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Rockets looking for Ray of hope Friday against Quitman

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Aug. 29, 2002
Neshoba Central and Quitman were at opposite ends of the spectrum when the 2001 football season ended.
The Quitman Panthers were 9-3 and made the state playoffs for the first time in school history. The Rockets of Neshoba were 2-8 for their worst year since the 1981 squad finished 1-8-1.
Yet when the two met in the 2001 season opener, Quitman managed to win by only a slim 15-10 margin.
That loss eventually snowballed into the nightmare year for the Rockets.
The Rockets have almost entirely different personnel on offense.
The Panthers have a new head coach this fall as James Holloman takes over for Charles Faulkner. Holloman remembers last fall's squeaker with the Rockets.
Kosciusko at Philadelphia
The Tornadoes begin Marcus Wood's second fall as head coach at Philadelphia at Harpole Stadium when they host a Kosciusko team that finished 6-5 a year ago.
Philadelphia has 14 starters returning from last year's 7-5 team with eight players back on offense. Leading the Tornadoes are quarterback Tyler Threadgill, tight end Cameron Tawater, running back Daniel Puckett, and wide receivers Orie Hudson and Tyler Rounsaville.
Top returnees on defense are Tawater at end, Puckett and Alan Fox on the line, and Matt Corrigan at linebacker.
Kosciusko holds a 35-26-1 lead in the series which began in 1925 with a 74-0 Tornado victory. The Tornadoes held a 20-11-1 advantage through 1965, but the Whippets took the upper hand with 13 consecutive wins from 1966-79.
Kosciusko won last year's game 27-0.
Ackerman at Choctaw Central
The Warriors certainly didn't go looking for cupcakes to start their season as the Indians are the defending Class 2A state champions.
Ackerman is picked to finish third behind Eupora and Ruleville Central in 2002, but several insist this year's team is better than the 2001 Indians' squad.
Leading the Warriors are quarterback Anselm Henry, tailbacks Geno Mack, Elliot Dan, Randall Hickman, and Willie Hernandez, and wide receiver Kyle Thompson.
Ackerman holds a 9-1 lead in the series following last year's 31-0 win. Choctaw Central's lone win was a 26-14 victory in 1995.
Leake Academy at Indianola Academy
Coming off last week's 40-12 lashing of Newton County Academy, the Rebels head to the Delta to take on the AAA Colonels of coach Chad Huff. Indianola, 8-3 last fall, did not play last week.
The two did not play in 2001. The Colonels hold a 4-0 lead in the series. The two haven't met since a 28-0 Indianola win in 1991.
Nanih Waiya
at Kemper County
Undray Scott's Wildcats will be out to atone for last year's 21-0 blanking from the Warriors with they open their season Friday at DeKalb.
Kemper Academy at Rebul Academy
With Rebul only recently coming up with enough players to have an 11-man team, the Kemper Rams should be in position to pick up their first win after a 6-2 loss to Hebron Christian last week.
The game will be played at Learned. The two did not meet in 2001.