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SA set to play talented Prep on gridiron

September 20, 2012

Starkville Academy coach Jeff Terrill respects Jackson Prep's program and its head coach Ricky Black. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

Starkville Academy football coach Jeff Terrill respects Jackson Prep and what its done.

The No. 2 ranked Patriots (5-0, 1-0) in the Associated Press Private School poll, come in fresh off a 9-0 win over Class 5A opponent Pearl last Thursday night. Patriot head coach Ricky Black got his 300th career win.

"It certainly didn't surprise me," Terrill said. "Certainly he is a hall of fame guy. When you think of high school coaches in the state of Mississippi, public and private, you have to list him at the top."

The Volunteers (3-2, 1-0) and Patriots are set to kickoff at 7 p.m. at J.E. Logan Field.

Terrill and Black have a little bit of a history. Although they have never been on the same coaching staff, they have something in common.

"We got back a long, long way," Terrill said. "One of my first head coaching jobs was at Kosciusko, where (Black) started his head coaching career. We have never worked with each other. There's not a finer man or coach in the state of Mississippi."

The Volunteers are on a two-game winning streak. They defeated Hillcrest Christian 42-0 after beating Leake Academy 45-0.

Before that SA had lost two games.

"Winning cures a lot of ailments," Terrill said. "It gets us pointed in the right direction and it puts us in the Division II Conference race. We are looking forward to the second half of the season."

The Volunteer offense and defense have found their groove, but to continuing that trend will be tough.

Jackson Prep is led offensively by senior Ole Miss commit quarterback Ryan Buchanan. He is 30-of-60 passing with 637 yards. He has eight touchdowns and only two interceptions.

Defensively, Starkville Academy must avoid senior linebacker Wade Meena of the Patriots. He has 13 solo tackles and 24 assists this season.

"Their players are talented," Terrill said. "Their players play hard, they're well-coached, they're sound in all areas and they just keep coming at you."

The Volunteers will be without junior lineman Trip Janssen. Lineman Cole Phelps is questionable, but Terrill believes he will play.

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