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Starkville Academy earns redemption against Lamar School


By Amber Dodd, Special to The Dispatch



STARKVILLE -- A chance at redemption provided motivation for the Starkville Academy football team.  


The Lamar School's 40-0 victory against Starkville Academy last season ended the Volunteers' three-game winning streak to start the year and gave the players plenty to remember for the 2017 season. 


Led by quarterbacks Noah Methvin and Ben Owens, gained a sense of satisfaction with a 43-21 victory against Lamar School in the season opener for both teams. 


"We're glad to get this win (against) a well-coached Lamar team," Starkville Academy coach Chase Nicholson said. "We came out here not knowing, so to see our guys come out and execute the way they did makes us excited." 


With Methvin and Owens, a transfer from Starkville High School, and a seasoned group of receivers, the Volunteers could have a lot look forward to. The offense's success starts with Methvin and Owens, who both will see playing time and provide leadership and energy to a group that already appears to have strong chemistry. 


"They keep sharing like they're supposed to," Nicholson said. "We have two great quarterbacks who are ready to work. We preach leadership." 


Methvin, who also plays defensive back, led the first scoring drive and took care of things with a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Noah Methvin. 


Owens then showcased an ability to make plays with his arm and his legs. He scored on a 1-yard run and threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Brady  


Richardson in the fourth quarter. 


"He came in and did his thing," Methvin said of Owens. "I think it's beneficial for the team early in the year for me to play defense and Ben stay at quarterback. We scored 43 points together. Not much else you could ask for." 


Junior running back Nason Heflin added a 17-yard touchdown run. A 20-yard field goal by Cameron McKee gave the Volunteers a 24-14 halftime lead. 


Junior running back Taylor Arnold added a 45-yard touchdown. Junior linebacker Will Miller forced a fumble to set the stage for senior defensive end Kyle Faver to recover the football and go 40 yards for a touchdown. 


Having Methvin and Owens to fill the leadership role gives the Volunteers plenty of opportunities to utilize options like Brady and Reagan Richardson, Howell Archer, and Faver. 


"Once you get chemistry with your wide receivers, there's nothing like it," Owens said. "You're able to do so much more on the offense. It's really crucial to the offense." 


Owens trained with the Volunteers during the summer and participated in a handful of seven-on-seven passing camps, but Methvin feels Owens will continue to get more comfortable and will provide a dual-threat ability at quarterback. 


"I think it's more beneficial for the team early in this season," Methvin said. "Scoring 43 points on offense with someone who has only been here for a summer and two-a-days is pretty impressive." 


Despite scoring 43 points, Nicholson said there are plenty of things to improve on. He credited Lamar's J.T. McClelland and quarterback Joseph Hutchinson for their explosiveness. He also said the Volunteers need to get better tackling.  


"We've gotta get better," Nicholson said. "Lamar is such a great throwing team, but we're going to improve on our corners and prepare for the next game. They did an excellent job of finding holes and exposing some things." 


Starkville Academy will take on French Camp Academy next week. French Camp Academy used a late field goal to edge Winona Christian 36-34.  


"We're glad to take care of business," Nicholson said. "We got the film now and we can see what we need to work on. We know what we're capable of for the next game." 




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