Shannon football coach Chad Cook was busy Monday morning watching tape on this week’s opponent – Memphis East.
His assessment? “We have no business playing them,” he said, then chuckled. “They remind me of (defending 4A state champion) Noxubee County, but they’re bigger.”
Cook ran into a problem trying to schedule opponents last spring. It seems few foes want to tangle with the Red Raiders if it’s not required. Friday’s game is in Shannon.
“Memphis East was the only team I could find,” he said. “We already had an open date next week (Sept. 4) and didn’t want two open dates.”
Shannon kicked off its season last Friday with a hard-fought 27-20 win against West Point, the Daily Journal’s preseason No. 1-ranked large school team.
Memphis East dropped a 23-14 decision to Class 6A power Olive Branch in its first game.
“They’ve got speed at receiver and an offensive line bigger than Olive Branch’s,” Cook said of the Memphis club.
Memphis East is led by quarterback Jaszy Parker, who completed 24-of-43 passes for 279 yards against Olive Branch. Brandon Barron hauled in six passes for 99 yards.
The Red Raiders used their two-quarterback look with success. Legilbert Bogan and Jake Scott both threw for TD passes and gained valuable rushing yardage when needed.
“If we had played one quarterback the entire game we would have lost,” Cook said. “With two quarterbacks we were able to use a lot of different packages. It kept West Point off balance.
“I thought both quarterbacks executed pretty well.”
– Aubrey Boren was the last place in the world he wanted to be last Friday night when his Tupelo Christian Prep football team opened its season and made its MHSAA debut against Mantachie.
He was in the bed … sick with the H1N1 virus (swine flu).
“The worst thing I could have done was expose players from both teams to the flu,” said Boren of his decision to stay home.
Instead, the coach listened to the game, a 34-14 loss by his Eagles, on the radio.
“It was surreal,” he said. “But, I was a phone call away.”
Boren plans to be on the sidelines tonight when TCPS (0-1) travels to Thrasher to play Wheeler (0-1).
The Eagles’ play their home opener Sept. 4 against H.W. Byers.
Solid QB debut
– TCPS junior quarterback Will Cockrell completed 23-of-43 passes for 265 yards, one TD and two interceptions in last week’s opener at Mantachie.
His coach liked what he saw from his first-time starter, who was ranked as the state’s top quarterback for week 1 by Maxpreps.com.
“Mantachie knew us well from 7-on-7 in the summer,” Boren said. “Given that, (Cockrell) managed the game well.”
Cockrell’s favorite target, Zach Tucker, caught 10 passes for 84 yards and a TD.
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal