Raiders, Rebels to clash on Friday
By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Aug. 28, 2003
Defending Class A state champion Heidelberg Academy will look to get its season back on track on Friday night when the squad travels to Meridian to take on the Lamar Raiders.
Other Friday night games include Northwest Rankin at Northeast Lauderdale and Southeast Lauderdale at Enterprise. West Lauderdale will host Clarkdale tonight.
Heidelberg (0-1) had a 12-game winning streak snapped last week when Columbia Academy notched a 20-7 win.
The Rebels, whose only loss last year came against Lamar, face another tough opponent in the Raiders.
Lamar head coach Mac Barnes said catching Heidelberg after a loss makes his job much tougher.
Lamar's shotgun offense will be the first test of Heidelberg's secondary. In last week's game, Columbia ran only one passing play against the Rebels.
Lewis said the Rebels will have to improve their performance on both sides of the ball.
Northwest Rankin at Northeast Lauderdale
Northeast Lauderdale will host 5A opponent Northwest Rankin to kick off the 2003 season on Friday.
Nelson, whose Trojans were 4-7 in 2002, said he expects the Cougars, 5-6 a year ago, to run the ball and to defend the run well.
With isolated thunderstorms predicted through the weekend, Nelson said he is hoping to get through Friday's game without any rain.
Whether the field is wet or dry, Nelson said his team will have to focus on avoiding first-game mistakes.
Southeast Lauderdale at Enterprise
The Southeast Lauderdale Tigers travel to Enterprise on Friday night to face the Bulldogs in a tough early-season matchup.
Enterprise head coach Joel Speed has been equally impressed with Southeast Lauderdale's size.
Both coaches said they are worried about making first-game mistakes, and coupled with that concern is the threat of rain. Speed said that may force him to become more conservative in his play calling.
Both teams are battling injuries. Southeast Lauderdale running back Kwamel O'Neal is recovering from a high ankle sprain and is questionable for Friday's game.
Enterprise defensive back Michael Verley broke his collarbone in a four-wheeler wreck on Tuesday and is out indefinitely.
Clarkdale at West Lauderdale
Gary Lee will coach his first game as head coach of the Clarkdale Bulldogs tonight as his team travels to Collinsville to face West Lauderdale.
The Knights will look to bounce back from a 3-7 record in 2002 against a Clarkdale team that went 7-4 last year. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.