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Columbus defense answering the challenge


Scott Walters


Columbus High School football coach Tony Stanford has had reasons to be worried as the Falcons have played inconsistent football, despite a 4-1 start. 


Those concerns have not included the Falcons defense. 


Columbus is allowing less than eight points per game this season. The Falcons will need that type of defensive effort again Friday night when Columbus plays host to Southaven in a critical Region 1-6A matchup. 


"We always like to have shutouts," Columbus senior linebacker Quan Latham said. "We have played real hard this season. West Point capitalized on some of our mistakes and that is why we lost that game. We have a lot of things to work on, but we are just getting warmed up." 


Columbus recorded its second shutout of the season with Friday night's 14-0 win over Tupelo. Earlier in the season, the Falcons shut out Aberdeen, 21-0. 


"Defensively, we have been great all season," Stanford said. "Offensively, we have to make some strides. We have to become more consistent and we have to do a better job of finishing drives." 


A year ago, Columbus finished 4-3 in region play but failed to make the playoffs. One of the region losses last season was a 35-7 setback to Southaven. The other region losses came to South Panola and Olive Branch. 


This season, Southaven is 3-2 overall, 0-1 in region play. The Chargers lost 31-28 to Olive Branch Friday night. 


"Winning the first region game on the road is really big for this team," said Columbus junior quarterback Trace Lee, who threw for 200 yards against Tupelo. "However, we can't stop there. Southaven is the next game and it would really be big to be 2-0 in region play."



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