Sardis gearing up for Crossville

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Crossville (0-2, 0-1) at Sardis (1-1, 1-0)

Last week: Sardis 68, Locust Fork 48; St. Clair Co. 44, Crossville 13

Last meeting: 2009 – Sardis 14, Crossville 7

Series record: Sardis 25, Crossville 25 (one tie)

By Gene Stanley/Messenger Sports Correspondent

For the first time since 2009, Sardis is facing next-door neighbor Crossville. It’s also a Class 4A, Region 6 game, so emotions won’t be hard to find in this battle of Lions.

“No doubt that Crossville will be playing its best game,” Sardis coach Gene Hill said. “The kids know each other, from playing ball together, going to church together, and just being neighbors.”

Adding to the rivalry perspective from Crossville’s view is the fact that Sardis quarterback Will Scott and tailback Toby Pee both moved from Crossville.

Last week, Sardis scored a school record 68 points against Locust Fork. Pee accounted for 415 yards of total offense – 288 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries and 127 receiving yards and two touchdowns on four receptions. The six touchdowns was a career-best for Pee. His performance helped the Lions set a school record for points scored in a single game.

“[Pee’s] the engine in their offense,” Crossville coach Robi Coker said. “They do a great job of getting him the ball in open space and letting him do his thing.

“I saw one play where he should’ve been stopped for about a 2-yard loss, but broke free and gained about 40 on it. He’s the type of player you have to gameplan for.”

Meanwhile, Crossville hasn’t had much luck lately, going through head coaches at almost a one-a-year rate. In addition,  quarterback Brody White tore his ACL in fall practice.

“We’re just trying to improve at this point,” Coker said. “We’re young and are in a tough region, but if we can get better, I’m happy.”

Even with the big point total, Hill isn’t totally happy with his offense, saying there’s a “long way to go on both sides of the ball.”

Also against Locust Fork, quarterback Will Scott was 16-of-19 in passing for 268 yards and four touchdowns.

Jesse Hubbard had four catches for 25 yards and a score, while Kailon Robeson grabbed four passes for 62 yards. 

Jared Shirley had two catches for 32 yards and a touchdown.

Juan Ramos returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, while Brett Rains had a 65-yard interception return for a score.

Shannon J. Allen contributed to this story.

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