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ACCS Rebels prepare for challenge on road

By PATRICK MURPHY

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — The ACCS Rebels are preparing for their first road game of the season as they will travel to Columbia Academy Friday.

During practice this week head coach David King has focused the team on pass coverage, flipping the field and earning every point, three aspects he said he hopes will help his team continue to win.

“Columbia Academy has a very good quarterback that throws the ball well,” King said, adding field position is improtant to success. “Yohan Thompson had several really nice punts that flipped the field. We gotta play field position. As far as scoring a lot of points, we’re not going to be open like the last few years I have coached. We have to earn every point.”

A 4-yard touchdown by Cory Sewell proved to help lead the Rebels to victory over Oak Forest last week. On the ground, the Rebels ran for 239 yards. On the defensive side, ACCS kept Oak Forest out of the endzone and limited them to seven first downs.

King said Columbia is another good offensive team.

“We have to control the ball, and we’re without our starting quarterback (Glaston Magee who injured his shoulder),” King said. “We were thrust into being a 99 percent running team. It’s not what we’ve custom to doing. We only threw the ball three times. I don’t recall any game where we threw less than 15. It’s a big difference.”

The Columbia Cougars come into this game on a loss against Simpson Academy, 20-12. They had 175 passing yards and 176 receiving. Last season, the Rebels came away with a victory against the Cougars, 42-14. As opposed to last season’s home game, the Rebels will travel to Columbia Academy.

To the younger players, ACCS’s DJ Stampley expressed some wisdom from experience.

“I understand we’re on the road and it’s a long ride on the bus, but just be calm,” Stampley said. “We get on the bus and be focused. Get off the bus and be focused.”

ACCS comes into this game with a No. 36 ranking in the state and No. 2 in Class 5A, behind Heritage Academy, while the Cougars are ranked No. 136 in the state.

In comparison to depth, Columbia Academy is the larger team with 33 players on the roster to ACCS’s 22 players on the roster.

“We’re gonna see who wants it more,” Sewell said. “Since we don’t have a lot of depth, we’re gonna see who wants it more.”

The game will start at 7 p.m. at James E. Pope Football Field in Columbia.

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