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New Albany and East Union are coming off of losses last week and hope to rebound with the Bulldogs hosting Corinth and the Urchins traveling to Ripley on Friday.
East Union dropped a 41-6 decision against Mantachie and face the 2-2 Tigers who also lost last week, 34-27 to Pontotoc.
“Ripley is a very good football team. They looked great against Pontotoc last week,” Urchins head coach Scott Duley said. “If it wouldn’t have been for a turnover here or there, they should have won that game. They’re good, fast and strong, and Chad Cook and his staff do a great job with them.”
Duley wants to see a better effort from his team this week as they face their toughest opponent this season.
“A loss like that, in the long run, can be helpful, because you see how important it is to not only work throughout the week, but also the night of the game,” he said. “We knew that, but our boys weren’t willing to keep fighting. We got hit in the mouth in the first quarter, and we laid down. Our young men know that, and we’re learning to not only get better in practice, but compete on Friday night.”
New Albany has two games left until opening division play against Senatobia at the end of the month and tonight face the undefeated Warriors. In a 43-12 win over Bolivar Central last week, Corinth rushed for over 500 yards and have a double threat at running back in Robert White and Kendrick Williams.
“Some teams would like to have one quality running back, and they have two, and you never know from one play to the next which one is lining up at full back and who’s at running back,” Bulldogs head coach Ron Price said. “Last week, Williams was hit at the line of scrimmage and nine yards later, he was finally brought down, so that’s just the tough kind of running backs that they are. They’ve only played three games and have already rushed for over 1,000 yards.”
While Corinth does not use the passing game often, it has been effective, and the Warriors bring a lot of energy as a team under new head coach Doug Jones.
“About 75 percent of their throws have gone for touchdowns, so they choose wisely when they’re going to throw the football,” Price said. “You can tell they have a new coaching staff, because the kids are playing with a lot of excitement and intensity.”
Price has seen a lot of energy from his team this week, as they prepare for another 4A battle.
“Tuesday was probably the best practice we’ve had all school year,” he said. “The kids were focused, and we didn’t have to ask for any volunteers; kids were jumping out there doing what they needed to do. It was great energy, and I told them if they would go hard on every single play, we wouldn’t have to stay and constantly work on things, and they were able to do things very effectively and quickly.”
Friday’s games at New Albany and Ripley are set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.