Meridian Star

Sports

October 17, 2013

Week 9 Lauderdale County previews

(Continued)

MERIDIAN —

Northeast relying on new offensive line in Week 9

    Last week's key win over Newton County, not only put Northeast Lauderdale in the playoff hunt but even on the season (4-4, 1-1).

    Trojan head coach Curt Blackburn is using the 37-28 win in Week 8 as a measuring stick for this week's trip to Forrest County. That being said, he's expecting an evenly matched game. The Aggies beat the Cougars by one-point in the district-play opener, while the Trojans got an 9-point victory.

    “That's just the nature of our district this year,” Blackburn said. “It's going to be close. It doesn't matter who's playing as long as both teams show up to play it's going to be a battle.

    In the win, Blackburn moved center Brendon Windham to guard and slid Justin White into center. He liked what he saw as the Trojan offensive line out-powered Newton County and hopes for some of the same this week.

    “I feel like the couple of changes we made last week helped us out in the line,” he said. “I feel like it put Brandon and Reginold [Hopson,] our two biggest kids, side-by-side … I'm proud they played the way they did. We might have been playing them out of position [before].”

    Earning a win this week would almost solidify a playoff seed Blackburn said, especially when looking forward to the final two weeks.

    “It would really be big for us,” he said.

Raiders hit the road again for tough matchup    

    Following a tough loss on the road to rival Simpson County last week, the Lamar School football team will look to bounce back this week as they travel to face Presbyterian Christian.

     This week, the Raiders will head into the contest a little banged up as they will be without Shane Blanton due to a concussion. Lamar head coach Mac Barnes said the senior will likely be done for the season as he as suffered previous concussions in the past.

    “You hate that,” Barnes said. “The boy fought back off an injury earlier this season. He’s feeling okay this week, but you can’t risk it because he’s some concussions in the past.”

    Lamar will also be without sophomore Chance Purvis after he was blocked below the waist last week resulting in a bruised thigh.

    Presbyterian offers a complex offense featuring more formations than the Raiders have seen from all their opponents combined. Instead of trying to defend each of the Bobcats offensive sets, Barnes said he will keep it simple and have his defense stick to its game.

    After putting up only 14 points last week Barnes said he made some adjustments to the Raiders’ offense switching up routes were he felt Lamar could improve.

    “Hopefully we will execute better on offense and have a little better production,” Barnes said. “If we can do that, we should have better production.”

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