STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Fans can expect a game with the potential of many points scored as Starkville Academy travels to Senatobia Friday night to face Magnolia Heights.
"They put up 75 points last week," Volunteers coach Jeff Terrill said. "They are a very experienced and large football team. They have great size so they are a very physical bunch. Of course, they played for the Division II State championship last year and put us out of the playoffs, so we are both very familiar with each other. They have a really good team this year and are picked to win the North."
To combat the high scoring Magnolia Heights offense, Starkville Academy will be looking toward strong defensive athletes like Drew Harrell, Kirby Cox and Tripp Janssen.
"They are a catalyst to get us started," Terrill said. "They give great effort. They are playing good defensive football by not just running to the ball, but they understand the scheme. One hat has to fit with the other hat or it doesn't work so they do a good job of leadership."
The defense is more than ready to compete, but flip over to the other side and Houston Clark is prepared to step up as an offensive leader.
"Everybody is watching him mature himself," Terrill said. "He had a really good game last Friday night. He made a lot of good decisions and has some good plays."
Joining Clark in the offensive battle will be O'Shea Kemp, Grant Wolfe and Noah Heflin, who Terrill says are improving with every game.
"Like the quarterback, they are getting better," Terrill said. "It is getting to where it is not just a mister inside or a mister outside.
"One of the biggest improvements is Noah Hefllin. I know he can really run the ball, but last Friday night, he really blocked well on the perimeter and that made a lot open up."
With the players ready to compete, Terrill is hoping the things learned throughout the first few weeks will be applied tonight.
"We hope to compete at a higher level," Terrill said. "We have learned some lessons and we have hung in there. We think football, regardless of who it is. The first thing you do is protect that football and don't turn it over. (It) will be all about playing good defense and limiting some of that massive scoring they are doing."
Information from: Starkville Daily News, http://www.starkvilledailynews.com/