Fent Mars makes a stop Saturday during Philadelphia High School's game with Water Valley at the Ole Miss jamboree. The Tornadoes won the game, 20-7.
Fent Mars makes a stop Saturday during Philadelphia High School's game with Water Valley at the Ole Miss jamboree. The Tornadoes won the game, 20-7.
The Philadelphia Tornadoes will be on the road Friday night when they open their prep football season against South Delta.

The game will be played in Rolling Fork. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

"South Delta has an outstanding running back who has been starting since his freshman year," Philadelphia Coach Teddy Dyess said. "He rushes for about 1,000 yards each year and he's a tough football player. We are going to have to stop him.

"They are strong in other positions, too. They have good skilled people and we're going to have our hands full."

South Delta went 10-2 last season. The Bulldogs compete in Region 3-2A and made it to the second round of the state playoffs before being eliminated by Eupora.

Philadelphia went 13-1 last season and made it to the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs. The Tornadoes have eight starters returning on offense and eight back on defense.

Leading the way will be the offensive line anchored by Ty Gilmer (230) at center. The guards will be Will Cole and Daz Sylvester while Chris Cole and Greg Eiland will be the tackles. Abe Mars starts at tight end.

Romon Gray returns at quarterback with Jacardius Griffin back at running back. Last season, Gray rushed for 1,199 yards on 148 carries, and completed 41-of-83 passing attempts for 769 yards. Griffin finished with 1,515 rushing yards. Kenshon Henderson returns at fullback while T.J. Hudson and Kaylon Gray return to the receiver positions.

The Tornadoes warmed up last Saturday by winning a 20-7 decision over Water Valley in the Ole Miss Jamboree which was played in Oxford. K.J. Peebles returned an interception for a touchdown. Johntreal Pickens ran for another touchdown and Josh Fulton caught a touchdown pass from Romon Gray. John Harold Smith kicked a pair of extra points.

The Philadelphia junior varsity battled Water Valley to an 8-8 tie. Tecoy Bingham ran for a touchdown, and then ran in the two-point conversion.

"As a team, we didn't play especially well," Dyess said. "We made a lot of mistakes that we have to correct. We are now in our regular season routine."