Junior varsity Vols blank Patriots

Staff Writer

It didn't take long for Randall Futral to make his presence known on Thursday night for the Starkville Academy junior varsity football team.

Futral ran for a 58-yard touchdown down the right side of the field on a speed option play just 14 seconds into the game against Winston Academy and the Volunteers went on to claim a 35-0 victory at J.E. Logan Field.

“To be perfectly honest with you, I did not expect that because Winston was a great team from what I saw on film,” Starkville Academy head coach Sam Wright said. “They are well-coached, coach (Brian) Sims has them well-coached. I just did not expect that.”

Following Futral’s touchdown rush, Tylor Latham scored on a 29-yard touchdown run up the middle with 5:08 to go in the first quarter, and he then scored a 25-yard touchdown to make it 21-0 with 1:22 to go in the first quarter.

Those 21 points in the first quarter were the only points of the first half, and Wright said it was a dream start for his team to get off to such a big lead early on in the game, but with a distraction like that, his team needed to stay focused.

“I think that is a dream start for any coach,” Wright said. “The dream start to be up 21-0 in the first quarter. I knew the game was not over, and we had to keep doing what we had to do, and I could not let us lose focus on what we had to do.

“When you get that big of a lead the guys minds start wandering and they start thinking about things. The guys know me and they know that they have got to stay focus with what we are doing. I am so proud of those guys because they did stay focused.”

The Vols closed out the game with a touchdown by Bo Carter to put Starkville Academy up 28-0, and Jonathan Latham scored a touchdown to make it 35-0. As the defense kept a shutout, and gave very little of anything to Winston,

Defensive captain Tylor Latham, who made an impact on both sides of the football, said everyone played together to get the win.

“We just did our assignments, and the D-line held it down,” Latham said. “We just fed off of that energy. It was exciting. The O-Line blocked everybody. We just ran through big holes it was easy all night."

The effects of the rain and storms from Tropical Storm Gordon did play a part in the game as both teams struggled with ball security, several fumbles, muffed kicks, and errant snaps were due to a very slippery ball.

“It did early because the ball was wet and we were trying to keep the ball dry,” Wright said. “All of the rain we had from Tropical Storm Gordon did play a little bit of a part, but it did not play that much of a part.”

As Starkville Academy (3-1) prepares for a tough matchup with Magnolia Heights in Senatobia, Wright said that ball security is definitely something they will focus on in practice to prepare for that game.

“Mag Heights is a team that loves to strip the ball, they love to focus on attacking and trying to punch the ball out, ripping the ball out, so we are going to really focus on that this week.” Wright said.