D'Iberville Wins State 4A Title

Carlton Cotten wanted the ball in his hands and D'Iberville is glad he got it. Cotten ran for 232 yards and three touchdowns as D'Iberville captured its first state title in a 33-7 win Saturday over West Point in the MHSAA Class 4A championship game. ``Coach told me that he was going to give me the ball,'' said Cotton, who had only 86 yards after the first three quarters. ``He told me, he wanted to see how much heart that I had. I wanted the game to be on my shoulders.'' Cotten scored all three touchdowns in the fourth quarter as D'Iberville (13-1) denied West Point (12-3) its fourth state title. Cotton had TD runs of 6, 53, and 4 yards. D'Iberville took a 3-0 halftime lead on a 40-yard field goal by Darren McCaleb late in the second quarter. That was as close as the game would get. ``We didn't play well at all,'' said West Point coach Dennis Allen. ``Our defense dictates how our offense plays and today, it just wasn't there for us. I guess it would be appropriate to say that we struggled.'' McCaleb added a 42-yard field goal late in the third quarter to increase D'Iberville's lead to 13-0. David Webber threw an 85-yard touchdown to Cliff Bailey in the fourth quarter for West Point's only score. West Point won consecutive 4A championships in 1987-88 and a 5A title in 1989. ``We were the more physical team,'' said D'Iberville coach Louis Smith. ``Carlton is a very strong, speedy runner. He wanted the ball and we gave it to him.''