Opposing viewpoint: Columbus

Staff Writer

Columbus High School has been trying for years to find some stability in its football program.

The Falcons are in fertile ground in central Mississippi and talent is there to be tapped. Basketball continues to reign supreme, however, and Columbus has managed to have just four winning football seasons in 15 years. Along the way, coaches have come and gone.

Randall Montgomery brought at least some stability as the Falcons had some of the more competitive teams in many years. He got them in the playoffs in his second season with eight wins, but that didn’t last. Following a two-win season last year, a changeover happened with Montgomery and he’s now the coach-in-waiting for Louisville. A former Starkville High player, Eric Rice has taken over to bring some of the culture that was instilled in him with the Yellow Jackets many years ago.

“They have a new coach and new players and they’re trying to get everybody adapted to scheme and philosophy," SHS coach Chris Jones said. "It’s going to take some time and it’s not going to happen overnight. Columbus always have great size and great skill, but any coach understands what he’s doing over there.”

The Falcons are 0-2 currently but have had stiff competition with West Point and Noxubee County losing 55-6 and 35-12 respectively.

Columbus has especially struggled offensively as it has averaged just over 200 yards per game. Quarterback Jaelan Craddieth has just 135 yards in two games with one touchdowns and five interceptions. Running back Derrick Jordan leads the team with 30 carries for 140 yards and one touchdown. Defense hasn’t been much better with just four tackles for loss and two sacks.

While the Jackets should be favored heavily in the game, quarterback Luke Altmyer cautions that they still have to play ball on Friday night to win the game and move to 4-0.

“They’re 6A football team with great size, great speed and great athleticism, but we have that as well,” Altmyer said. “We can’t just go out there and expect to win the game. We’ll have to play to our level.”