Kendrick Kennedy rushed for 186 yards and a touchdown to lead Laurel to its first state title in 17 years with a 19-16 victory over Noxubee County in the Class 4A state championship game tonight.
Laurel (14-1) built a 19-0 lead early in the third quarter with the help of Akeem Davis' two passing touchdowns, but had to withstand a late Noxubee County rally.
Noxubee County (12-3) was down 13-0 at halftime, but got a 9-yard touchdown run from Demarckus Harmon and a two-point conversion pass from Tamarcus Conner late in the third quarter to pull within 19-8.
Javarious Conner would later recover a Laurel fumble in the end zone and Conner added the another two-point conversion to get within 19-16 with 6:40 left in the game.
After a series of turnovers by both teams, Robert Jones sealed Laurel's second state title with an interception on the game's final play.
Kennedy got Laurel going on its first possession with a 72-yard touchdown run.
Davis later connected with Russell Breland on a 23-yard touchdown pass with 20 seconds remaining in the first half. Davis, who finished with 72 yards passing and 84 yards rushing, found Clifton Pollock for a 16-yard touchdown pass for the 19-0 lead.