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Competition steps up for Eupora in 2nd week

August 23, 2012

Junior Graham

The Eupora Eagles are playing their second Class A squad in the same number of weeks, but that doesn't mean the competition is lacking.

The Eagles play host to defending Class A State champion Noxapater at 7:30 p.m., tonight.

Eupora head coach Junior Graham is looking for his team to improve on last week and make plays that it didn't make.

"We have to make the plays when they present themselves," Graham said. "Last week we had the opportunities to make a few big plays and either we dropped the ball or we had a big penalty. We are hoping to clean those type of things up in game two. We have to improve in our punting game."

Noxapater is coming off a loss to Ackerman in week one, but Graham knows the Tigers had a chance to win the football game.

"Noxapater is going to be a heck of an opponent," Graham said. "That game could have went either way with Ackerman Friday night. Ackerman is a really good football team."

In last year's game, Eupora won 41-21, but a couple of turnovers in the red zone for the Tigers was the difference.

"They had three turnovers inside the 10, so that ballgame could have easily went either way," Graham said. "We had one turnover for the night and they had five."

Noxapater runs an option type of offense and is something Graham has taken a notice to. He also knows that it runs through the quarterback and knows he is the type of guy that can get it done with both his arm and feet.

"They return a lot of players off of last year's squad," Graham said. "The kid they are replacing the quarterback with is very capable. He didn't have a really good game last Friday, but you could see where he has a lot of upside about him. He can run and he can throw the ball accurately. They are always difficult because of that optioned team. They make you play responsibility defense."

In other area matchups for week two, Ackerman host Winona, West Oktibbeha makes the trip to Montgomery County, East Oktibbeha is on the road at McAdams and East Webster travels to Okolona. All of the games are set for 7:30 p.m.

Winona at Ackerman

The Indians go from a Class A team to a 3A team in week two.

Ackerman is coming off a 12-0 victory over Noxapater in week one, while Winona beat Senatobia 23-21.

"Winona is always good," Ackerman head coach Adam Dillinger said. "Year in and year out, they are always a physical team. They're well-coached and they are the same way this year. They're big up front and they have some real good lineman. Their skilled guys are fast. They are just an all-around good football team."

The Tigers edged the Indians last year in Winona 34-28. Dillinger is not looking for revenge, just that his team improves from last week.

"We play Winona every year and they are always tight ballgames," Dillinger said. "It's not necessarily revenge. We want to win any time we play. Early in this season, we need to play better (tonight) than we did last Friday. That's really our main focus is to get better each week."

The Indians didn't score until the fourth quarter in last week's game against Noxapater. Dillinger is concerned about both sides of the ball, but finishing on offense is something he wants to see this week.

"There were times on offense we looked good and we just seemed to sputter," Dillinger said. "We felt like we moved the ball pretty well, but we just couldn't finish drives. Some of that is first game stuff and some of that is maybe we just weren't quite as prepared. We feel confident that is going to get better through the year."

West Oktibbeha at Montgomery County

The Timberwolves are coming off an offensive explosion in last week's 66-6 victory over S.V. Marshall, but head coach Adam Lowrey is more pleased with his defense.

"Our defense caused a bunch of turnovers against S.V. Marshall, so our offense didn't do as much as the defense really did," Lowrey said.

West Oktibbeha travels to Kilmichael to take on the Hornets of Montgomery County. The Hornets are coming off a 33-6 to West Lowndes in week one.

"They are young," Lowrey said. "They are a two-back, pro set on offense. On defense, they are going to lock man and blitz the house."

Quarterback Von Smith scored six touchdowns for the Timberwolves last week from the quarterback position. The spread offense that West Oktibbeha runs goes as the quarterback goes and Lowrey knows this.

"We want to continue to do the best that we can," Lowrey said. "We believe our defense is better this year. The spread offense tends to go as the quarterback goes."

The Timberwolves won last year's meeting 50-30.

East Oktibbeha at McAdams

The Titans don't have much time to get younger guys prepared for games.
Head coach Randy Brooks knows they have to grow up fast.

"My biggest concern is we are going to have kids grow up quick by the time district starts," Brooks said.

East Oktibbeha is coming off a 40-6 loss to Leake County, while the Bulldogs of McAdams loss 42-6 to Williams Sullivan.

"I know they got beat by Williams Sullivan last week," Brooks said. "They are always big and they have a new coach. He came from a good program down in south Mississippi, so they are starting over."

Last year, the Titans beat the Bulldogs 54-0. This year, the Titans are going to go back to basics to try and get the victory.

"We are going to have to play good sound fundamentals," Brooks said. "That is what we have been concentrating on all week."

East Webster at Okolona

The Wolverines are looking for some revenge this year.

After last year's 21-10 loss to the Chieftains, East Webster is looking to get a victory and move its record to 2-0 for the 2012 campaign.

The Wolverines beat Vardaman 30-14 last week and are on the road again.
Okolona beat Houlka 33-0 last week.

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