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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

STANDARD DEMOCRAT GAME OF THE WEEK: NMCC Eagles at Dyersburg Trojans

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

(Photo)
NMCC's Bryan Williams (24) has rushed for 161 yards and scored two touchdowns this year
DYERSBURG, Tenn. -- When the Dyersburg (Tenn.) Trojans and the New Madrid County Central Eagles met for the first time last season, many expected a great matchup between two powerful teams.

Instead, the Eagles humbled the Trojans, sending the team back to Tennessee with a 46-26 loss.

On Friday night, the Trojans will look for a little revenge when the Eagles visit Dyersburg for a 7:30 matchup.

Neither team is as strong as they were last year, but both are expecting a tough matchup on Friday.

NMCC is 2-4 on the season after last week's heart-breaking 24-23 overtime loss to Sikeston.

Dyersburg enters the game with a 4-3 mark, but no doubt, will be out for blood after last year according to NMCC head coach Steve Rogers.

"They're still smarting a little bit from the whipping we put on them last year," said Rogers. "We were the only team that beat them by more than a touchdown last year. They have a good quality football program and they're going to be ready."

The Trojans scrapped the option game that has been the team's staple for years in favor of a shotgun-based spread offense using a one-back set.

Running the offense is sophomore Coley Jamison, who replaced the team's starter who was injured in the first game of the year.

"He's improved -- he's a sophomore and he's running a new offense," said Dyersburg head coach James Counce. "The last two weeks he's completed 50 percent of his passes and that's a big improvement. We're spreading the field and we're trying to throw the ball around."

Robert Simmons is the team's tailback while Davion Ezell and Terrance McClin are Jamison's top targets at receiver.

"They'll throw the ball 60 percent of the time," said Rogers. "They do a lot of trapping and draws with their one-back. We have been pretty good on our pass defense. Our rush hasn't been very good this year. The best pass defense is a good pass rush so hopefully we'll get a good rush on them Friday night."

NMCC has been led by junior quarterback Remond Willis, who like Jamison, was called on out of necessity at the quarterback spot when an injury knocked out the starter.

Willis has throw for 373 yards, completing 22-of-47 passes with three touchdown strikes and three interceptions. He has rushed for 458 yards with six touchdowns.

"Their quarterback is very impressive on the option and throwing the football," said Counce. "And they've got a couple of receivers and a running back that runs the ball very well. We've got to try to gang tackle and get a bunch of people to the football."

Tailback Mack Kimble has rushed for 327 yards with three touchdowns. Bryan Williams follows up with 161 yards with two scores.

Edgar Givens and Vaughn Shephard are the top receiving threats, combining to catch 17 passes for 292 yards.

"Last year they had a great football team," said Counce. "I don't think they're as good as they were last year. They had all those great athletes last year. But they look good to us on film this year. They're quick, and they're very athletic on both sides of the football."

Dyersburg's spread attack is unique to NMCC in that the Eagles haven't seen, and won't see, another team that runs a similar offense this year.

"This game doesn't really get us ready for our district," said Rogers. "Fredericktown, Dexter and Kennett are all predominantly running teams. We may see more passes Friday night than we do in all three of our district games put together. We just want to go over there, play hard and keep getting better."