ACCS defense key to end St. Joseph winning streak

Published 8:31 pm Thursday, August 20, 2020

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NATCHEZ — The Adams County Christian School Rebels will rely on their defense to stop the passing game of the St. Joseph Catholic School Fighting Irish when the Rebels travel to Greenville on Friday.

The Rebels come into Friday’s game after a 13-7 victory over Riverfield Academy in a jamboree last Friday. V.J. Knight ran for two touchdowns and Tripp Cotten had an interception in the jamboree.

Richy Spears, ACCS defensive coordinator, said Friday’s game is going to be much different than the jamboree against Riverfield.

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“Riverfield was more of a power team while St. Joseph is going to be more athletic,” Spears said. “St. Joseph has speed everywhere and they have a returning quarterback that can throw. It’s going to be a challenge.”

ACCS has focused on pass coverage and quarterback keeps in practices this week in preparation for the Fighting Irish’s offense. Spears said he hopes the Rebels can be more confident on defense to cover passes thrown by Mekhi Norris, the starting quarterback for St. Joseph.

Norris threw for 1,304 yards and 18 passing touchdowns for the Fighting Irish last year. St. Joseph comes into Friday’s game on a 24-game winning streak.

“Our cornerbacks and safeties are going to be tested this week against the Fighting Irish,” Cotten said. “Our defensive line has to keep the pressure up on Norris and keep him flustered so he can make a mistake.”

Cotten is among six returning defensive starters for the Rebels this season and he had a total of 25 tackles, two sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery for the Rebels in the 2019 season.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. on Friday at St. Joseph Catholic School in Greenville.