BY GENE PHELPS
FULTON – Tupelo is counting on senior wide receiver Alex Norwood to be a big-play producer this season.
He gave Golden Wave fans a little peek of his abilities in Friday’s two-quarter controlled scrimmage against Itawamba AHS when he raced 70 yards for a touchdown on a speed sweep.
“My receivers did a great job of blocking on the edge,” Norwood said. “I shook one or two defenders and saw daylight.”
Norwood also caught one pass for 14 yards from quarterback Daniel Bristow. The two also just missed hooking up on a deep route.
In a scrimmage designed to give both teams an equal number of offensive snaps, Tupelo prevailed, 12-0.
Tupelo second-year head coach Trent Hammond, who directed the Golden Wave to a 13-2 record and a North state championship last season, saw some things that pleased him.
“We’ve got a lot of things we have to get better on,” he said. “I did see some glimpses of last season. I think we’re more explosive on offense. I’d like us to be a little more physical, but we don’t have a lot of time.”
Tupelo opens its season next Friday at Lafayette, last season’s 4A North state champion.
Backup running back Donte Freeman, a sophomore, scored the Golden Wave’s second TD on a 5-yard run. A 61-yard run by Deamio Garmon set up the six-pointer.
Hammond said the Golden Wave was very basic with its offense and used scripted plays.
“This helps get us in game mode,” said Bristow, who started at quarterback last season as a sophomore. “It helps get us ready for next week.”
Tupelo’s defense, ranked as one of the state’s best last season, kept IAHS and quarterback Vijay Miller out of the end zone, even during goal-line work.
“I thought we did pretty well,” Tupelo senior outside linebacker Justin Clifton said. “Coach Hammond believes in us being physical. We have that heart and mentality.”
IAHS coach Toby Collums saw what he wanted.
“We wanted to play a good quality football team, a tough team,” he said. “This gives us some film to evaluate.”
BY GENE PHELPS