilling to give up their title without a fight, the Rebels gave the Tartars one of their toughest challenges of the season in a game that was undecided until the clock hit zero.
In a defensive slugfest for most of the night, Taylorsville and Scott Central entered the second half locked in a scoreless tie. In the third quarter, however, junior running back Jeffery Pittman broke loose for two touchdown runs, giving his team a comfortable advantage heading into the final 15 minutes of play. The Rebels responded with a touchdown run of their own in the fourth quarter, but with under three minutes remaining on the clock, the comeback effort proved to be too little too late.
Pittman finished the game with 100 yards on 15 carries and two crucial touchdowns. Keyes completed 6 of 11 pass attempts for 47 yards and ran four times for 49 yards. Junior receiver and defensive back Arterious Miller had an interception, and senior defensive lineman Jadarious Booth had a team-high seven tackles and one sack.
The victory marks Taylorsville’s 11th MHSAA South State title in program history. One more win would earn the program its seventh state championship since 1991.