CLINTON — When T.J. Davis watches film of Leake Academy, he sees something pretty scary. The Silliman Institute coach sees a team that reminds him a lot of his Wildcats.
Fourth-seeded Silliman will host ninth-seeded Leake Academy tonight in a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class 3A semifinal playoff game at Knighten Field. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
“It’s like playing yourself,” said Davis, whose squad is 10-1. “They’re good. They have a quarterback that can flick it around and their defense swarms. They’re aggressive and hard-hitting, they play solid defense and they’re good on offense. It’s like playing yourself.”
Silliman is riding a nine-game winning streak and has allowed only 92 points this season in 11 games. The Wildcats have not given up more than a touchdown in their past six games, and three of those games were shutouts. In their two playoff games, they’ve allowed just one TD in each, including last week’s 28-7 win over St. Aloysius.
Against Aloysius, Reed Rushing had 184 yards on 19 carries and scored on a 43-yard pass reception from quarterback Zack Kelly and on runs of 14 and 6 yards. Michael Beauchamp added a 14-yard TD run.
Leake Academy has been the bracket-busters of the 3A playoffs. The Rebels defeated eighth-seeded St. Joseph-Greenville, 19-18 , in the first round and stunned top-seeded Adams County Christian School 27-19 last week.
“I guess that’s why you play the game,” said Leake coach Brian Pickens. “Our kids played with a lot of determination and a lot of heart. Silliman is well-coached and they are the most disciplined and fundamentally sound team I’ve seen. It’ll be a huge challenge.”
Leake is balanced offensively, led by quarterback Joshua Jones, running back Jacob Robertson and receiver Keric Estep. Jones completed 12 of 19 passes for 259 yards and three TDs against ACCS while Robertson rushed for 2 TDs and Estep had seven catches for 157 yards and a score.
“You better be ready for them or you’ll be their third upset of the playoffs,” Davis said.
The winner of tonight’s game will play for the 3A championship next Thursday at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss.