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By DANNY P. SMITH
Not 10 minutes after the Starkville Academy 9th grade Volunteers lost a 30-0 decision to Jackson Prep Thursday night, the focus shifted to next week.
Even though the Junior Vols had wished things would have went better against the visiting Junior Patriots, they have a week to bounce back before the conference championship is on the line at Copiah Academy.
"(The Jackson Prep) game was a very important game," SA coach Chad Peterson said. "We try to play a game, but win or lose, we're going to forget about it by (today). If we can win Thursday night, it is for our conference championship."
The Junior Vols saw their record fall to 5-1 with the loss.
Against the Junior Patriots, Starkville Academy only trailed 14-0 at the half.
After scoring runs by Prep's Ian McGraw of 9 yards and Rivers McGraw of 24 yards in the first quarter, the Junior Vols showed some life offensively.
SA quarterback Houston Clark passed to Josh Crittenden for a first down, then Drew Harrell followed that up with a pair of first down runs.
However, Harrell was injured on the second first-down run and the Junior Vols struggled to get any offensive consistency going from that point on.
The Junior Patriots out-scored SA 16-0 in the second half.
Peterson said his players had the confidence all week they could beat Prep, but it came in and "played on a little bit different level than we did."
"Jackson Prep is a very well-coached football team," Peterson said. "They have 70 players and are a very good football team. That's just the way it is and we'll be better because of it."
It appears that the Junior Vols will play Copiah without Harrell as the initial indication was that he suffered a broken ankle.
Peterson said his squad must learn to move forward without Harrell.
"We talk about adversity and that's a certain kind that we just have to get through," Peterson said. "We'll figure it out one way or the other because it just happened. That's football and people get hurt."
7th Grade Game
Jackson Prep 12,
Starkville Academy 8
The Starkville Academy 7th grade Vols rallied to get back within one possession of taking the lead against Jackson Prep, but came up short.
"It was a good effort from the guys and as a coach that's all a coach can ask," SA coach Casey Orr said.
After going down 12-0, the Vols scored their only touchdown in the third quarter when Luke Davis caught a 50-yard pass from Codie Futral.
Starkville Academy's record fell to 2-3.