Hinds AHS War Dawgs favored to rule 6-2A

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Hinds AHS War Dogs collected 24 votes and are favored tocapture the 2006 Region 6-2A football championship according to TheDAILY LEADER’S Preseason Poll of region head coaches. St. Andrew’swas a close second with 22 votes and 2 first place votes. Wessonfinished third with 16 points, followed by Amite County, MadisonSt. Joseph, and Loyd Star.

In 2005, Hinds AHS (10-1) was the region champion. The War Dawgswere defeated in the first round of the state football playoffs.Head coach Michael Fields also coaches the men’s track team thatwon the state title last spring. The Bulldogs are expected to havea lot of speed on this year’s squad.

St. Andrew’s (5-6) is coached by veteran David Bradberry andcould take the region title with the all-star talents of runningback Bradford Blackmon and quarterback Conner Craig.

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Loyd Star head football coach Josh Thibodeaux picked St.Andrew’s Blackmon and Craig as the two top players in theregion.

Last year, Blackmon rushed the football 156 times for 1,247yards (7.9 average) and scored 19 touchdowns for the Saints. Hecaught 28 passes for 665 yards (23.7 average) and scored 8 TDs.Overall, Blackmon collected 31 touchdowns for 188 total points.

Craig completed 95 of 181 passes for 1,523 yards and 15touchdowns for St. Andrew’s. He also had 20 punts for 748 yards(37.1 average).

The Wesson Cobras, coached by Tommy Clopton, are powered bysenior quarterback Micah Davis and senior running back Otho Smith.Clopton’s squad finished No. 3 in the region last year with a 5-5record. They advanced to the state playoffs and fell to eventualstate champ Lumberton in the first round.

Davis (6-1, 190) completed 31 of 68 passes for 363 yards (5.8avg.) and four touchdowns for Wesson. He rushed the football 55times for 322 yards and four TDs. At linebacker, Davis finishedwith 27 solo tackles, 9 assists and 4 pass interceptions. As teampunter, he punted 36 times for 1246.5 yards for a 34.6 average.

Smith (6-1, 175) rushed the football 163 times for 1,081 yardsand 14 touchdowns for the Cobras.

According to Clopton, Blackmon is the best running back in theregion.

Although picked in last place, the Loyd Star Hornets (2-6) havethe potential to surprise a few teams this year.

Hornet senior quarterback Jarred Rogers ((5-10, 180) finishedlast year completing 18 of 35 passes for 314 yards for fourtouchdowns. Rogers also rushed the football 55 times for 507 yards(9.2 yard-average) and scored four touchdowns.

Selected to finish fourth with 12 points was Amite County,coached by Charles Jackson. The Trojans finished last year with a2-6 worksheet.

Taking the fifth spot with 10 points was Madison St. Joe.Coaching the 8-2 Bruins is new head coach Flip Godfrey. St. Joelost 16 starters to graduation.