Meridian Star

October 10, 2013

Lauderdale County football previews: Calvary a new team for rematch with Veritas

Tony Tsoukalas & Sarah Moomaw / The Meridian Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Calvary a new team for rematch with Veritas

    After acquiring transfers Alijaoen Kennedy, Michael Bradley and Michael Sullivan, Calvary Christian football coach, Kirby Newell knew the Cougars would be better. Friday night he will find out just how much better his team is as Calvary plays host to Veritas Academy at 7 p.m.

    Veritas took down the Cougars 48-28 in Week 1.

    “We’ll see Friday night,” Newell said. “It is kind of a mystery to me too.”

     Newell said the key to the game will be stopping the Lions from getting to the outside. Calvary comes into the game as the bigger team, and Newell said he plans to take the ball right at Veritas to utilize his team’s size.

    The added bulk is not the only advantage Newell has received from the transfers, he also said the added players have allowed him to utilize his special teams.

    “Oh my gosh,” Newell said. “It opens everything up. We used to not be able to kickoff and we had to just pooch it. Now I got cover players. I turned Josh Roberts loose and I’ll be darned if we didn’t have three touchbacks.”

    Following a 70-21 over Friendship Academy a win Friday night would give Calvary back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

“If we do what I think we are capable of, I think we have the ability to make a nice run at the end of the season,” Newell said.


Southeast banged up to face Forest in Week 8

    The Southeast Lauderdale Tigers are 1-0 in district play after a blowout win in Week 7. This week, they are welcoming in the Forest Bearcats and hoping to continue climbing with another win on Friday night.

    “It's very upbeat,” Southeast head coach Charles Black said. “You know what a win can do for you. It wasn't hard to get them to practice this week. Like I told them, we're in a new season now. We're 1-0 and that's how we're approaching it.”

     Coming off the 42-6 win over Choctaw Central, the Tigers have a few bumps and bruises that'll play into this weeks game. Black, however, didn't disclose exactly how and hoped the team would make it unnoticeable.

    “It means a little more double duty for some of our kids,” Black said. “It kills our depth and we have to play some of these kids both way more and it could make a difference in the fourth quarter.”

    Over the last few games, Black said, the offensive line and skill players have really had an impact. This week, they'll be just as important to go toe-to-toe with an offense that took on mostly 4A teams, with success, in non-district play.

    The Bearcats took their first district lost last week against Philadelphia, 34-27, but were just the third team to find the end zone against the Tornadoes this season.


Raiders get break from district play on the road

    The Lamar Raiders are getting a district play break this week when they travel to AA Simpson on Friday night.

    Both teams are 6-1 with quality wins, setting up for a battle on the gridiron. The Cougars have won each other last four meetings, including last year's 28-15 decision.

    “Simpson’s very good,” Lamar head coach Mac Barnes said. “We've not had a lot of success against them, so we know it's going to be one of our tougher games, but our guys have been playing well. I think they are looking forward to it.”

    Barnes said Simpson is very physical team that tries to intimidate its opponents.

    “You have to respond to that,” he said. “If they get on top of you, it's over. We just have to get out there leading … I believe in our guys and I believe they are ready to be that.”

    Four of the Raiders last five games have been district games, so while the competition will be touch, it's a welcomed break from playoff implications.  

    “Every time you play a district game, the pressure is on you to win it,” Barnes said.

    Last week's win 42-0 win over Columbia Academy may have already earned a playoff berth depending out other district games go this week.

    Barnes said he has to rely on the team as a whole and doesn't ever expect just one playmaker to carry the team.


RCA gets another blast from the past in 8-man

    The Russell Christian Academy football team will look to build on last weeks' 55-28 win over Tuscaloosa Christian as the host Tabernacle Friday night for Senior Night.

    Last week, the RCA went back to last year's offensive dominance as they dropped back to the 8-man level to play  Tuscaloosa.

    Quarterback Jacob Howse led the way for RCA completing 13-of-18 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Arik Washington racked up 113 yards and a touchdown on the ground and 53 yards and a touchdown in the air, while Jesse Barksdale and Ashton Temple both caught for over 100 yards.

    This week, the Warriors will stay at the 8-man level to face Tabernacle.

    “It was good to get back in that offensive groove even though it was 8-man,” RCA head coach Nate Ballard said.

    Tabernacle will  run right at RCA using big fullback Tristan Castro up the middle. The Torches are 5-3 on the season. Ballard said he has not seen much tape on Tabernacle but will respect the Alabama 8-man contender.

    Last week was the first time RCA had success stopping a power rushing attack. Ballard said the Warriors will need to play the same way this week if they want to come away with a win.

    “Our tackling has slowly gotten better,” Ballard said. “It's slowly gotten better, and that's something we did well last week.”