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The Eupora High School football team looks to stay unbeaten when they play host to Calhoun City tonight.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Wafford Field.
The Wildcats (2-2) beat the Eagles last season 20-6. Calhoun City is coming off a 36-21 win at Velma Jackson last week.
"They have played a difficult schedule so far this season," Eupora head coach Junior Graham said of the Wildcats. "They've played Water Valley and Houston and both of those teams are undefeated. They go to Velma (Jackson) and come out with a big win. They are young in some areas. To me, they are a lot like we were last year in the fact that they are playing so many young guys. They play real physical on defense and they get to the ball in numbers. Offensively, they utilize a lot of formations. They make you defend from sideline to sideline."
Eupora's defense has struggled out of the gate, but have found a way to settle down and hold for wins.
"Through the first four games it seems that way," Graham said of his defense starting slow. "That is not the way we like to start games. It's not how you start, (but) it's how you finish. So far, we have finished strong on that side of the ball."
For the Eagles to avenge last year's loss, they are going to have to hold onto to the ball and eliminate big plays defensively.
"Offensively, we are going to have to protect the ball," Graham said. "Last year, we played them at Calhoun City and we had five turnovers. We have got to protect the ball. Just hoping for a few big plays because they are better on the defensive side of the ball.
"On the defensive side of the ball, we need to force some turnovers and eliminate the big play. So far this year, we have been giving up a few big plays."
In other area matchups for week five, Ackerman travels to Bruce, East Webster hosts Walnut, West Oktibbeha plays Nanih Waiya at home and East Oktibbeha plays its first home game of the season against Ethel. Kickoffs are set for 7:30 p.m.
at Bruce (3-1)
The Indians expect to have starting quarterback Dakota Brasher back for a huge matchup with the Trojans.
Both teams are coming off a loss and a week ago, many thought both teams would be undefeated.
For Adam Dillinger and Ackerman, putting last week's loss behind it started Monday at practice.
"We had to put a really tough loss behind us," Dillinger said. "That's part of football. Good things happen and bad things happen. You just have to move on."
Bruce is considered by many to be the best Class 2A team in the north. Although both teams are not in the same district, it could meet later on in the playoffs.
Bruce has been an offensive juggernaut this year, but its defense has played just as well.
"They are really good," Dillinger said. "They've got a lot of really good skilled guys. They are good at running and throwing the football which will be a challenge for us. We haven't seen anybody to this point who throws it like they do. They're extremely good on defense."
at East Webster (3-1)
The Wolverines are coming off their first loss of the season, but preparation has been no different this week.
"We felt like our effort was there last week," East Webster head coach Doug Wilson said. "We just made a few too many mistakes. This week has been no different. We've worked on our mistakes."
The Wildcats are coming off a loss to Middleton, Tenn., last week.
Although the Wildcats have not had the best season, Wilson and the Wolverines know how tough Walnut can be.
"They're big and physical," Wilson said. "They always play hard and we expect the same out of this team this year."
In last week's loss to Caledonia, East Webster struggled stopping the run. That is one of the main emphasis this week for the Wolverines.
"Don't turn the ball over and stop their downhill running," Wilson said. "We didn't do a very good job with Caledonia."
Nanih Waiya (0-3)
at West Oktibbeha (2-1)
The Timberwolves learned a lot about themselves in last week's loss to Eupora.
They are hoping to move forward as they host Nanih Waiya in the first district game of the season.
"We did real good for a half," West Oktibbeha coach Adam Lowrey said. "(We) just want to be able to do that for a whole game. We've gotten better. Eupora's a good team. If we can play with Eupora for a half like that, and if we were in better shape, we can play a whole game like that."
Nanih Waiya finished second in the division last year, so getting to 1-0 in district for the Timberwolves will send a pretty clear message.
"You are in front of the eight ball then," Lowrey said.
at East Oktibbeha (1-3)
The Titans finally get to see how it feels to play a home game.
East Oktibbeha opened up with four games on the road, but play at home four times in the last seven games of the season.
"It feels real good to play in front of our home crowd," East Oktibbeha coach Randy Brooks said. "The kids are looking forward to it and so am I."
The Titans had a chance to win last week's district game against Sebastopol, but struggled in the final quarter.
"Last week, we gave up 28 points in the fourth quarter," Brooks said. "We showed our youth.
"It will be an important win for us. We have to come out and play mature."
Ethel is coming off a 27-14 loss to West Lowndes last week. Both teams are 0-1 in the district, so this can be a make it or break it week in the district.
"They've got good speed and good size," Brooks said of Ethel. "Of course, they are not as big as we are. Not many A teams are as big as we are. We have to use our speed and our size to our advantage."View more articles in: