After tuning up last week at the jamboree, the Leake Academy Rebels appear ready for their season opener Friday night when they play host to Copiah Academy in prep football action.

Leake Academy is the defending District 3-AA champion as the Rebels finished last season with an 8-4 record. Copiah finished last year with a 2-9 record.

"Copiah has more kids out this season and they have a new coaching staff," said Coach Brian Pickens, whose Rebels beat Copiah 21-7 last week. "They are going to be improved and we'll have to play hard to beat them."

The Rebels went 2-0 in the Tri-County Academy jamboree last Thursday night. Teams are allowed to play two quarters in a jamboree. Leake played against different opponents in each quarter. Jamboree games do not count on a team's record.

First, they beat Newton County Academy 7-6; and then the blanked Hartfield Academy 14-0.

Newton County Academy led 6-0 until senior quarterback Alex Shepard connected with Jacob Robertson on a 46-yard touchdown pass play with 19 seconds remaining in the game. Jacob Patterson kicked the extra point and the Rebels took the lead and the victory.

Sometimes, it's hard to get much done in a one quarter game. The Rebels had five yards rushing on three carries and completed 4-of-6 passing attempts. The Rebels had two first downs.

The Rebels scored on two touchdown passes in their victory over Hartfield. Tyler Salter caught an eight-yard TD pass from Shepard. William Johnston scored after he caught a 38-yard pass from Shepard. Patterson kicked both extra points.

Against Hartfield, the Rebels rushed for 47 yards on eight carries, and completed 2-of-5 passing attempts for 46 yards, giving them 93 total offensive yards. Leake Academy had three first downs.

For both games, Shepard completed 6-of-11 passing attempts for 129 yards and no interceptions.

Johnston was the leading receiver with 58 yards on two receptions while Salter had 24 yards on two carries. Robertson had 21 yards rushing and one catch for four yards.

Dylan Bobo was the leading tackler with four while William Johnston had three tackles. Zack McKee and Patterson both had two tackles. Joshua Jones had an interception that was returned 17 yards.

"We saw things that we can work to improve on," Pickens said. "We want to improve as a team each week."