The Starkville Academy Volunteers spent a great amount of emotion last week.
Keeping the focus was coach Chad Peterson's number one priority.
"We preached to them," Peterson said. "They showed up every day to practice and we had a great week of practice. (We) came out focused (Thursday)."
It showed in the Volunteers 28-6 victory over Parklane Academy at J.E. Logan Field.
The Vols had already locked up the Class AAA South State title a week ago, so there was not a whole lot to play for except moving their record to 4-0 at home and 7-1 overall.
Although the Vols won, Peterson was not pleased with how the game went, but was excited about his team getting over the adversity.
"We had more penalties (Thursday) than we've had combined all year long," he said. "It was not a pretty game. It was sloppy, but we found a way to win. That's what this group has done all year."
SA got things going early in the first quarter, when Grant Wolfe scored on a 51-yard run to make it 7-0.
Starting quarterback Houston Clark punched it in from 34 yards out with 3:02 to go in the second quarter.
A minute later Wolfe found the end zone again. This time from 10 yards out.
The Vols took a 21-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Pioneers got on the board when Cole Smith punched it in with a 27-yard run to make it 21-6.
On the next SA drive, Clark left the game with an injury. Backup quarterback Colt Crestman came in and picked up where Clark left off.
"Colt did a great job for us," Peterson said. "(He) managed the offense and put people in right places. You just can't say enough for him."
Wolfe ended the scoring when he got his third touchdown with a 1-yard run.
"He is just so fast," Peterson said. "He has great vision. He is very coachable and he does exactly what you tell him to do. I am going to enjoy seeing that boy run for many years."
The 7th grade Vols picked up a 26-8 victory in the afternoon game.