Reunited and it feels good

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Technically, you had to keep telling yourself, it was only a jamboree.

Even with the intensity on the field, the drama at the end and the sizeable crowd on hand, Saturday’s 15-12 Adams Christian win over Trinity Episcopal was just a tuneup for the season that didn’t go in the standings.

Yeah, but it sure didn’t feel like it.

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Both teams went after each other hard, showed what they can do and played well at times to make things interesting.

And truth be told, both teams should do quite well this season if Saturday was any indication.

&uot;That was the most intense jamboree I’ve ever been in,&uot; AC head coach Keith Walters said of the Saints. &uot;When I was at (WCCA), we played Centreville in a jamboree. It wasn’t anything this intense.&uot;

The intensity stemmed from the first meeting of the two schools since 1998 &045; when most of the players on Saturday were in junior high at best.

And it was highly anticipated around town. Everyone wanted to know how AC’s defense would stop Trinity’s speed or how the Saints were planning to stop Luke Ogden.

After a couple turnovers and the Rebels’ offense kept the Saints from scoring in the second half, AC put the game away.

&uot;I can assure you and I can assure our fans we’re not as good as people think we are,&uot; Trinity head coach David King said. &uot;But we’re going to work harder than everybody and we’ll be real good. That’s what I get paid to do. We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again. I know I sound cocky, but I don’t care.&uot;

The Saints should be a very good team once November comes around, and the Rebels could continue to surprise people after pulling some stunners last year following their winless 2001 campaign.

What we learned from the jamboree is this &045; Ogden is one heck of a back, the Saints have an assortment of weapons on offense, the Rebels are improving on defense and the Saints may be bigger than they’ve ever been.

And the rivalry? Both coaches agreed things went smoothly and the game went fairly smooth. Outside of a couple unsportsmanlike calls and one ejection, things went smooth.

&uot;They’re a good team, but we came out (on top) at the end because we took advantage of things we had to,&uot; AC quarterback Dustin Case said. &uot;They’ve got a good football team. It was just a jamboree, but people made it into more.&uot;

SURPRISE, SURPRISE &045; If you expected the Rebels to throw a 75-yard touchdown pass the first time they touched the ball, you’re a liar.

Or some sort of offbeat psychic.

The Rebels lined up in their I formation the first play from scrimmage, and Case faked a handoff to Ogden before heaving pass to a wide-open Ray Simpson.

Not that the pass was anything of beauty &045; Simpson had to take a step or two up to catch it &045; but he got under and took it 75 yards to the house.

&uot;We were just undisciplined,&uot; King said. &uot;That’s what jamborees are for &045; being undisciplined and knowing we’ll learn from that and get better.&uot;

Maybe the defense bit on the fake, or no one was expecting a pass. It was one of three Case passes on the night and his only completion.

But after how the Rebels passed the ball last year, they’ll take it.

&uot;I told the coaches yesterday at practice we were going to score on the first play if we get it off,&uot; Walters said. &uot;But those things work out once every five years. A lot of times they’ll drop those when they’re that open. You’ve got to protect, throw and catch. We blocked, Dustin made a good throw and Ray made a good catch.&uot;

THE SAINTS &045; The first half Trinity showed its capability on offense with a multitude of weapons for any team, especially that of a MPSA Class A squad.

The Saints moved the ball quickly downfield on their first two possessions in the first half with Chase Brown and Gregory Ketchings picking up sizeable yardage on each carry.

But the biggest play perhaps was when Ryan Rachal hit Dudley Guice Jr. with a quick screen pass, and Guice turned it on to race down the sideline for a 29-yard touchdown pass.

&uot;They’re just so quick, and we’re so slow, I guess,&uot; Walters said.&160;&uot;The defensive coordinator &045; who is me &045; has got to do a better job. But I congratulate Trinity. They’ve got an outstanding football team, and they played hard to the very, very end.&uot;

PLAY OF THE GAME &045; After that TD pass, the Rebels had to go with their strength &045; Ogden up the middle.

And his first touch was impressive. He took it up the middle, fought off a number of tackles and rumbled for 47 yards before Guice pulled him down at the TE 23.

&uot;That’s typical of him,&uot; Walters said. &uot;He’s just a competitor, and that’s the best way I know how to put it.&uot;

Adam Daigle

is sports editor of The Natchez Democrat. You can reach him at (601) 445-3632 or by e-mail at