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Area teams impressive in openers

After months and months of waiting, there is finally football back in the Miss-Lou.

The 2010 Mississippi high school football season began for most teams on Friday, and all area Mississippi teams except for Wilkinson County got their season started.

The beginning of a season is always an exciting time and everyone is pumped to see some football, but because teams are still getting used to playing actual games, the season-opening games are often sloppily played and full of leg cramps.

A great example of that was the game I attended on Friday night, Adams County Christian vs. CENLA Christian.

I never thought a 48-minute regulation high school game could last three-and-a-half hours, but this one did, as ACCS hung on for a 53-50 victory over the Lions from Pineville, La.

As you can tell from the score, the game wasn’t exactly a defensive struggle.

Big plays dominated the night, as well as, unfortunately, injuries.

In addition to the leg cramps that seemed to happen after almost ever other play, ACCS was hit by an arm injury to starting quarterback Kent Yates and a knee injury to backup running back Christopher Perry.

Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game, and here’s hoping those two will recover quickly.

There were also several very impressive performances from area schools on opening night.

Trinity Episcopal picked right up where they left off last year by destroying Prairie View Academy 54-8.

The rout included three defensive touchdowns in the second half by the Saints, as the offense could afford to rest a bit.

Class A better beware of the Saints, who look primed to repeat as state champions.

Franklin County also looked very impressive in its opening game, as it avenged last year’s shocking 12-0 loss to Loyd Star by routing the Hornets 62-7 in new head coach Ricky O’Quinn’s first game.

The Bulldogs defense held Loyd Star to just 77 yards of total offense. After being eliminated in the playoff quarterfinals last year, Franklin County might have just sent notice to the rest of Class 3A that they’re ready to compete for a state title this season.

Another set of Bulldogs had an impressive showing on Friday, as Natchez High routed rival Jefferson County 41-14.

Senior quarterback Javon Washington didn’t have a spectacular game, but he was solid, completing 13-of-17 passes for 141 yards and throwing a touchdown pass.

Natchez could very easily start the season off 4-0 before delving into district play on Sept. 24.

Another quarterback that had a great night was Cathedral’s Caleb Upton.

Upton, a junior, passed for 224 yards, threw two touchdown passes and ran for another in Cathedral’s 28-6 win over Central Private.

The Green Wave have gotten off to slow starts to the season the last couple of years, but that might not be the case this year, as they looked impressive offensively and defensively in defeating the Spartans.

There is one more week of just Mississippi football before the Louisiana schools start their season on Sept. 3.

So get out there and support your school on Friday night. And good luck to all the area teams throughout the season.

Jeff Edwards is the sports editor for The Democrat. He can be reached at sports@natchezdemocrat.com, or by phone at 601-445-3632.

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