Big game comes early for Knights, Cougars
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Sept. 27, 2001
It's just the second week of league play for members of Region 5-3A, but a key game looms on the horizon in Collinsville Friday night as West Lauderdale hosts Newton County. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
History rests with Newton County as the Cougars hold an 8-1 lead in the series following last year's 21-20 squeaker in Decatur. West's only win came in 1994.
The Knights, 3-1, opened region play last week with a 31-0 blanking of Heidelberg. The Cougars are making their debut in the seven-team region this week as they defeated Class 4A Neshoba Central 24-10 last week to improve to 4-0.
Newton County third-year head coach Jeff Breland doesn't expect anything less than an all-out battle with the Knights.
Breland hopes to have some of his players who were injured in the first two games back this week, but that isn't a certainty.
In last week's win at Neshoba, Terrance Patrick and Josh Avant both had 10 tackles and a sack to lead the Cougar defense. The Cougars have been shaky at times in defending the pass as both Newton and Morton had big plays in the passing game. The Cougars did step up last week in the fourth quarter, holding Neshoba to minus 11 yards on seven plays.
Leading the Cougar ground game is tailback Darryl Mapp with quarterback Brian McDonald turning in a major contribution to last week's rushing success.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com or call him at 693-1551 ext. 3234.