By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – David Bradberry hopes winning is contagious.
Tupelo’s coach watched his Golden Wave rally for a 23-22 road victory last week against Center Hill. The win came on the heels of a 40-11 season-opening loss to Lafayette.
“I’ve got to believe it’s going to be a plus,” Bradberry said, referring to Tupelo’s win. “We worked through some adversity against a good football team.”
The Golden Wave (1-1) returns to the road today, playing at former Division 1-6A foe and rival Starkville (1-1). The kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Tupelo plays for the second consecutive week without the services of tailback Ashton Shumpert, who is sidelined with a stress fracture in his lower leg.
“Ashton’s anxious to get back,” Bradberry said. “He’s working out. We’ll just have to see how quickly it heals.”
In Shumpert’s place, senior Tenerious Montgomery rushed for 109 yards and scored two touchdowns, including a 9-yard thrust with 2 minutes, 6 seconds remaining to give the Golden Wave its go-ahead TD against Center Hill.
Tupelo QB Luke Hobson had a productive outing, connecting on 7 of 11 passes for 96 yards.
“Luke played well, we’ve just got to protect him better,” offensive coordinator Andy Crotwell said. “We need to hold the football and catch the football.”
The Wave lost fumbles on back-to-back possessions early in the fourth quarter against Center Hill. The Mustangs scored the go-ahead TD following the first turnover.
Starkville is coming off a huge 16-14 home win against 6A power Madison Central. The Yellowjackets opened the year with a loss to 4A power Noxubee County.
“It was a huge win,” SHS coach Jamie Mitchell said. “We’re a young team, one still finding its way.”
Gabe Myles, a junior first-year starter at QB, threw for 135 yards and rushed for two TDs last week. His backfield mate, Preston Baker, caught five passes for 82 yards and added 30 rushing.
“Myles is really quick,” Wave defensive coordinator Lamar Aldridge said. “Their based in the I-formation, but they’re multiple. They run a lot of sets. They’re talented.”
Ladarius Watkins led the Wave in tackles for the second straight game from his linebacker spot. He recorded 15 tackles, five solo, against Center Hill. He has 25 in two games.
Jaques Knowles, who killed Center Hill’s rally with an interception, added 11 tackles and a fumble recovery.