What We Learned: Week 4

Published 9:28 am Monday, September 10, 2018

A month into the season and there has been plenty of excitement. Week four was the last chance for many teams to put the finishing touches in preparing for region play to begin. It also provided one of the more exciting high school games in recent memory with a pair of rivals duking it out until the final seconds.

Here’s what we learned last week:

Fear the Devils
Another week, another game where Water Valley had things in control before the bands took the field and it might be due to more than just the strength of their opponent at this point. The Blue Devils (4-0) shutout Bruce with their stingy defense and had a 42-point first half performance with their potent offense.

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It is the third straight game the Blue Devils have put up at least 40 points and the first time they’ve kept their opponent off the scoreboard. Only one team has scored more than eight points against them.

The Blue Devils continue to avoid any stressful situations in a game and with the way they are playing on both sides of the ball the trend might continue this week when they return home to host Calhoun City (2-2).

Crosstown statement
Do not bury Oxford just yet. The Chargers (2-1) showed they still have a pulse in their 29-27 win over Lafayette in Friday’s Crosstown Classic.

A field goal in the final seconds by Jack Tannehill lifted the Chargers to their second-straight win in the annual rivalry game, but it was the play on both sides of the ball all night that fueled the upset. The Chargers were able to provide a rushing attack that amassed over 200 yards and couple of touchdowns, while quarterback John Meagher threw a pair of touchdowns.

Oxford’s defense gave up yards to a deadly Lafayette rushing attack, but nearly every team on the Commodores’ schedule this year will do that with the two-headed monster of Lance Stewart and Jamie Shaw. The Chargers were able to slow down both Grenada and Lafyette’s run game just enough to pick up two wins and keep building on the momentum gained the past two weeks.

Opting to not take a bye week for the second straight season, Oxford travels to an undefeated Pontotoc team as their final tune-up ahead of Region 1-6A play beginning next week.

Back to work
All the hay is in the barn for Lafayette. The Commodores (3-1) enter their bye week coming off the loss to Oxford and now have work to do before traveling to No. 4 West Point on Sept. 21.

For the first time this season, the Commodores trailed in a game and also gave up the most points in a game this season. Their defense was unable to contain an Oxford offense that had not shown much the first three weeks of the season. With the numbers West Point can put up, stopping a rushing attack will be a key point of emphasis on the practice field the next two weeks.

Offensively, there was not much Lafayette needs to fix. They got their touchdowns and their rushing yards with 323 total yards on the ground. The offense was able to do what they wanted most of the game, but failed to convert on some key third downs late in the contest.