Jackets close to major turnaround
By By Marty Stamper and Josh Taylor/The Meridian Star
Oct. 11, 2001
In his first year as head football coach at Union, Brad Breland has gotten the Yellow Jackets on the verge of respectability.
The Jackets are 2-2 in Region 6-1A with the losses coming to Lake and fifth-ranked Pelahatchie. Both of those one-point losses were played on the road. The league wins have been over doormat Thomastown (32-6) and a Sebastopol team (28-6) that had beaten Union two years in a row.
Union is 2-4 overall with non-region losses to 2A Enterprise and 3A West Lauderdale.
The Jackets were 3-19 the last two seasons with two of those wins coming against Clarkdale and the other against Edinburg.
Developing a winning attitude has been Breland's biggest chore.
The Jackets begin what Breland hopes will be a four-game win streak that would wrap up the school's first-ever playoff berth when they host Edinburg, 2-4, Friday night. Following the Eagles are Noxapater, 1-5; Nanih Waiya 5-1; and Pisgah, 1-4.
Newton County at
The unbeaten Cougars carry a 6-0 overall record and a 2-0 Region 5-3A mark to their contest at Southeast Lauderdale. The Tigers are 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the region after last week's open date.
In last week's 50-12 win over Choctaw Central, Newton County's Darryl Mapp rushed 14 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns. Brian McDonald ran eight times for 69 yards and completed 2-of-4 passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns.
Leading the Cougar defense were Richard Croft with 10 tackles; Derek Mapp, Michael Johnson, and Dexter McCune with eight tackles apiece; and Josh Avant with seven tackles and a fumble recovery.
The Region 5-3A leading Tornadoes look to keep their lofty perch when they go to Heidelberg.
Philadelphia is coming off a 39-32 win over West Lauderdale, a game in which senior running back Kenshay Hunter rushed for 318 yards on 17 carries. He had 306 yards through the first three periods.
The Tornadoes are 5-1 overall and 3-0 in 5-3A, a half-game ahead of undefeated Newton County.
Heidelberg, a 7-6 loser to Carthage last week, is 0-6 overall and 0-3 in 5-3A.
at Noxubee County
The Rockets of Neshoba have struggled to a 1-5 start and now they have to travel to Macon to take on a 5-1 Noxubee County team that stunned Louisville 21-19 last week to assume the top position in Region 2-4A.
The Rockets lost 33-7 last week at home to West Point. Gavin Grady led Neshoba with 57 yards on 14 carries with Luke Smith picking up 43 yards on four rushes. Josh Palmer completed 3-of-9 passes for 27 yards.
at Kemper County
Kemper County continues to struggle after a 28-0 loss last week to Scott Central. Their overall record is now 0-6. The good news is they are only 0-1 in district 5-2A play.
The Wildcats of Kemper County have a realistic shot at snapping their 29-game losing streak when they host a winless Williams-Sullivan squad that lost 46-0 to Newton last week.
Both teams are 0-6. Kemper has scored only six points for the season, while Williams-Sullivan is allowing 40 points per game.
Kemper's biggest problem all year has been the little mistakes that can kill a team.
Kemper County still has a legitimate shot at the playoffs, but they're not thinking that far ahead yet.
Kemper Academy at
After a close 34-28 loss last week to Hebron the Kemper Academy Rams get ready for a 3-A district road trip to Heidelberg Academy Friday night.
The Rams stand at 1-5 overall for the year as they continue to struggle with having a young team.
Coach Lee has taken into account his teams youth. "We've completely changed our offense," said Lee. We've simplified it."
Despite having only one win the Rams keep on charging. "The kids have good attitudes," said Lee. "I'm feeling positive about our teams progression."
In games involving other North area teams on Friday, Choctaw Central (3-3) travels to Carthage (4-2) in a Region 5-3A matchup. Winston Academy (5-1) travels to Carroll Academy (4-2). Sebastopol (4-2) visits Pelahatchie (4-1). Scott Central (2-4) goes to South Leake (4-2) in a Region 5-2A matchup.
Also in 3-1A, Lake (3-3) comes off Monday's 34-20 win at Noxapater to host Thomastown (0-6). Newton County Academy (0-6) looks for its first win when the Generals host Union Academy (1-5) of Georgetown. Newton (4-2) hosts Clarkdale (2-4). Louisville (2-4) hosts New Hope (3-3) in Region 2-4A, while Leake Academy (3-3) plays host to Prentiss Christian (2-4) in Academy 3-AA. Central Academy (0-6) travels to Hebron (6-0). Forest (1-5) goes to Collins (4-2) in a Region 6-3A game.