Lake, Scott Central ready for big district, county showdownBy ROBBIE ROBERTSON,
One of Scott County’s best rivalries will take place on Thursday night when undefeated Scott Central travels to Lake to take on the one-loss Hornets.
The Rebels enter the game 8-0 and 2-0 in Division 4-2A and have outscored opponents 427-53 this year, including five shutouts. Last week, they beat Union 64-0.
“They are really good and have lots of athletes,” Lake coach Tate Hanna said. “Their defense is really good and they run to the ball and hit you. Their quarterback is a really good athlete and the whole offense bases around him. They keep the ball in his hands. If he gets one step, he is going to beat you. We have to be really sound on defense. If we get a chance to hit him, we have to bring him down. We are coming off a bye week and it’s a short week so we hope that will play to our advantage.”
Hanna said he knows his team will have to play well and has to take advantage of their opportunities.
“We were banged up and still have some kids out but we have to take advantage of our opportunities. We have to do a good job with clock management and we can’t give them any cheap scores. They are probably averaging 14 points a game on defense and scored 21 points on defense against Union. They walk everybody down and we have to do a good job of picking up their stunts. We have to block our game and stay on track.”
Newton at Bay Springs
The Tigers will have another stiff test this week as they travel to Bay Springs to take on the defending 2A South State champions.
The Bulldogs are 4-4 on the season after losing a host of seniors but have played a rigorous schedule this season. They have wins over Stringer (41-8), Morton (20-14 OT), Quitman (38-26) and Clarkdale (24-14). Their losses have been to Philadelphia (44-25), West Jones (8-7), Northeast Jones (27-21) and Taylorsville (42-20).
“They are a wing-T team and have gotten better and better every week,” Newton coach Ryan Smith said. “They have done a good job with his young kids after playing for state last year. I think they have done a good job of developing their kids. It’s just a contrast in styles. They have to stop what we do and we have to stop what they do. You don’t feel good after a loss but we played with a lot of effort. We just need to get back on track and get a win. It’s a short week and fall break for us so we have a lot going on this week.”
Philadelphia at Union
After suffering a 64-0 loss to Scott Central, things don’t get any easier for Union when they host top-ranked Philadelphia on Thursday night.
The Tornadoes are 8-0 on the season and coming off a 36-22 win over Newton on Friday night and are 2-0 in division play. Philadelphia was 7-4 in Class 3A last year and brought back 19 starters this season.
“They are the No. 1 team in the state so it doesn’t get any easier for us,” Union coach Brad Breland said. “I haven’t seen them on film but I know they are good. I know Teddy (Dyess) does a good job with them. It will be a tough challenge for our kids. We will just keep plugging along.”
The Tornadoes are averaging 457 yards a game on offense and are led by senior running back Cortney Smith, who has 1,060 yards on 131 carries and 15 touchdowns.
Benton at NCA
The Generals have a big week in front of them as they host homecoming festivities this week and also host Benton Academy with a district championship on the line.
Benton is 2-7 on the season with wins over Delta Streets (40-0) and Ben’s Ford (37-20).
“We are both undefeated and basically playing for the district championship,” NCA coach Rob Roberts said. “If we get this one, we win the district and host a first-round playoff game. So we still have that in front of us and just need to go out and play well this week.”
Newton County at Northeast Lauderdale
The Cougars will hit the road this week as they travel to Northeast Lauderdale to take on the 5-3 Trojans.
“Northeast is playing as good as anyone in our division right now,” Newton County coach Gene Mitchell said. “They have big, great athletes at the skill positions. They have three good running backs, any of which can go the distance if you don't tackle and keep them in front of you. Better tackling and offensive execution are keys to our success this week.”
Northeast is 1-1 in division 5-4A play and coming off a 48-23 loss to Mendenhall last week. They own a 39-36 division win over Northeast Jones. Their other losses have come to MAIS powers Lamar and Jackson Academy. They have wins over Kemper County (35-34), Enterprise (47-14), Southeast Lauderdale (14-7) and Neshoba Central (28-14).