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Cougars, Rockets to meet for first time

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Sept. 20, 2001
As surprising as it may seem, Neshoba Central and Newton County have never faced each other in football, despite their close proximity. At least not as far as anything beyond a preseason jamboree is concerned.
That situation will change when they clash Friday at Philadelphia. Kickoff at Rocket Field is set for 7:30 p.m.
Newton County comes in with a 3-0 mark after last week's 31-14 pounding of Morton. Neshoba Central fell to 1-2 with an 18-14 last-minute loss to Philadelphia.
Leading Neshoba's ground game are Gavin Grady with 41 carries for 185 yards and Luke Smith with 41 carries for 175 yards. Rocket quarterback Josh Palmer is 3-of-8 passing for 27 yards through three games.
The Cougars are also primarily a ground team with tailback Darryl Mapp and fullback Derek Mapp leading the way with starting fullback Kendrick Windham still out with a dislocated shoulder. Senior quarterback Brian McDonald runs the offense.
Darryl Mapp had 18 carries for 136 yards against Morton.
Defensively, Richard Croft and Terrance Patrick both had 10 tackles last week with Adam Bout getting nine and Mark Walker getting eight. Josh Avant had eight tackles and two sacks.
Cougar punter/kicker David McConnell averaged 43 yards on four punts. He also booted a 49-yard field goal.
The Rockets also have a good kicker in Scott Shurden, who has 36 career field goals.
Philadelphia at Choctaw Central
The Tornadoes can lay claim to the unofficial Neshoba County championship with a win at Choctaw Central tonight after beating Neshoba Central last week.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The contest was moved up a day due to Friday being a Native American holiday.
Philadelphia, 2-1, scored a late 18-14 win over Neshoba Central last week, while the Warriors, also 2-1, staged a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat Cherokee, N.C., 15-9.
Giovann Dixon led the Warriors against Cherokee with 102 yards on 22 carries. For the year, he has run for 228 yards on 42 carries.
Leading the Tornadoes is running back Kenshay Hunter with 253 yards on 32 carries and quarterback Tyler Threadgill, who has completed 8-of-21 passes for 115 yards. Threadgill had a 98-yard kickoff return against Neshoba.
Philadelphia holds an 8-3 lead in the series following last year's 30-13 Tornado victory.
Forest at Newton
Newton looks to return to the win column when the Tigers host winless Forest, 0-3, Friday night at E.L. Morgan Field.
Newton, 1-2, opened its season with a win over Lake before falling to Newton County, the No. 2 team in Class 3A, and Ackerman, the No. 1 team in Class 2A, the past two weeks.
Forest has lost convincingly to Newton County, Neshoba Central, and Florence.
One of Newton's highlights against Ackerman was punter Lucas Poole, who averaged 45.6 yards on five kicks.
Noxapater at Nanih Waiya
Winston County's smaller schools settle their annual backyard brawl Friday at Nanih Waiya.
Ken McMullan's Warriors come into the contest with a 2-1 record, while Ricky Kendrick's Tigers of Noxapater are 0-3. However, Noxapater has played a pretty stout trio in Weir, Philadelphia, and Puckett.
Wayne Academy at Newton County Aca.
The Generals dropped to 0-3 with Saturday's 30-0 loss at East Rankin and now they face Wayne and Heidelberg in back-to-back weeks.
Against ERA, Willie Bounds, Chris Vance, Dustin McGowen, and Marcus Smith all recorded double-digits in tackles for the Generals.
Wayne holds a commanding 25-4 lead in the series. NCA's last win over the Jaguars was in 1993.
Sylva-Bay at Kemper Academy
The Kemper Academy Rams look ahead to Friday night as a chance to jump into the academy 3A division with a win.
Sylva-Bay is the first division game on the Rams schedule. The 3A division contains such powerhouses as Wayne Academy, and defending state champs Heidelberg Academy.
Sylva-Bay may not be the strongest team in the division, but they will certainly give the Rams a run for their money.
First year Rams head coach Gary Lee has done a good job of rebuilding a team that lost a lot of senior.
The Rams won their season opener against Calhoun Academy 8-6, but lost their second game 32-7 versus University Christian.
Kemper County at Bay Springs
The Kemper County Wildcats led by head coach Undray Scott currently stand at 0-3.
The Wildcats better get it in gear Friday night at Bay Springs otherwise this may be a repeat of last year's 0-10 record.
The Cats lost 38-6 last week at the hands of Enterprise.
Some good news for the Cats is that they have yet to play a district game.
Later in the season they will have to face such district competition as Clarkdale, Scott Central and Newton. The Cats could still make the playoffs as long as they win their district games.
This week's game should be an accurate forecast for the Cats. It's do or die time.
In other North area games Friday, Union (0-3) hosts Thomastown (0-3), Central Academy (0-3) hosts Heidelberg Academy (2-1), Lake (2-1) is at Pelahatchie (2-0), Leake Academy (1-2) hosts East Rankin (2-1), Louisville (0-3) goes to Aberdeen (1-2), Noxubee County (2-1) opens Region 2-4A play at Kosciusko (2-1), Scott Central (1-2) hosts Morton (1-2), Sebastopol (2-1) is at Pisgah (0-2), and defending Academy AA state champion Winston Academy (2-1) is at Benton Academy (2-1).