Saints, Hounds set for rematch

Published 12:11 am Thursday, September 6, 2007

NATCHEZ — A year ago, the Huntington Hounds and the Trinity Saints were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in Class A heading into their showdown at Trinity.

Led by Stevan Ridley’s two touchdowns and over 250 yards rushing, the Saints pulled out a 16-7 win on their march to the state championship.

This Friday at 7 p.m., the rivalry between Class AA Trinity and Huntington, ranked No. 2 in Class A, won’t be quite as meaningful when the two teams go head to head at Huntington. But those attending the game will still expect some big plays and hard hits from these two teams.

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“We look forward to playing a team like Trinity,” Huntington head coach Chad Harkins said. “Last year it was for the district championship. Definitely not quite as important as last year.”

Harkins added that the players on both teams know each other and that it will still be a good game. Whether it will be the low-scoring game or one with a lot of points like Harkins expected last year’s game to be remains to be seen.

And while Huntington’s defense won’t have to deal with stopping Ridley, it will have to contend with senior quarterback Parker Brumfield, a running game led by sophomores R.J. Fleming and Brandon Daggs, and a receiving corps led by junior Wells Middleton and senior Clint Easom.

In Trinity’s 47-0 win over cross-town and District 3-AA rival ACCS, Brumfield completed 12 of 17 passes for 204 yards and four touchdowns and he added a rushing touchdown. Fleming had 106 yards rushing, 49 of those on a touchdown run.

“We’ve got a lot of weapons on offense,” Trinity assistant head coach Matt Mason said. “We have a good running game led by R.J. and Brandon. Clint will be back and play some this week. He’s been released, so we’ll try to use him as much as we can. We’re going to try to keep their offense off the field.”

Huntington’s offense is led by senior running backs Jody Cottongin and Martez Tolliver and freshman quarterback Chuck Bowie. In the Hounds’ 38-0 win over WCCA in a District 6-A game, Cottongin had 217 yards and two touchdowns while Tolliver had 165 yards and one touchdown on offense and two interception returns for touchdowns on defense.

“They’ve got a unique offense. They’re so big up front, so we’re going to have to fill some gaps because their running game can give us trouble,” Mason said. “Jody Cottongin is a good back. He had some good runs against us last year. So we’re going to scheme our defense to contain him.”

Mason added that Huntington’s offense is so big and fast that “we may have to use that special 10-1 defense we’ve been working on. Ten men up front to stop the run and one man back so hopefully they won’t throw it.”

Harkins said that while he hopes his offense can run the ball like it did against WCCA, he would like to see Bowie throw the ball a few times. Last week, the Hounds didn’t throw even one pass.

As far as the defense is concerned, the key to slowing down Trinity will be tackling well, Harkins noted. “They’ve got some great athletes over there. Just try to slow them down some. Stopping them is not in the equation. I hope they don’t score a lot of points on us.”