Starkville Academy quarterback Drew Pellum (5), looks for running room again Leake Academy Friday night. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The Starkville Academy Volunteers found their offense and played lock down defense, as it rolled to a blowout victory.
The Vols beat the Leake Academy Rebels 45-0 Friday night at JE Logan Field.
Starkville Academy, which evened its record at 2-2, was coming off two straight losses and although head coach Jeff Terrill didn't feel a sense of urgency, he was glad to get a victory.
"It's like a breath of fresh air," Terrill said. "Hopefully, it will lead to bigger and better things."
The offense got things going on its first drive.
The Vols used six plays, 63 yards and 2 minutes to take a 7-0 lead. Senior tailback Colby Runnels capped off the drive with a 7-yard rushing touchdown.
"We had great focus, great intensity and great execution," Terrill said. "It is something we had been pounding for two weeks and they really came out and responded. It gave us great momentum and confidence."
The SA defense did its part. On the first Rebel drive, the Vols forced a three and out and Leake had to punt.
"We just knew we had to stop the power on the run," SA senior linebacker Stephen Robertson said. "We have given up too much run these past few weeks. (It was) stop the run first and make them pass it."
The two teams then exchanged punts and the Vols took over at the Leake 40-yard line. They marched down to the 14-yard line, but were unable to put it in the end zone. Johnathon Burton kicked a 31-yard field to make it 10-0.
That scored stood until Runnels punched it in from 4 yards out in the second quarter to make it 17-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Rebels fumbled it and the Vols pounced on it. They took over at the Leake 35-yard line. SA moved the ball down the field and Michael Miller punched it in from a yard out to make it 24-0.
On the kickoff, the Rebels again had problems fielding it and the Vols recovered it at the Rebel 35-yard line.
"It really blew the game open," Terrill said. "We had done something similar like that and blown an opportunity that really hurt us. Our kids were more alert, flying around and it certainly blew the game wide open."
Drew Pellum found Hunter Bolin on the very next play for a 35-yard touchdown pass to make it 31-0.
SA wasn't done there. Drew Harrell broke loose and found the end zone from 33 yards out to make it 38-0 at the half.
In the third quarter, Pellum found Austin Miles for a 47-yard touchdown strike to end the scoring.
The Vol defense kept the pressure on and wanted to preserve the shutout.
"(We) really swarmed well and tackled," Terrill said. "We were very pleased with their effort."
On fourth and goal from the 14-yard line, the Rebels went for it. A bad pass led to an interception by Volunteer sophomore Joel Ray to end the game.
"It gives us good momentum going into conference next week and later on in the season," Robertson said.
Runnels finished the game with 84 yards on 13 carries. He had two scores. Pellum rushed for 69 yards on 12 attempts. Harrell had two touches and finished with 67 yards and one score.
Pellum was 3-of-5 for 98 yards and two scores.
Robertson, Harrell and Josh Crittenden led the Vols in tackles.
SA is back at home next Friday night. It plays host to division foe Hillcrest. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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