Meridian Star

Sports

September 4, 2013

Area Football Previews 9/5

(Continued)

MERIDIAN —

Panthers better than their

0-2 record indicates

    Quitman's record might read 0-2, but don't mistake the Panthers for just any winless team.    

    After taking on 5A Laurel in Week 1 and 6A Meridian in Week 2, Quitman will once again face a steep challenge as they head to 5A Wayne County Friday night.

    “We schedule a tough schedule, but we were trying to think past the first three weeks,” Quitman head coach Steven Bynum said. “We are hoping it will help us later with a deep playoff run. These three games, against teams with a lot of talent that can do multiple things, will help us prepare for later.”

    Last week, the Panthers almost upset Meridian, taking the Wildcats deep into the fourth quarter before eventually falling 29-22.

    Despite the loss, Bynum feels the matchup against Meridian helped his team beyond the field, adding comradery to the Panther clubhouse.

    “I thought our group really came together as a team,” Bynum said. “They kind of got rid of a little individualism in that ballgame and came together as a team. I think it was good for them.”

    Both teams will be in search of their first win, as Wayne County fell to Oak Grove 45-14 last week.

 

Tigers take on rival Oilers

in search of first win   

    Newton High School won't be taking rival Heidelberg lightly heading into its game against the Oilers Friday night. Both teams are coming off of shutout losses, as Heidelberg fell 42-0 at Collins, while Newton lost 27-0 at home to Raleigh.

    Turnovers have been key to both teams as well, as both teams have had trouble holding on to the ball at times.

    “It's been turnovers,” Newton head coach Chris Gale said. “Our problem has definitely been turning over the ball. I think it is a lack of focus. It's hard though, because you can't exactly pin point what it is. The only thing I know is we have to get it fixed.

    “We are harping on it in practice, we are drilling it extra. But, again, it is going to come down to everybody stepping up and putting us in position to make plays.”

     Gale said the Oilers have plenty of speed at the receiver position and that to be successful on defense, the Tigers will have to find ways to slow Heidelberg down.

    However his team gets it done, Gale knows coming away victorious will be crucial in establishing momentum before his team hits conference play.

    “We just need to win, that's it.” he said.

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