First-year Smithville head coach Chad Collums saw something familiar from Wesley Grier in the Seminoles’ 25-6 win over county rival Hatley. In the mid-90s, Collums played with Grier’s brother Matt, who went on to play at Ole Miss.
Wesley, a sophomore wide receiver/defensive back, had a pair of first-half interceptions and took a punt 59 yards to the house to stretch Smithville’s lead in the third quarter.
“Wesley is going to be a special young man in the future,” Collums said. “Wesley reminds me a lot of Matt. He’s got that speed, and he has those quick feet.”
THS defense rebounds
Tupelo defensive coordinator Lamar Aldridge wasn’t surprised when Center Hill quarterback Danterius Ellington piled up 173 yards total offense against the Golden Wave in the first half of Friday’s game.
He wasn’t surprised either when his defenders held the Mustangs offense to 15 yards in the second half of a 48-7 Tupelo win.
“That first half didn’t look good, but we settled down and played better in the second half,” Aldridge said. “I thought we played harder and got to (Ellington).”
Added Wave head coach Trent Hammond, “We changed some rush lanes to handle the quarterback. Our secondary did a good job staying and our linebackers did a good job reading.”
Can’t flip field
Field position was a major factor in Belmont’s 43-6 win at Mantachie. The Cardinals began all but three of their offensive drives in Mantachie territory.
Mustang turnovers and poor special teams play contributed heavily.
“We didn’t play terribly on defense,” Mantachie head coach T.J. Seago said. “We just couldn’t get the field flipped in our favor.”
Good Tiger trio
Three Ripley quarterbacks accounted for scores in the Tigers’ 49-7 rout of North Pontotoc. Starter Tucker Childers threw two touchdown passes in the first half, backup Santerio Prather had a rushing score in the third quarter and JV starter Owen Childs tossed a 47-yarder in the fourth.
Playing the big boys
No. 2 Oxford lost 52-29 against No. 3 Starkville. Coach Johnny Hill was never concerned about a second straight undefeated regular season.
“That’s the reason I play these guys and South Panola and the folks I’m playing,” Hill said, “so we can get our nose bloodied and get better so we can get into the playoffs and do something there.”
Two by two
The Saltillo Tigers’ defense worked in twos Friday night against Pontotoc. In the first quarter, linebacker Clayton King recorded the first of two safeties on consecutive Warrior possessions, setting the tone for dominant performance.
To open the second half, the Tigers’ David Little and Stephon Crude picked off two straight Jacob Carter passes for touchdowns. Little’s went for 55 and Crude’s for 57.
Oddly enough, Saltillo had two pick-6’s last week as well.
• Two of the AP’s top 10 overall teams lost, both to ranked rivals – Oxford against Starkville and No. 6 Wayne County to No. 10 Oak Grove, 17-7. A new AP poll comes out on Tuesday.
• Fourth-ranked Madison Central trailed 22-0 at Gulfport before rallying to win 25-22. Keenan Barnes caught fourth-quarter TDs from Trey Smith to lead the Jaguars.
• In a battle of two 2013 champions, Bassfield defeated Forrest County AHS 24-7 on Friday. T’Rodrick Daniels rushed 19 times for 83 yards and three TDs (14, 5, 4) in the victory.
Contributing: Gene Phelps, Brandon Speck, Melissa Meador, Scotty Nichols, John Davis, Jonathan Wise.