Tomcats will face seasoned Red Rebels in opener
By Jody O'Hara
Aug 22, 2013, 10:43
Friday night's contest between Stone High and Harrison Central may well be a case of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object.
A powerful Tomcats offense, which put up 31 points against Biloxi in a spring game, will face a well-seasoned Red Rebels defense which returns 10 starters from last season.
Of the most concern will be the cornerbacks.
Tito Windham has already committed to Oklahoma and Lashard Durr has already committed to Mississippi State.
Another defender, tackle Ladarius Kidd, has committed to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
"Our defensive front is pretty good," said second-year Coach Steve Jones. "Trevonte Chandler, Britian Thompson and Justin Lee fill it all in."
The D-line averages 246 pounds.
Getting past that line takes one into the turf of Chris Crosby, a 6-2, 210-pound linebacker who made 126 tackles last season.
Tomcats Coach Adam Stone knows just how to approach a defense of Harrison Central's nature.
"We're going to run right at them," he said. "We just have to be more physical than they are."
Establishing a running game with Justin Smith and Tavarus Fairley will force the Red Rebels' defense to commit to the run and allow senior quarterback Clayton Johnson to start looking for junior receivers Deon Bradford and Chandler Jones.
Keeping the Tomcats offense on the field will be a big help to the defense as Windham will switch to quarterback while Durr becomes a running back.
The two teams did not meet last year because of a rainout, so the Harrison Central coaching staff has relied on film from the spring game to get a handle on Friday's matchup.
"They look pretty athletic and pretty big," Jones said of the Tomcats. "They play really well and look well coached."
The Stone High coaches had an opportunity to see the Red Rebels in action in a 30-0 victory over Long Beach in a jamboree last week.
"They're a big, physical football team," Stone said.
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