The Vardaman High coaching staff certainly understands the significance of Friday’s game against Smithville.
Head coach Justin Hollis and his staff had begun looking at film of their division opponent at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Around 5:30 Sunday evening, Hollis took a break to talk about his team and his opponent. There was still more film to be broken down.
“It’s going to be a long night ahead of us,” said the second-year Vardaman coach.
The Rams are 3-1 on the season and ranked third in the Daily Journal’s small schools rankings. Most important, they are 1-0 in Division 1-1A after beating Coldwater 28-3 this past weekend.
Smithville will enter Friday night’s game with a 4-0 overall mark and a 1-0 division mark after defeating Wheeler 34-0. The Seminoles are ranked fourth by the Journal.
“They’ll be a really good football team,” Hollis said of the Seminoles. “They got two really good athletes and a big offensive line. They got some big folks on the O-line.”
The talented athletes Hollis was referring to are quarterback Antwune Freeman and running back Datrune Freeman.
“They’re really good football players, and at any point they can take it to the house,” Hollis said. “We’re really going to have play assignment football and be on our P’s and Q’s.”
North Pontotoc (5-0) will have to do the same to pull off the upset at home against Division 1-4A opponent Itawamba AHS (5-0), the Daily Journal’s third-ranked large school.
It’s one of three Division 1-4A games on Friday as division play begins. The others:Pontotoc at New Albany and Shannon at Tishomingo County.
In Division 1-6A, Tupelo (1-3), coming off a division-opening 10-6 win over Columbus, will host longtime division rival Starkville (1-4), which also won its 1-6A opener, 9-3 over DeSoto Central.
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal