October 10, 2012 8:34:48 PM
Competing as an independent member of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools, Hebron Christian will not be eligible for postseason play in football this year.
Thus, the Eagles are getting ready for their own "Super Bowl" Friday night.
The undefeated Eagles take on Calhoun Academy in a battle between 8-0 powers.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Calhoun City.
"We are getting ready for our Super Bowl," Hebron Christian coach David Foster said. "Calhoun Academy is loaded. I think this is going to be a lot of fun."
Calhoun Academy, Hebron Christian and Russell Christian are the final three unbeatens in MAIS eight-man football.
Ironically, Calhoun closes the regular season with Russell Christian for the region championship next Friday night.
There will no be no playoff stakes on the line this Friday night. For the Eagles, though, this is still big.
"Our goal was to play 10 games and win them all," Foster said. "That is the best we can do. So every game is a playoff game to us.
"We knew at the beginning of the year this would be one of the biggest challenges to an undefeated season."
Hebron Christian improved to 8-0 with a 58-14 win over Flint Hill Christian last Friday night in Bessemer, Ala.
Quarterback Will-Corben Rogers ran for 151 yards and three touchdowns. In the air, Corben-Rogers also threw a touchdown pass to Austin Foster.
"We came out with a really strong start," Foster said. "That will be the key Friday night, too. We have only had one game where we were behind a lot (down 10 points to Kemper Academy).
"Starting strong and having good first quarters has been instrumental to our success."
Taylor Coggins and Collin Moore teamed up to lead the Eagles defense. Hebron Christian is allowing 12 points per game defensively.
"From a defensive standpoint, we have been really good," Foster said. "A lot of people think of eight-man football as being wide-open and high-scoring.
"We have done a great job of containing several teams with lots of speed."
Calhoun Academy improved to 8-0 with a 44-24 win over Briarfield Academy last Friday.
The Cougars have allowed only one touchdown or fewer in their other seven victories.
"They have some really great offensive players," Foster said. "The key will be who can covert drives and who can force turnovers."
Hebron Christian won last season's meeting, 24-6.
West Point (5-2, 3-0)
at Saltillo (5-2, 2-1)
West Point looks for its fourth straight Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 1 win Friday night when the Green Wave travels to Saltillo for a 7 p.m. start.
West Point stands two wins away from clinching a playoff berth. However, the Green Wave has their sites set on the region crown.
"Obviously, we are off to a good start but we really look at it as one game at a time," West Point coach Chris Chambless said. "Even though that is coach speak, you can't start thinking about winning this set of games or doing this or that. The first thing is a playoff bid and we are closing on that."
West Point won its third straight with last Friday's 42-0 region win over Clarksdale.
After a tough region opener against Lake Cormorant (a 23-17 win), West Point has responded with back-to-back wins by a combined score of 91-14.
"We had some tough losses early and I think that made us a tougher football team," West Point senior quarterback Tez Lane said. "We have kept working hard and fighting to get better. We have bigger goals than the region championship.
"However, we know that is the first step."
In the win over Clarksdale, West Point ran for 286 yards and threw for a season-high 166 yards.
Aeris Williams scored two touchdown.
"To be a force in November, we would like to have a little more balance," Chambless said. "We have come a long way from the beginning of the season."
After winning two games last season, Saltillo is enjoying a resurgence on the field this season. The Tigers can also enhance its postseason chances with a win Friday night.
Saltillo saw a five-game win streak snapped with last Friday's 21-20 region loss at Center Hill. The Tigers' other loss was to Itawamba AHS (17-7) in the season opener.
West Point won last season's meeting, 47-7.
New Site (0-5)
at Oak Hill Academy (3-5)
Oak Hill Academy will try to snap a three-game losing streak with Friday 7 p.m. non-region home game against New Site.
The Raiders had limited offensive highlights in last week's 42-0 loss at Heritage Academy.
Oak Hill has been outscored 132-15 during its losing streak.
The teams did not play last season.
Scott is sports copy editor and reporter