Eupora wins big at Weir
WEIR â€“ Eupora head coach Junior Graham has won plenty on Marion Kelley Field in Weir.
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If the former Lions leader needed a reminder of what it felt like, he got it on Thursday.
Eupora scored the game's first 24 points, watched as Weir closed the gap to 10 shortly after halftime, then pulled away late to secure a 40-14 victory.
Lazerick Davis and Vandy Smith combined to run 18 times for 138 yards and four touchdowns for the Eagles (2-0).
Eupora out-rushed Weir 232 yards to 37.
Davis notched two of his scores in the first half to help stake Eupora to an early 24-0 lead.
Smith also added a first half touchdown before capping the game's scoring with a 12-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter.
"That late run by (Smith) was great," said Graham. "He's just a powerful kid. That was just a highlight reel run, and (Davis) did well too. Both of those guys play both ways and it's hard to be effective on both sides of the ball this early in the year."
Adding to Eupora's overpowering ground game was Deshawn Starks. Starks, listed as a defensive back and wide receiver, was credited with three carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. Those numbers could have been even better if not for a penalty that called back what would have been an 18-yard score in the fourth quarter.
"Deshawn came in and gave us a breath of fresh air at the running back position (in the second half)," said Graham. "We played him there last year. He broke his foot, and we thought he'd be more effective at wide receiver when he came back. But Sunday, we sat down and thought if we could get to the second half, we were going to get him some playing time."
Weir (0-2) notched its scores on a short-yardage run from Jimarrian Woodard late in the first half, and a 50-yard touchdown reception by Rashad Carter early in the third quarter.
The Lions actually accounted for 157 of their 194 total yards via the passing game of quarterback J.R. Hall.
"They gave us a couple of things through the air and we took advantage of it," said Weir head coach Danya Turner.
Weir's passing game highlights a concern Graham has heading into the Eagles' game next week at Winona.
"We've got to do a lot of secondary work," said Graham. "It hurts us with Steadman Rice (broken leg) not being out there. He was one of our best DBs, and now we're playing two guys that's never played before and it showed tonight."
Eupora sophomore quarterback Jamall Roby passed for 75 yards in his second game as the Eagles starting signal caller.
Graham credited Weir's line for keeping Roby in check.
"(Weir's) ends did a great job tonight," said Graham. "They got down the field so quick, at such a tight angle, (Roby) was scared they were going to get their hands up and get deflections."
Unsurprising to Graham was the type of fight Weir showed coming off of their 42-0 loss last week to Hamilton.
After all, Graham himself could probably stake claim to his former team displaying some of that tenacity.
"They really played hard," said Graham. "We knew they would. There is too much pride here at Weir for them not to."