A-game matchup appealing on paper

Different from previous years, Aberdeen High head coach Chris Duncan says his team can’t go into Friday’s game against rival Amory and do whatever it wants on offense.
Not having significant experience and certain personnel has handcuffed the Bulldogs offense this season.
“We’re just building on things each and every week because we’re so young,” said Duncan, whose team remains atop the Daily Journal’s Class 3A rankings. “The next four or five weeks we’ll be adding stuff.”
The Bulldogs have owned the last two meetings against “A-Game” rival Amory, winning 60-12 last year and 35-3 in 2009. This year’s matchup at Amory High School looks promising on paper: Amory is undefeated after scoring 82 points in two games; Aberdeen evened its record by defeating fifth-ranked Shannon, 22-14, this past Friday.
“Our teams from the past couple of seasons could do whatever we wanted offensively,” Duncan added. “That’s not the case this year. We’re experimenting a little more.”
What could be considered a two-month long experiment that may not come to complete fruition until division play is having big ol’ Channing Ward – a tight end/defensive tackle listed at 6-4, 258 – running and throwing the ball as a Wildcat-type quarterback.
The Panthers, meanwhile, may also have to experiment on offense after losing senior quarterback Forest Williams to injury during Friday’s 40-22 win over Nettleton. Freshman Jon David Poss and sophomore Fred Garth will line up behind center against Aberdeen.
Williams – who completed 68 percent of his passes (34 of 50) for 523 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception before getting hurt – he dislocated his non-throwing elbow in the first quarter of Friday’s game. Panthers head coach Trent Hammond said he doesn’t know how long Williams will be out.
“We’ll just happen to be without a three-year starting quarterback when we play one of the toughest teams in Mississippi,” Hammond added. “Neither of them have experience, but hopefully with them put together, they can give us a complete package and get us through these games before we get Forest back.”

John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal

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