Starkville Academy quarterback Drew Pellum (5) looks for running room against Leake Academy earlier this season. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The Starkville Academy Volunteers got to see firsthand a deep run into the playoffs last season.
SA coach Jeff Terrill and the Volunteers know what the excitement can bring and are hoping it happens again this season.
"The kids are excited," Terrill said. "It's October. They experienced playoffs last year, so they know what October means. We talk to them a lot about, 'the champions are going to rise in October.' Hopefully, we will continue to get better."
Tonight the Vols (4-3, 2-1) have a chance to get one step closer to another playoff run when they travel McComb to take on the Parklane Academy Pioneers (6-1, 2-0) for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
"From a numbers standpoint, it would be a big win," Terrill said. "From a practicality standpoint, they're a Division I program that has already beaten East Rankin, who we'll meet for the last Division II game. The playoffs are going to be set based on our meeting with East Rankin in a couple of weeks."
In last season's meeting in Starkville, the Vols took a 7-5 win. This season, Terrill is expecting a different type of game.
"There will be more points scored," Terrill said. "They are a good defensive football team. They have not put up the numbers that their defense did last year. They are a better offensive team than they were last year. It will be a very interesting matchup."
The Pioneers have a spread type offense that will aide in a lot of scoring.
"They've gone to the spread type offense," Terrill said. "They are doing a very good job of it. They are very sound in all phases of the game."
Terrill feels that the Volunteer defense is set up perfectly to combat the spread type offense.
"What we do fits up real well," Terrill said. "Sometimes you meet people and you have to make some changes to adjust to their scheme or personnel, but really we match up well. It makes for a very interesting game."
For the SA offense, the triple option has worked in the past and Terrill is happy to stick with it.
"We just keep doing what we are doing," Terrill said. "When you are an option team like we are, there is not a lot of surprises."
SA is in a good spot, but injuries have really made it hard for the Vols to get into any kind of rhythm.
"We are trying to very desperately (to get into a rhythm)," Terrill said. "The holdup is we are battling a lot of different injuries. We've had to juggle starters and positions. We haven't had the same five start on the offensive line since we started. That has hurt the continuity. That is something you deal with in football."
Lineman Trip Janssen was questionable for last week's game, but didn't play. He will again be questionable for tonight's game.
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