Meridian Star


October 3, 2013

Area football previews: Cougars host 4A champs


Philly rolls into district play against Forest    

    Philadelphia High School opens up district play with a bang as the Tornadoes travel to Forest Friday at 7 p.m.

    Coming off a 58-8 win over previously unbeaten Kemper County, head coach Teddy Dyess said his offense is starting to click on all cylinders.

    “We have sophomore offensive lineman who have been playing a lot,” Dyess said. “They are getting better and will continue to get better as the season goes along. If we are blessed to be one of those four playoff teams at the end of the season, I think we will be a good offensive team heading into the playoffs.”

    Friday's game will be a rigorous test for Philly as the Tornadoes face a tough Forest defense that held 4A Newton County to just one touchdown in a 10-7 victory over the Cougars.

    “In order to win a state championship, you have to go on the road and beat a good team,” Dyess said. “I think it will be like a playoff game Friday night.”

    Dyess said Forest is a model program and one that he hopes the Tornadoes will someday match. The Bearcats have won four state championships while Philadelphia’s lone state title came in 1992.

    “They are what we want to be,” Dyess said. “We'd like to get us four state championships and be mentioned in the same breath as them.”

Wildcats look to bounce back from first loss

    The Kemper County Wildcats finally lost in 2013, but it took the Philadelphia Tornadoes to tear through them, 58-8, in Week 6.

    Wildcat head coach Chris Jones said he thought the team, coaching staff included, had gotten cocky with their 5-0 start so the loss was a good thing before district play begins this week. On Friday, Kemper will host South Pontotoc for Homecoming.

    “I hate to say this, but I think we needed that loss,” Jones said. “We needed a little humble pie to kind of humble us … you can't get satisfied being undefeated, especially only half way through the season, because you're not where you want to be.”

    South Pontotoc is 3-3 on the season coming off its third straight loss.  Jones said he hopes his team can bounce back strong from their own brutal loss as the second half of the season is what truly counts for a playoff run.

    “Friday is going to determine how we are going to play the rest of the season,” he said. “If we do the things we need to do, eliminate mistakes and play good football, we'll be fine.”

    Last week, Jones' said he liked the defense line despite the point differential. On offense, he said he is taking the blame for the loss.

    “I might have had too much on their plates, especially with it being such a big game,” Jones said.


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