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Prior to last Thursday's season opener at Ackerman, Starkville Academy head football coach Jeff Terrill indicated that playing 24 hours earlier than usual could be to the Volunteers benefit heading into the second week of the season.
"One of the hardest games to prepare for is the second game," Terrill said last week. "I think we'll be glad we played (last Thursday) as far as or preparation as we move on to game number two."
The first-year SA coach will see if an extra day of practice has paid off tonight when the Vols (0-1) host Lamar School (0-1). Kickoff time is set for 7 p.m. at J.E. Logan Field.
After last week's 8-6, overtime loss to the Indians, Terrill says all the initial work put in to get ready for the Raiders had to do with keeping his team's heads held high.
"They had given a good effort and came up short (last week)," said Terrill. "So we worked on staying focused on the goal, and that's to win. They were upbeat and proud of their effort, but hopefully now there's a greater desire to win."
In order to notch their first victory, the Vols know they'll have to perform better on the offensive side of the ball than they did in their opener. SA tallied just 101 total yards of offense and notched just four first downs in their thriller with Ackerman.
Even so, Terrill says there was no need for any major offensive overhaul going into the Lamar game.
"We've just made some simple adjustments," said Terrill. "Certainly we weren't pleased last week with just the four first downs and how we didn't move the ball very well, but we really felt like a lot of our offensive problems had to do with playing too many snaps on defense. We've got too many kids playing both ways and they just didn't have any energy."
To counter that problem, Terrill hopes to manage the clock and spend more time on offense tonight.
When SA is on defense, they'll be faced with a much different challenge against Lamar than the one Ackerman presented in running the football.
"(Lamar) is going to throw the football," said Terrill. "That's what they're known for. It's a totally different scheme from what we saw last week, so we'll have to see how we'll adjust."
Last week in Lamar's loss to East Rankin Academy, the Raiders were held scoreless but provided a preview of what SA can expect. Quarterback Tyler Harris threw for 130 yards and accounted for approximately 170 yards of total offense.
Receiver Charlie Nosco proved to be Harris' primary target, hauling in five passes for 84 yards.
With that knowledge, Terrill knows the Vols have their hands full against the Raiders.
"Lamar is a very dangerous football team," said Terrill. "They're very well coached and I have the utmost respect for (Lamar head coach) Mac Barnes. You're always nervous with a team that can throw the football like they can. They have some fine receivers and a fine young quarterback, so we need to recognize that and play well to win."