The Starkville Academy junior varsity football team has come a long way since its beginning.
That was evident Thursday night.
The Volunteers beat Heritage Academy 42-0 to improve their record to 5-0 for the second year in a row.
"Year one, we had to struggle to win a game," SA coach Chad Peterson said. "In year two, the kids were in the program for a whole year. It's just a product of a whole heck of a lot of work. It starts in June. We didn't have people miss all summer."
The 7th grade Vols got a 20-0 win in the early afternoon game.
Running back Grant Wolfe had two scores. He had a 13-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter and he intercepted a ball and returned it 75 yards in the second quarter.
"In several of our offensive sets, he's not on the field," Peterson said. "It says a lot about the skilled guys we have on this team. The future looks good for Starkville Academy football. They have an opportunity to be a very special group."
Quarterback Houston Clark got the Volunteers going when he scrambled 27 yards to give SA a 7-0 lead at the 6:42 mark in the first quarter.
"Houston Clark is going to get better and better every time he gets on the field," Peterson said. "He started out as a 7th grade quarterback. (He) played quarterback for us last year and this is his third year in our offensive system. He is the key quarterback of our future."
The Vols got another defensive score when Noah Heflin scooped up a fumble and returned it 40 yards to cap the SA scoring.
"The defense has been playing good for two years," Peterson said. "We've got kids that are scrappy. They love to run to the football, they have fun while their playing and they are very fun to coach."
Clark also found Colton Crestman for a 43-yard touchdown pass with 4 minutes to go in the second quarter.
Crestman also had a 3-yard rushing touchdown late in the second quarter.
The Volunteers are back in action next Thursday when they travel to Jackson Prep. The 7th grade is set for 5:30 p.m. with junior varsity starting at 7 p.m.
Jackson Prep is also 5-0 so it will be a big game for both teams. SA is looking to beat the perennial power.
"We have the chance to go do something very big and very special next Thursday," Peterson said.