Tupelo defense a ‘bright spot’

Tupelo defensive end P.J. Jones, who has battled a hip pointer and a high ankle sprain the last three weeks, isn’t expected to play in Friday’s home 1-6A game against Southaven.
“We’d love to have him,” THS coach Eric Collins said. “However, we’re not going to risk playing him.”
Tupelo’s 1-4 overall and 1-1 in the division while Southaven is 5-1 and 1-1. The Chargers’ lone loss was to Olive Branch.
Despite Jones’ absence, Collins has been pleased with his defense’s play this season.
“I think we’re one of the better (defenses) in the region when we show up to play,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of guys running around and making plays.
“That’s been the one bright spot this season.”
In last week’s 14-7 loss to Starkville, linebacker Damion Dillard recorded a team-high 13 tackles, including nine solo stops.
Tupelo’s “D” will have a tough assignment this week containing Southaven quarterback Dominique Harris, who has passed for 925 yards and rushed for 205 more. He has accounted for 14 touchdowns, including 12 through the air.
“They throw the fire out of it,” THS defensive coordinator Lamar Aldridge said. “(Harris) is a big kid, about 6-5. He’s got four seniors up front, a good receiver (Jeremy Reed) and his running back (Chris Rice) runs hard.”
Jones isn’t the only key player expected to miss Friday’s game. Sophomore wide receiver Matt MacIntosh, who was just starting to figure into the Wave’s offensive plans, will miss his second consecutive game with a high ankle sprain.

Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal