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MHSAA Playoffs: Grenada beats Warren Central 24-7, earns first semifinal berth in 21 years

The Chargers' defense dominated as Grenada pulled out a huge road win at Vicksburg

VICKSBURG — For the first time in 21 years Grenada is headed to the North State Championship.

Behind a potent rushing attack along with a stout defensive performance the Chargers dominated Warren Central 24-7 in the Second Round of the MHSAA Class 6A playoffs at Robert Morgan Field at Viking Stadium on Friday night.

Grenada (10-3) will travel to South Panola for play for the Class 6A North State Championship next Friday night.

The last time the Chargers reached the semifinal round was in 2002, and it’s the programs first 10-win season since 2015.

“We knew coming into this one the line of scrimmage was going to be super important tonight and it was,” said Grenada coach Michael Fair. “Warren Central has a really good defense and made us earn it, but just a great game and couldn’t be more proud of our guys.”

Grenada scored on their opening drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead as McCaleb Taylor scampered 16 yards to the end zone with 8:49 left in the first quarter.

Warren Central tied the game at 7-7 on a 66-yard punt return by Zack Evans with 56 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Chargers responded to take a 10-7 lead as Matt Cavanaugh booted a 27-yard field goal with 7:32 left in the second quarter.

After Aaron Travis recovered a fumble, Grenada quarterback Charlie Fair found Zayion Cotton on a 6-yard touchdown pass with two minutes remaining until halftime to extend the Chargers lead to 17-7.

The score stayed the same until Latavien Pritchard scored on a 14-yard touchdown run to give Grenada the 24-7 with 2:19 remaining in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

The Charger defense held Warren Central to just 60 yards of total offense, forced five turnovers, and didn’t allow the Viking to cross the 50-yard line until the last drive of the game.

“I felt like we had a good game plan coming in and I thought we executed at a real high level and we kept getting stops and turnovers which was big,” Fair said. “McCaleb was big for us tonight and he’s been big for us all year. You don’t get to games like this without a guy like that, so it’s good that we made enough plays to stay in the dance and that’s what we did.”

Taylor rushed 36 times for 140 yards and a touchdown to lead the Grenada offense.

“For the first time for me being in the second round of the playoffs I thought I did pretty good with explosive plays. Defense carried us,” Taylor said. “This is an amazing feeling because we have been this far in so long. We got South Panola and we’re coming for redemption.”

The Warren Central defense held Grenada to just 86 yards passing and created an interception in the first half.

The Vikings finish the season 9-3.

“They did a good job of stopping the run and they were sitting back waiting on us to take shots. Turnovers cost us at time and Grenada was the better team tonight,” said Warren Central coach Josh Morgan. “The punt return was huge, but didn’t have many more breaks after that and felt like nothing would go our way tonight.”