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On neighborhood watch: Vols, Patriots meet in anticipated rivalry

August 23, 2012

Starkville Academy running back Colby Runnels (22) follows his blocks during last year's game with Heritage Academy in Columbus. (Photo by David Allen Williams, For Starkville Daily News)

Rivalry games are something teams look forward to all year.

For the Starkville Academy Volunteers, they won't have to wait until the end of the season to play a rivalry game.

Starkville Academy plays host to Heritage Academy at 7 p.m., tonight.

The Volunteers are heavy favorites, but head coach Jeff Terrill is not letting that affect him or his team.

"I don't think either team ever overlooks this game," Terrill said. "When you talk about the proximity of Columbus and Starkville and Heritage and Starkville Academy, it is certainly a rivalry game. Most of these kids know each other and have played each other for a lot of years. That in itself gets both teams ready to play."

Starkville Academy is coming off a 13-0 victory over St. Andrew's in week one, while the Patriots are coming off a 36-23 loss to Lamar School.
Terrill is not looking too much into Heritage's first game. He knows what type of team they are.

"They have a senior-laden team with a lot of skill," Terrill said. "They are a very well-rounded football team."

This will be Starkville Academy's first game at home for the 2012 season and Terrill knows there will be a lot of excitement.

"The newness of the season hasn't even begin to wore off," Terrill said. "You have only played one game. Everything is still fresh and new and still a big learning curve I'm sure for both teams."

The Vols were led by Michael Miller in rushing, who went for 68 yards on 15 carries and one score.

Starkville Academy's offense got off to a good start, but struggled down the stretch. Terrill is looking for that to change.

"Mike got off to a good start as a fullback, which in our offense has to be there," Terrill said. "We looked crisp and sharp early. Honestly, the rest of the ballgame offensively didn't go well. We turned the ball over four consecutive times. You can't continue to win and do that."

The Vols only threw the ball three times last week and that's not surprising. The Vols like to keep the ball on the ground.

This week Terrill will do whatever it takes to win.

"We are going to try to do what they allow us to do," Terrill said. "Of course we think we run the ball best."

SA's defense really bailed them out last week after the turnovers.

Terrill was proud of how the defense played and hopes it continues.

"The defense did play well," Terrill said. "You have to be proud of them. On more than one occasion, they're backs were against the wall because we didn't turn it over in the correct spot. It was in our end of the field. I am very proud of that."

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