By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
TUPELO – For the first time in eight years, Lee County counterparts Shannon and Tupelo will meet on the gridiron in the county seat.
The Golden Wave and Red Raiders tangle today with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Tupelo High in a rivalry series that was renewed last season after a brief hiatus.
“It doesn’t matter what Shannon and Tupelo play, if it’s tiddlywinks, it’s still competitive,” Tupelo coach David Bradberry said. “Neighbors are playing each other for bragging rights.”
Both teams enter the contest with identical 1-2 records, but their previous outings were anything but similar.
Tupelo fell 28-0 to Starkville in a game where the Wave’s offense was held to 45 total yards. Bradberry said progress there continues to move at a steady pace from week-to-week.
“We’re working as hard as we can to rush it up,” he said. “It’s a slow process and sometimes we’re not as patient as we need to be.”
Senior quarterback Thomas Harris had his best game of the year against Starkville, completing 9 of 16 passes for 63 yards.
Back on track
First-year Shannon head coach Darryl Carter feels his team is back on track after last week’s 55-0 shutout victory over West Lowndes.
“We’re rolling here a little bit,” Carter said. “The main thing is cutting down on the mistake side and they’re seeing what the offense is capable of.”
Sophomore Diamante Pounds led the Red Raiders with four first-half rushing touchdowns and 202 yards against the Panthers.
Carter also faces a homecoming of sorts tonight after spending five seasons (2004-08) as the wide receivers coach for the Golden Wave.
His playing career also passed through Tupelo, featuring stints with both the Tupelo FireAnts and the Mississippi MudCats indoor football teams.
“It’s going to be great. I’m excited to go back,” said Carter. “(The team) is amped up for the game and I’m amped up for the game.”