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Knights host Cougars, again

By Staff
GIVING CHASE West Lauderdale's Tommy Hodges (11) closes in for a tackle in a game earlier this season. He will be leading the Knights on Friday night as they attempt to knock off the undefeated Cougars of Newton County High School. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Nov. 15, 2001
Much like that old Herman's Hermits' song I'm Henry the VIII I Am,' Newton County folks hope the second verse is the same as the first when they play West Lauderdale in the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs Friday night.
For Knight fans, their hope is for an entirely different ending in the highly-anticipated rematch.
Kickoff in Collinsville is set for 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $7 at the gate and $5 in advance.
Newton County defeated West 27-9 at Collinsville on Sept. 28 en route to an 11-0 season. The Cougars hold a 9-1 advantage in the series.
It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, are made from the first meeting.
The game will feature two of the state's top kickers in Will Moseley for West and David McConnell for the Cougars. Moseley has a 50-yard field goal to his credit, while McConnell has connected from 53 yards. Few of their kickoffs are returned.
The Cougars will have a different quarterback this time as freshman Colby Amis replaced senior Brian McDonald in the Southeast Lauderdale game and the Cougars haven't missed a beat.
Also on hand for the Cougars after missing the first meeting is fullback Kendrick Windham.
Mapp has 213 carries for 1,397 yards and 22 touchdowns. Windham has 102 carries for 685 yards and nine touchdowns despite missing much of the season with a shoulder injury.
West, 7-4, has its own showcase back in junior Carlessio Blanks, who has rushed for over 900 yards in just the last three games and has 1,971 yards and 26 touchdowns on 249 carries for the year. He scored six touchdowns in last week's 55-22 rout at Forest.
The Cougars defeated Morton 34-6 last week in first-round action.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at or call him at 693-1551, ext. 3235.