HED:Ranked teams face tough task

CATEGORY: FOL High School Football

AUTHOR: WHEELE

HED:Ranked teams face tough task

By D.E. Wheeler

Daily Journal

Trying to get a handle on the 1999 high school football season?

With most Northeast Mississippi high school teams strapping up for their second games of the season, many questions could be answered tonight with a variety of matchups on the schedule.

A couple of large school matchup of note are Oxford at Pontotoc and Kossuth at Itawamba AHS, ranked No. 5 in the Daily Journal Large School Poll.

The Oxford Chargers (0-1) and Pontotoc (0-1) will be trying to figure out what went wrong in week one of the season, both coming off tough losses.

“You schedule real tough teams at the beginning of the season to prepare for the end of the season,” Oxford head coach Tim Carter said of his Chargers, who were ranked by the Associated Press the first week of the season. “Pontotoc is big, is strong, and is physical.”

Oxford comes off a 42-32 loss to Class 5A Grenada while Pontotoc looks to recover from a 27-6 loss to 2A Bruce, ranked No. 9 in the AP Little 10 and No. 2 in the Daily Journal Small School Poll.

“We’re just trying to get better week to week,” Pontotoc head coach Dennis Robbins said. “Oxford scored a lot of points, so we have to continue to play good defense, and special teams do a better job.”

The intra-county schedule gets a little workout tonight with Aberdeen at Amory and Hamilton at Hatley in Monroe County; North Pontotoc at South Pontotoc; and Tishomingo County at Belmont. Amory is ranked No. 10 in the AP Top 20 and No. 2 in the Daily Journal Large School Poll.

On the small school front tonight, the only matchup of real importance finds the Smithville Seminoles (1-0) hosting Montgomery County (0-1) in a Region 1-1A contest.

“We’ve never played this team before, so we’re going in blind,” Bowling said of Montgomery County. “The region format is going to make you get ready to play every week.”

Smithville is ranked No. 7 in the AP Little 10 and No. 3 in the Daily Journal Small School Poll.

Other Daily Journal ranked teams in action finds in the Large School Poll: No. 1 Tupelo at Louisville; No. 3 Shannon at Okolona; No. 4 Houston hosting West Point. In the Small School Poll: No. 1 Booneville is at Corinth; No. 2 Bruce played No. 5 Calhoun City Thursday, and No. 4 Vardaman hosts Coldwater.

And on the academy front, all four area teams are in action. Two of the schools try to remain undefeated as Calhoun Academy (2-0) travels to play North Sunflower (0-2), while Oak Hill Academy (2-0) hosts Pillow (0-1).