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Wayne-Salmen features two state champions

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Oct. 3, 2003
Several big football games are on tap for tonight. Some are the renewals of long-running feuds, while another is a battle of two state champions.
What should be a dandy matchup takes place in Waynesboro when Mississippi's defending Class 5A state champion Wayne County hosts three-time state champion Salmen High School out of Slidell, La.
The Spartans (will we get that perfect cheer?) were 3-0 and ranked No. 1 in the New Orleans area for Class 4A-5A schools prior to last week's 19-18 loss to St. Augustine.
A missed 30-yard field goal with 18 seconds left sent Salmen to its first defeat. Four turnovers against St. Augustine's Purple Knight defense didn't help.
Salmen had zero rushing yards in the second half after taking an early 12-0 lead.
Coach Jerry Leonard's Spartans have been living on the bubble this year. In a 34-25 win over Northshore, the Spartans were penalized 24 times for 207 yards.
Stephen Whitehead saved the day with touchdown runs of 64 and 61 yards.
The Salmen defense, which returns only two starters from 2002, nearly cost the Spartans in a 37-27 win over Fontainebleau.
Whitehead again saved the day as he rushed for 299 of Salmen's 442 total yards. He scored four touchdowns to join the Al Bundy Club.
Salmen won Louisiana Class 4A state titles in 1994, 1995, and 2000. The Spartans were 10-2 last year, losing only to Chalmette and John Curtis.
76th renewal at Philly
Few rivalries in Mississippi have been played as frequently as Newton and Philadelphia as they meet for the 76th time tonight at Philadelphia's storied Harpole Stadium.
Philadelphia holds a 50-23-2 lead in the series which has been dormant the last two years.
The teams met twice in the World War II years of 1943 and 1944.
The Tornadoes have put up some big scores against the Tigers, winning 72-0 in 1926 and again in 1931, 60-6 in 1953, and 69-0 in 1976.
McCain aiming for milestone
West Lauderdale head coach Stan McCain is already in a select club at his school following last week's 31-14 win over Newton County.
That win upped his six-year record with the Knights to 31-30, leaving him tied with Joe Williford as the school's winningest head football coach. Williford was 31-21-2 from 1980-84.
West travels to Southeast Lauderdale, where Dwane Taylor is the Tigers' all-time winningest coach. Taylor, now in his 25th year as head man at Vimville, has a 107-141-1 record at Southeast.
Taylor is the only head coach to win 100 football games at a Lauderdale County school.
The Knights and Tigers are meeting for the 43rd time with West holding a slim 21-20-1 series lead after winning each of the last five years.
Only Mac Barnes, who has a 182-78-1 record in 20 seasons at Meridian and three at Lamar, and Jim Baxter, who went 108-32-12 at Meridian from 1928-41 and in an encore year in 1947, have won 100 games as a head coach at schools in the county.
Jud Gartman, who joined Lamar as an assistant coach this fall, won 181 games as head coach at West Lauderdale and Enterprise.
Academy Showdown
It won't get any bigger among area private schools than when Heidelberg Academy hosts Wayne Academy tonight. Both are unbeaten in league action.
In 32 previous meetings, Heidelberg has rocked Wayne's world 25 times with the Jaguars winning on seven occasions.
Trojan-Panther Edition No. 31
Northeast Lauderdale and Quitman tangle for the 31st time tonight at Northeast. The Trojans snapped a string of 11-straight Quitman wins by beating the Panthers 28-7 last year.