East Webster football coach Doug Wilson walks down the sideline during jamboree action at West Oktibbeha last week. (Photo by Ben Wait, SDN)
The East Webster Wolverines may be playing a Class A squad, but it will be no pushover.
The Wolverines open the season on the road at Vardaman tonight at 7:30 p.m.
"We know we have a very tough opponent," East Webster head coach Doug Wilson said. "Vardaman is one of the No. 1 teams in 1A. They have a great coaching staff, a good team and going to be a very tough game for us."
The Wolverines beat the Rams 13-12 last year at home.
East Webster played another Class A team last week in a jamboree. The Wolverines beat West Oktibbeha 7-6 in Maben and played solid on the defensive side of the ball.
Not giving up big plays and limiting Vardaman quarterback Cody Jenkins will be the gameplan.
"We just don't want to give up big plays," Wilson said. "Vardaman's quarterback is very good. He has been in that position for a long time and we've had trouble with him the last two or three years. If we are not in the right spot at the right time, we are going to have trouble again."
Wilson feels like his team is prepared, but is anxious to see how his veterans will lead.
"We've had a good week of practice," Wilson said. "We are expecting a lot out of our young kids. It just depends on how well our seniors play and lead for us."
In other area matchups for week one, Eupora travels to French Camp, East Oktibbeha makes the trip to Leake County, West Oktibbeha hosts S.V. Marshall and Ackerman goes to Noxapater. All of the games are set for 7:30 p.m. kickoffs.
Eupora at French Camp
The Eagles are looking avenge last season's 20-14 lost to the Panthers.
"We are going to have to protect the ball," Eupora head coach Junior Graham said. "Last year, we had six turnovers on the offensive side of the ball plus a turnover in the special team. That has been a focus of ours throughout the spring and fall so far."
The Panthers will be without quarterback Jesse Hosket who has a broken finger.
"They took a big loss at quarterback with Jesse going down with an injury, but they are going to fill that voided area with somebody capable of managing their offense," Graham said.
Graham expects there to be a few mistakes on the field with it being the first game. He is just hoping his team can push through and do what needs to be done to get the victory.
"Like most first games you probably expect some mistakes and blown assignments," Graham said. "If we have a fewer number of those, we will have a better shot at winning the game. You are always going to have a few errors early in the ballgame. Our focus is to protect the football, try and play field position and good sound defense."
East Oktibbeha at Leake County
Titan head coach Randy Brooks is looking to get his running game going to set the tone for the rest of the season.
"You can't pass unless you establish a run first," Brooks said. "That is going to be our philosophy this year. We are going to be a run first team and pass second."
The Titans hope to get the ground game going when they travel to Walnut Grove to take on the Gators.
The jamboree that East Oktibbeha participated in last week, helped the Titans, but Brooks knows there is still a lot to do.
"I expect us to be a little rusty," Brooks said. "We had a jamboree last week so we ironed out some of the things that I felt like we needed to work on."
S.V. Marshall at West Oktibbeha
The Timberwolves are at home for the second-straight Friday against a Class 2A opponent.
This time it's for real.
The Timberwolves played at home last Friday night against East Webster in their own jamboree. The Wolverines won 7-6, but if it was't for penalties they might not have scored.
That is something West Oktibbeha head coach Adam Lowrey is looking to fix before tonight.
S.V. Marshall went 7-4 last season, losing its last three games. The Tigers were outscored 113-22 in those three games.
Ackerman at Noxapater
The Indians travel to Noxapater to take on the defending Class A State Champions to open the season.
Ackerman got the best of Tigers last season, beating them 36-33.
Indian quarterback Dakota Brasher was 4-of-7 passing with 79 yards. He also rushed 17 times, gaining 106 yards.
The Indians did most of their damage on the ground, racking up 355 yards on 52 total touches.
"Noxapater is a really good football team," Ackerman head coach Adam Dillinger said. "They have a lot of folks back and they are really well-coached. They're real good and we know that going into it. We are just hoping to play our best, for it to give us a starting point of where we are and figure out where we need to get better at."
K.J. Woods, who has since graduated, had five touchdowns for Ackerman.
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