Philly renews rivalry with Kemper Co.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 1:00 AM
The Philadelphia Tornadoes warmed up for their upcoming Region 5-3A schedule Friday night as they sloshed their way past Bay Springs 26-0 in prep football action at Harpole Field.
The Tornadoes now stand at 4-1. They will host undefeated Kemper County Friday night in a non-region game. The Wildcats defeated Velma Jackson 30-26 last week and stand at 5-0.
"They are a typical Kemper County team," Philadelphia Coach Teddy Dyess said. "They are big and very physical. Coach (Chris) Jones has done a good job with them and it should be a tough game."
Kemper County was moved to another region last year during realignment. But the schools decided to continue the rivalry. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Bay Springs' plan was to keep the explosive Philadelphia offense off the field on a rainy night and the Bulldogs were certainly successful in the first half. After a scoreless first quarter, Romon Gray put the Tornadoes on the scoreboard in the second quarter on an eight-yard run. John Harold Smith kicked the extra point and the Tornadoes led 7-0 at the half.
Jacardius Griffin hit pay dirt in the third quarter on an eight-yard run. The extra point was no good and the Tornadoes took a 13-0 lead.
Then Philadelphia doubled its points in the fourth quarter. First Griffin scored again, this time on a 24-yard run. Smith's kick was good and the Tornadoes led 20-0.
Later in the quarter, Fent Mars blocked a Bay Springs punt and Brad Horne returned it four-yards for a touchdown. The extra point attempt failed.
The Tornadoes finished with 198 total yards with all of it coming on the ground. Gray led with 105 yards rushing on 13 carries. Griffin finished with 83 yards on 18 carries.
Mars again led the team in tackles from his linebacker position with 15 tackles. So far, Mars has 59 tackles in five games with 31 being solos. Josh Fulton added eight tackles with a quarterback sack. Zack Ingrum had eight tackles and a fumble recovery. Josh Rush had five tackles and two quarterback sacks.
Bay Springs falls to 2-3 on the season.
The Tornadoes will enter Region 5-3A play after Friday's game with Kemper County.
The Tornadoes open at Forest (3-2) on Oct. 4. They travel to Raleigh the next week and then play Choctaw Central and Southeast before closing out the season at home against Choctaw County, a consolidation of Ackerman and Weir high schools. Choctaw County currently stands at 4-1, only losing to North Pontotoc (31-21).
"I think it's going to be a very competitive region, one of the toughest in Class 3A," Dyess said. "But these will be the games that count and that's where we have to focus."
Griffin is the team's leading rusher with 493 rushing yards on 82 carries. He has scored eight touchdowns. Gray has rushed 36 times with 323 yards and has completed 20-of-57 passing attempts for 351 yards.