Hornets, Cobras home for 2A openers
The Wesson Cobras and the Loyd Star Hornets will be at homeFriday night to host the first round of the Class 2A state footballplayoffs. Both games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Wesson (9-1, 5-0) is the Region 6-2A champ and will entertainRegion 5 and No. 4 Kemper County (2-8, 2-3) at Stone Stadium on thecampus of Copiah-Lincoln Community College.
Loyd Star (8-2, 4-1) is the Region 6 runner-up and will hostRegion 5 and No. 3 South Leake (6-4, 3-2) on William E. “Sambo”Smith Field. Last year, Loyd Star advanced to the first round ofthe state playoffs as the runner-up and fell to Gulfport St. John29-12.
Wesson is coming off a 42-0 win over Hinds AHS in the finalregular season game last Friday while South Leake stuffed KemperCounty 24-0.
“They (Kemper Co.) have a gifted No. 7 at split end,” saidWesson head coach Ronald Greer. “He caught eight or nine passes for191 yards against Newton. Their quarterback is good and can throwit all over the field. Their quarterback is a dangerous runner.They run out of the I-back like us. They run a power sweep. Theirfavorite play is the buck sweep.”
Against Hinds AHS, scoring two touchdowns apiece for the Cobraswere Marcus Corley and Billy Ray Miller. Ryan Williams and RichieMiller also scored TDs.
Miller is second in Region 6-2A and leads Wesson with 14touchdowns followed by Corley with nine TDs.
Senior tackle Matt Dyess paced Wesson with 13 tackles.
Cobra sophomore punter/kicker Nick Gunter is fifth in the 2Ascoring with 34 PATs and three field goals for a total of 43points.
“They line up in a 4-3 look,” said Greer, “and they stuntlinebackers a lot. We are going to have to do a good job on pickingup the linebackers.
“We are going to have to establish a run,” stated Greer. “Wehave to throw some play-action stuff off of what we do. We need asolid performance out of our special teams. We have to tackle realwell on defense. The two teams they have beaten missed a lot oftackles.”
The Loyd Star Hornets posted a lopsided 42-14 region win overthe McLaurin Tigers last Friday.
“They (South Leake) are big,” said Loyd Star head football coachAnthony Hart. “They are extremely fast. They like to run the ball.Their top runner is Eric Fortune. Another is Latez Fortune whoplays receiver and some running back. He is a good player also.
“They have four 300 pounders on the offensive line,” Hartcontinued. “That enables them to run the football well.”
Against McLaurin, the Hornets’ ground game was led by seniorrunningback Derrick Johnson with four carries for 108 yards and andtwo touchdowns. Also scoring a TD were Adam Speeg, Demarcus Barnes,Josh Townsend and Josh Reed.
Johnson leads the Region 2A with 18 touchdowns on the season.Barnes follows in third place with 12 TDs.
Senior linebacker Cody Covington sparked the Hornets with eighttackles.
Loyd Star junior punter Jody Britt is second in the 2A scoringwith 39 PATs and three field goals for 48 points scored.
“Defensively, their top defensive player is Hedrick Ficklin,”explained Hart. “He plays on the defensive line and is about 6-2and 214 pounds. They run to the ball well on defense. They haveexcellent speed.
“We are going to play like we have all year,” added Hart. “Wewill run at them and try to contain their backs.”