Troopers trying to find replacement for QB Loftis

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

The Mooreville Troopers won’t look much like they did when they walked off the field for the final time last season.
“We’ll look different. We won’t throw as much,” said Mooreville coach Kevin Austin.
A pair of sophomores are working out at quarterback where the graduation of now-ICC QB Griff Loftis leaves a gaping hole. Peyton Boren and Taylor Franks are battling for the spot under center.
Loftis threw for 2,245 yards and 19 touchdowns. Also gone are running back Devonte Williams (480 rushing yards, 7 TDs), Errick Dilworth (918 receiving yards) and Austin Lauderdale (508 receiving yards).
“We’ll be more of a running team. We do have Josh Johnson back. We’ll lean on more heavily on him,” Austin said.
Johnson returns as senior running back. He rushed for 1,341 yards and 20 touchdowns last season.
Mooreville didn’t get to practice Wednesday with heavy rain hitting North Mississippi and doesn’t play a jamboree. It will open the season at Amory on Aug. 17.
“I don’t know if we can get everything we want do this year in in three weeks but we want to get a good base in and get a good handle on it before we play,” Austin said.
Sailtllo coach Pat Byrd said his Tigers hit a wall two-thirds the way into Thursday’s practice on the 98-degree grass.
“We battled on through it. It was a struggle there at the end but they had two Monday, two Tuesday, a short one yesterday,” Byrd said. “I guess that’s to be expected.”
Byrd has some experience to rely on to help get through the heat, senior defensive linemen Wesley Ragin and Jacob Poppelreiter and A.J. Hunt and Jaquoyia Pounds in the secondary.
The Tigers are using a lot of practice time to try and find some depth in the skill positions. Those guys will have to play on both sides of the football.
“We’re borrowing from Peter to pay Paul I guess you’d say, to develop depth,” Byrd said. “If we can get a couple to spell them a few plays, that will help down the road.”

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