With two weeks left in the regular season, the Kemper County football team is gearing up for the biggest match up to date. Welcoming Louisville to DeKalb isn't just loaded because of the visiting Wildcats' strength, record and potentional, but a year ago Kemper head coach Chris Jones would have been riding the bus to this game.
Jones is excited. He knows Louisville inside and out, and said that if they are going to get beat this season, his knowledge of the program and the guys he use to coach could be the tools to do it.
"I would love for us to upset Louisville," Jones said. "With them being ranked No. 7 in the state and predicted to win the state championship and all, I would love to upset those guys … They are human, they make mistakes. We gotta capitalize on their mistakes to have a chance."
Headed into the match up, Kemper is 7-2, 2-1. They've already matched a program-most seven wins, but to push it, will need another big game from the same combo of guys he's called on all season – Kelvin Bourrage, DJ Clayton, Otis Cross and Devontae Vickers.
"If anyone can beat them, right now I think we can from me knowing [Louisville,]" Jones said.
Rams look to build off big win
With a district loss under their belts and their backs against the wall the Kemper Academy Rams needed to respond — and boy did they ever.
Kemper Academy blew out Calhoun Academy in Week 9, 68-14, to take possession of second place in the Mississippi Association of Independent School’s District 7-A.
“We played over our heads,” KA head coach Pete McClesky said. “We knew we were backed up against the wall. If we didn’t beat Calhoun, we weren’t going to go to the playoffs. I think the kids were fired up when they came out.”
Quarterback Dustin Davis was a perfect 18-for-18 on the night passing while. Cole Thomas ended the night with 175 receiving yards and four touchdowns in the air, while Tyler Jowers took the ball 10 times for 100 yards.
McClesky said the win should provide the confidence his team needs going forward. However, he was quick to note that the Rams have little room for error here on out and will have to take each opponent seriously.
This week Kemper Academy (5-3, 2-1) will travel to Strider Academy (1-7, 0-4). With only two teams advancing to the playoffs McClesky said his team will treat the matchup as a playoff game.
“We are going to have to play ball,” McClesky said. “They are not that bad of a ball club.”