West Alabama high school football teams will take a breather from regional play Friday night, but their opponents won't be strangers.
Good habits are passed down in successful programs. Whether it is on offense or on defense, players pick up tendencies and techniques from upperclassmen and learn to set a championship tempo.
Kasey Stanfield knows good things don't usually happen when hitters reach for pitches. But sometimes power can help a batter make up for swinging at a pitcher's pitch.
LOUISVILLE -- Big plays nearly proved to be too much for the Louisville High School football team to overcome. But the Wildcats used a key turnover in the fourth quarter and a strong running game to regain their focus and beat Columbus 36-28 Friday night.
CALEDONIA -- The New Hope High School football team rode a balanced offensive attack Friday night to a 40-0 win against Caledonia. New Hope quarterback Zak Thrasher completed 10 of 12 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown, and the Trojans rushed for 237 yards to bounce back from their home loss to Columbus.
Myres Virden rushed for 137 yards and four touchdowns Friday to lead the Madison-Ridgeland Academy football team to a 34-6 victory against Heritage Academy on what turned out to be a somber evening. News that 17-year-old Heritage Academy student Spencer Perkins, who shot himself earlier in the week in a hunting accident in Noxubee County, died Friday night in Jackson, spread throughout the field and left many in the Patriots' family shaken.
WEST POINT -- If the flags were legitimate, the Noxubee County football team had some of the best players on the West Point High team Friday night. In a 28-13 loss to the defending Class 5A state champions, Noxubee County was penalized 18 times for 111 yards. First-year head coach Tyrone Shorter stopped short of blaming the referees afterward and conceded his team needs to mature.
PHEBA -- You don't often see quarterbacks receiving punts or kicks. But Oak Hill Academy football coach Leroy Gregg doesn't have the same luxuries as most coaches in the state of Mississippi. But Gregg also doesn't have a player who is as versatile as Jeb Stevens.
STARKVILLE -- Records and final scores don't tell the whole story about the Starkville Academy football team. On Friday night, the winless Volunteers didn't back down against defending state champion Jackson Academy. Even though the final score -- 42-14 in favor of the Raiders -- didn't go their way, the Volunteers eliminated their opponent's big-play ability and kept the score within reach before a costly fumble late in third quarter.
ABERDEEN -- After starting the season with a disappointing loss to Class 6A Columbus, all is well with Aberdeen High School football coach Chris Duncan. The Bulldogs, who have outscored their last four opponents 219-24, dropped 61 points on outmanned Okolona here Friday in a 61-6 rout -- the third time this season they have topped the 60-point mark.
MABEN -- Ledrick Patterson and Demetrius O'Briant had more than 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns each Friday night to lead the unbeaten East Webster High School football team to a 53-15 victory against Bruce.
MILLBROOK, Ala. -- The Victory Christian football team extended unbeaten streak to 26 games Friday night thanks to four touchdowns from Ben Williams and three from Landon Ellis in a 44-7 victory against Victory Baptist (Ala.).
REFORM -- Senior quarterback Deion Curry threw for two touchdowns and ran for another one Friday night to lead the Pickens County High School football team to a 55-16 victory against John Essex.
PHEBA -- Chance Livingston rushed for 118 yards to lead three Oak Hill Academy players who eclipsed the 100-yard mark Friday night in a 46-12 victory against Hebron Christian.
Michael Bradley and the New Hope High School football team are looking for it. With nine returning starters and plenty of experienced players from last season's 11-win finish, Bradley knows the Trojans still have it in the locker room.
It will be gutcheck time from here on out for the Heritage Academy football team. Judging from last week, the Patriots just might be on the move toward the program's first winning season since 2005. To accomplish that goal, Heritage Academy (3-1) will look to capitalize on the momentum it earned last week in a victory against Lamar School at 7 tonight when it plays host to Madison-Ridgeland Academy (1-2).
One victory doesn't make a season. Tony Stanford hasn't had to preach that message this week because his Columbus High School football players haven't appeared to change following their first big victory of the 2010 season.
Another week. Another rivalry matchup for the West Point High School football team. Not that coach Chris Chambless minds, but coming off a heart-breaking 21-20 loss to Starkville High, he knows the importance of bouncing back at 7:30 tonight against Noxubee County (4-0). Chambless watched his team blow a 20-0 lead against the Yellow Jackets, turn the ball over three times in the second half, and commit four personal foul penalties in the loss. Carrying that lack of discipline into district play, which begins in a week, isn't ideal for a team looking to repeat as Class 5A state champions.
STARKVILLE -- Jeff Terrill can't wait for a handful of extra football players to appear at his office door. Neither can his Starkville Academy football players, most of whom have learned and played multiple positions in the Volunteers' 0-4 start this season.