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Patrician hosts top-ranked SA

By By Jimmy Boone / EMG sports writer
Sept. 12, 2003
To be the best, you have to play the best. Several area teams find themselves playing highly-ranked opponents this week.
Patrician Academy will host Southern Academy on Friday night.
A year ago Southern Academy was the runner-up in the Class AA state playoffs.
While Southern Academy has lost 13 players off last year's team, the Cougars are still a formidable force.
In other AISA action, Sumter Academy will host Marengo Academy, while South Choctaw will host Escambia.
In AHSAA action, Southern Choctaw will travel to Bayside Academy, Sumter County will travel to Aliceville, Choctaw County will host UMS Wright, and Livingston will host Holt.
Patrician Academy (1-1) enters the game after a successful 26-14 win over Escambia Academy last week.
Patrician Academy head coach Jim Archibald said his team showed a lot of improvement last week.
The Saints lost their first game to Clarke-Prep 33-0.
"We definitely saw some improvement from the first game," Archibald said. "We hope that improvement will continue this week."
Archibald said that last year his team did not find success until the season was half over.
"We were 1-4 last year, and then won four of the last five and made the playoffs," Archibald said. "We hope we can find success earlier in the season this year."
At Escambia, Russell Cheatham ran for 127 yards against Escambia and scored three touchdowns. Bo Meeks scored the other on a 41-yard run.
Meeks however sustained a hand injury in the game and is doubtful for the game this week.
Archibald said that the key to the success of the running game has been the play of tackle Troy Shoemaker.
"Troy has shown a lot leadership on the line," Archibald said. "He has really improved this season and has keyed the running game by blocking for the runners."
Against Southern Academy, Patrician will face a team that has experience in playing in big games.
"Southern has a very good football team, and if we are not prepared, they will beat us," Archibald said. "We will have to get ready or else they will come in and wear us out."
The Patrician defense will be challenged by the running of Southern Academy running back Erik Montz, who has scored five touchdowns in two games, with all of them over 50 yards.
Against Lowndes, Montz carried the ball 29 times for 301 yards and scored three touchdowns.
Southern Academy lost to Pickens Academy 33-13 in the first game of the year, but rebounded to defeat Lowndes Academy 28-20 last week.
"We know that we cannot make any mistakes against them and we will have to take advantage of what they give us," Archibald said. "We will need to be able to throw the ball successfully so we are working hard with our quarterback and receivers to get ready."
UMS-Wright at Choctaw County
Choctaw County will also face a highly-touted opponent as it takes on UMS Wright.
Wright (2-0) is currently the top-ranked team in the Class 4A poll.
Choctaw County (1-1) claimed a win of the season last week defeating Hillcrest-Evergreen 18-12.
UMS Wright defeated Monroe County 49-13. Gerald Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Tigers last week. Johnson led the Wildcats with eight carries for 101 yards while Maurice Holcombe completed 7-of-11 attempts for 81 yards.
On the defensive side, Merrill Johnson also had 13 solo tackles
with eight assists.
For Choctaw County, the game will be a rare home appearance.
The game will be the only home game for Choctaw County until Oct. 10.
Marengo at Sumter Academy
Sumter Academy (1-1) also faces an imposing opponent in Marengo Academy.
Marengo (2-0) currently is third place in the AISA poll, and won the state championship last year.
"We look at this game as an opportunity," Sumter Academy head coach Ryan Poe said. "To be the best, you must play the best."
Last week, Sumter Academy had five fumbles as it fell to Wilcox Academy 54-14.
Poe feels like his team can learn from the loss to Wilcox.
"We made too many mistakes last week," Poe said. "If we can eliminate mistakes and get the game into the fourth quarter, we feel like we can do well," Poe said.
Marengo Academy (2-0) defeated Cottage Hill 38-6 last week.
"They have a real good line and come off the ball well," Poe said. "They will run the ball most of the time, but are not afraid to pass."
The Sumter Academy defense will be ready to meet the challenge.
Inside linebackers Al Derby and Andrew Poole are each averaging 13 tackles a game. Offensively, the Eagles are led by running back Chad Brian, who has 50 carries for 391 yards and four touchdowns in two games.
Escambia at S. Choc. Academy
The Rebels of South Choctaw hope to rebound against Escambia.
South Choctaw (1-1) is coming off a 19-7 loss to Jackson Academy. Escambia (0-2) lost to Patrician 26-14 last week.
"We played better than the score shows," South Choctaw head coach Charlie Taylor said of the loss to the top-ranked Class A team in the AISA. "We had a lot of success offensively, and were very successful passing the ball."
Rob Dahlberg passed for over 167 yards with a touchdown against Jackson Academy.
His top target was Josh Adams, who had four receptions for 107 yards and a