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Bitter loss still bothers Trojans

By By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Oct. 4, 2001
Northeast Lauderdale Head Coach Andy Stevens has been in a foul-mood all week. Dropping region games on a last-second "Hail Mary" pass will do that.
West Jones tossed a game-winning 55-yard touchdown pass as time expired to beat the Trojans 9-8 last week at Northeast. The loss was the Trojans second straight in Region 5-4A play.
Florence comes into the contest with a 3-2 record and a 1-1 mark in region play. The Eagles are averaging 22.8 points per game while allowing 16.2.
Florence advanced to the second round of the Class 4A playoffs last season with an 11-2 record. They were beaten by Cleveland 62-12 in the second round.
The Eagles feature one of the state's top running backs in Cory Jones. The senior ran a 4.45 time in the 40-yard dash at the LSU summer camp.
In order for the Trojans to contain Jones and end their recent tailspin, the team must become mentally tougher.
You know, we're only seven points away from being 5-0. I think the kids will show a different attitude this week," he said.
Northeast will also need to avoid the simple mistakes they made that cost them the West Jones game.
Even more puzzling for the Trojans staff was that no one was near the West Jones receiver when he caught the pass. He had an easy 10-yard stroll into the endzone.
One hindrance was the absence of place-kicker Jay Jacobs. Jacobs has not played since the West Lauderdale game because of a knee sprain.
Further bad news came after the West Jones game. Fullback and the team's leading rusher in Marcus Betts broke a rib while also hurting his collarbone. He is expected to be out two weeks.
Tyrone Ivy and Ed Pearce will step up to take Betts' place. Pearce had a two-point conversion run against West Jones.
Quarterback Steven Dyess leads the offense along with tailback Kelvin Horne who scored on a two-yard TD run.
Jeff Byrd is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551 or by e-mail