Southeast, Northeast battle for first victory
POUNDING OUT YARDS Northeast Lauderdale's Dontray Walker continues to try to pick up yards with a Northwest Rankin defender on his back. The Trojans are looking for their first win of 2003 against Southeast Lauderdale on Friday. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Sept. 4, 2003
County rivals Southeast Lauderdale and Northeast Lauderdale will square off on Friday night in search of local bragging rights and the season's first win.
Other Friday matchups include West Lauderdale at Philadelphia and Lamar at Jackson Prep. Clarkdale travels to Enterprise tonight.
Both Southeast Lauderdale and Northeast Lauderdale began the week 0-1 following sloppy losses in their season openers. The Tigers had three fumbles in a 25-13 loss to Enterprise last Friday, and the Trojans were doomed by offensive inconsistency and poor field position in a 23-0 loss to Northwest Rankin.
Northeast Lauderdale's offense will work primarily out of the shotgun formation. The Trojans ran counters and traps successfully at times against Northwest Rankin last week, but head coach Steve Nelson said his offensive line must hold their blocks longer this week.
Taylor said his defense will have little room for error against Northeast Lauderdale's speedy quarterback, sophomore Maurice Langston.
Bragging rights aside, Nelson said Friday's game may be one of the most important dates on their schedule.
Taylor agrees, and said the momentum from a win could carry through the rest of the season.
Lamar at Jackson Prep
After two impressive victories to begin the season, the Lamar Raiders will find out how good they really are when they take on perennial Mississippi Private Schools Association powerhouse Jackson Prep in Flowood on Friday.
Lamar is 2-0 after wins over Wayne Academy and defending Class A state champion Heidelberg Academy. Raiders head coach Mac Barnes said the game against the Patriots may be the toughest game his team faces all year.
Jackson Prep is the largest school in the MPSA and has more than 60 players on its roster. Despite the obvious challenge, Barnes said he expects his team to do more than simply show up.
The Patriots present problems for Lamar on both sides of the ball, according to Barnes.
Barnes said he has made a point to keep his team from getting too excited about facing the Patriots.
West Lauderdale at Philadelphia
West Lauderdale hopes to continue its impressive rushing attack on Friday when they visit the Philadelphia Tornadoes.
The Knights are 1-0 after defeating Clarkdale 19-7 last Thursday. The win was highlighted by their running game, which piled up 268 rushing yards. Scott Truesdale led the way for West Lauderdale with 97 yards, and Dameon Baylor added 68 yards.
Philadelphia is also 1-0 after a 21-15 win over Choctaw Central, but its victory was less impressive. The Tornadoes' offense gained only 178 yards. One of their few bright spots was running back Desmond Murray, who gained 98 yards on only 14 carries. Philadelphia took advantage of Choctaw Central miscues and staved off a Warriors' scoring threat in the closing seconds.
Despite Philadelphia's miscues on offense last week, Knights head coach Stan McCain said his defense is focused on stopping a potentially dangerous running game.
That defensive line will be the focus of much of McCain's concentration as he tries to improve West Lauderdale's play inside the 20-yard line.
Enterprise at Clarkdale
Clarkdale will try to bounce back from a 19-7 loss in its season opener when the team host the Enterprise Bulldogs tonight.
Clarkdale's defense gave up over 250 rushing yards last week to West Lauderdale. Their job gets no easier against Enterprise. Last week, Enterprise piled up over 200 yards on the ground against Southeast Lauderdale.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.