Competitive situation: Mitchell expects another good game between SHS, Noxubee
The Starkville High School football team breaks huddle after a recent practice. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
It has the potential of being another close and competitive football game.
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When the Starkville Yellowjackets and Noxubee County Tigers met to open the 2010 season in Starkville, the Tigers were able to score in the fourth quarter to defeat the Jackets 14-7.
Starkville looks to return the favor tonight as it heads down to Macon for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
Even though the Jackets have enjoyed a successful offseason, head coach Jamie Mitchell knows Noxubee County will provide a tremendous challenge for his team and expects another battle.
"We were able to keep the game to a low-scoring game last year and had a shot," Mitchell said. "We hope to be able to do that again. We want to hang in there until the end and make a few plays down the stretch to come out with a win."
Mitchell said don't read too much into the Tigers 27-12 two-quarter loss to the Columbus Falcons at MSU Saturday. He knows Columbus has a very good team and believes Noxubee County has a better defensive team than what it showed.
"Columbus is loaded and were by far the most impressive looking team that I saw out there Saturday," Mitchell said. "If they keep everything in line, they'll have a shot to make a run.
"Noxubee, defensively, is about as good as anybody we'll play year in and year out. Any yard that you earn against them is a hard-earned yard."
Starkville was disappointed that it didn't score more than seven points in two quarters offensively against McComb and Mitchell said steps have been taken this week to correct some things.
"We went back to the drawing board a little bit and tried to reduce and narrow down a little bit," Mitchell said. "We're still not where we need to be, but better than where we were. Last Saturday certainly helped."
It will be the first game for junior Gabe Myles under center as he starts for the graduated Jaquez Johnson.
Myles will be missing one of his targets as wide receiver Jimmy Saulsberry suffered an ankle injury in practice and will not be able to play against Noxubee County.
For an offense that's searching for playmakers, having Saulsberry go down wasn't good news for Mitchell.
"(Saulsberry) is arguably our best wide receiver," Mitchell said. "We're trying to find out what we can do and who can do what."
With continued uncertainty on offense and a defense that can keep the Jackets in games, Mitchell wouldn't be surprised to see another game with the Tigers come down to the wire.
He wouldn't mind seeing that as long as SHS comes out on top.
"Maybe we'll get a different outcome this time," Mitchell said.