Starkville Academy claims blowout win

Starkville Daily News - - SCORECARD - By RYAN PHILLIPS edi­tor@starkvilledai­lynews.com

The Starkville Academy Vol­un­teers ju­nior var­sity squad rolled to a big vic­tory over the Mag­no­lia Heights School Chiefs at home on Thurs­day night, led by a stout de­fense and strong ground game.

The evening be­gan with Mag­no­lia Height's sev­enth grade team de­feat­ing the Vol­un­teers 12-0, but the ju­nior var­sity game saw Starkville Academy win 42-0 be­hind three rush­ing scores for eight grade run­ning back Ty­lor Latham.

Starkville Academy ju­nior var­sity head coach Sam Wright said fol­low­ing the per­for­mance he was proud of the ef­fort Latham put forth and called his run­ning back “a true bless­ing.”

“You ought to see the in­ten­sity in his eyes, he says ‘coach give it to me, I'm not go­ing to let you down,' and he does that,” Wright said. “He tells me that ev­ery day in prac­tice and like I tell him, he's an an­i­mal, but Tyler is a type of kid that God has blessed that's go­ing to go far in life.”

Latham scored the first points of the game with a 32-yard touch­down scam­per with 3:53 left in the first quar­ter.

The Vol­un­teers ex­ploded be­hind Latham for 28 points in the sec­ond quar­ter alone.

The lead was ex­tended for Starkville Academy on the fol­low­ing drive with a 40-yard touch­down pass from Jack Hevesy to Cole Gon­za­les to put the Vol­un­teers up 14-0 fol­low­ing a John Dy­lan Miller ex­tra point.

Miller proved spe­cial for the home team for the evening, go­ing 6 of 6 on ex­tra point at­tempts.

Latham found he end zone for the sec­ond time in the first half with a 10-yard touch­down run and fol­lowed it up with an­other 5-yard scor­ing run with less than a minute to go in the first half.

De­spite the of­fen­sive fire­power with its star run­ning back, the Vol­un­teers also cap­i­tal­ized on the de­fen­sive side of the foot­ball to close out the first half. With less than 10 sec­onds to go be­fore half­time, Gon­za­les re­cov­ered a fum­ble and re­turned it 45 yards for a score to give the Vol­un­teers a 35-0 lead go­ing into the locker room.

Hevesy made plays with both his arm and legs dur­ing the game, but scored the only points of the sec­ond half on de­fense with a 35-yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn for a touch­down to drive the nail for the home team.

Wright said the shutout was some­thing his team's de­fense has worked to­ward this sea­son and praised as­sis­tant coach David But­ler for get­ting the team pre­pared.

“Coach David But­ler has had that de­fense rolling all year and I can't be more happy for coach But­ler and what he has done for this team and the guys that are ready for the next step,” Wright said. “If we keep this thing go­ing, things will be great for us.”

The Vol­un­teers (3-1) will face Can­ton Academy next week, which Wright said will be an­other test as his team gets into the meat of their sched­ule.

“We got a big game next week and with it com­ing up with Can­ton, we have to play with the same kind of in­ten­sity and I chal­lenge them ev­ery day in cer­tain as­pects in foot­ball and life in gen­eral,” Wright said. “Even in a blowout like that, I want the guys to learn cer­tain things and they did. We took each step, (and) each thing we asked them to do, they did.”

(Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)

Starkville Academy ju­nior var­sity foot­ball coach Sam Wright talks to his team fol­low­ing a 42-0 vic­tory over Mag­no­lia Heights School on Thurs­day

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