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Trojans welcome Tigers

By By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Oct. 11, 2001
Two teams that got off to strong starts but who are now in admist of a rough patch meet up on Friday night at Northeast Lauderdale.
The Trojans will welcome the Northeast Jones Tigers for the Region 5-4A encounter at Trojan Field. Northeast has dropped three straight region games since starting the season 3-0.
Northeast Jones broke out to a 4-0 start and earned a No. 17 ranking in the Associated Press Top 20 prep poll. Since then, the Tigers have lost two straight and 4-2 on the season.
One of the losses was a non-region contest against Collins 42-23. Last week, the Tigers fell to Mendenhall 19-13 in a Region 3-5A game. That evened Northeast Jones' region record at 1-1 and puts them in fourth place in the seven-league.
On the otherhand, all three of the Trojans' losses have come inside the region. This includes last week's 16-8 loss to Florence.
The Tigers used a potent running game to win four straight. The streak including wins over 2A power Bay Springs 22-18, 5A Petal 14-6, and Florence 20-12.
Northeast Jones is led by senior running back Daniel Rustin who has rushed for over 100 yards in all six games. He had 146 yards on 27 carries in last week's game with Mendenhall. He has over 700 yards on the season and is best effort was a 152-yard game against Bay Springs.
They run pretty much the same stuff we do," Stevens said. "They have a good offensive line, good quarterback and a good back in Rustin."
The Trojans' coaching staff is now hoping the team will keep its spirit up after suffering three straight losses.
The Trojans have made a rotation change at quarterback bringing in sophomore Rod Smith. Smith scored the team's lone touchdown at Florence.
The Trojans, however, will again be without fullback Marcus Betts who had been the team's top rusher in its first three games. At tailback, the Trojans are giving more time to Curtis Harrison and Lavoris Porter.
On defense, Northeast may be without defensive end Brad Sears. Sears hurt his shoulder at Florence. The unit continues to be led by linebackers Robert Carlisle and Tyrone Ivy. Calvin Scott heads the secondary.