Sardis (2-1, 2-0) at Douglas (1-2, 0-2)
Series record: Sardis 19, Douglas 9
Last meeting: 2003 Douglas 7, Sardis 6
Last week: Sardis 45, Crossville 7; St. Clair County 30, Douglas 16
By Gene Stanley/Messenger Sports Correspondent
Before the season, Sardis High football coach Gene Hill was worried about Class 4A competition, as the Lions moved up from 3A for the first time.
Suffice it to say that, Sardis has held its own so far, with two victories to open the season. Win again tonight and the Lions will be getting close to nailing down a playoff berth.
However, the strength of the region schedule is in the second half, so it will still be possible for Sardis to finish fifth in Region 6, especially if Douglas prevails tonight.
Currently, the Lions share the top spot in the region with St. Clair County and No. 1 Oneonta.
This used to be a big rivalry game but hasn’t been played in almost a decade. Hill doesn’t think that has taken the luster off the rivalry.
“We’re really looking forward to playing them and I know they are too,” Hill said. “We haven’t played lately because they’ve been 4A and we’ve been 3A and for the most part, they’ve played other Marshall County teams in their non-region weeks.”
This year, Hill sees Douglas as a possible breakout team that has had the luck of playing a very tough front-end schedule.
“They’re definitely better than the record indicates,” he said. “They’ve got a very dangerous quarterback who can hurt you with his arm or his legs. He gives them the big-play capability.”
At this point in the season, Sardis is really growling on offense, already scoring 141 points, third highest among 4A teams.
Senior tailback Toby Pee leads the charge. Last week, he ran 26 times for 135 yards and three touchdowns. He already has 10 rushing touchdowns and two more through the air.
Sardis taking care of business – page 5B
“Toby’s running better now than he was at this point a year ago,” Hill said. “A lot of that is because we’re having more success throwing the ball this year, and that always make a running back harder to defend.”
Douglas, meantime, isn’t too shabby at offense, with 63 points in three games. Unfortunately for the Eagles, however, the defense has allowed 76 points.Their one victory happened when they held the opposition to six points.
Also against Crossville, Jesse Hubbard carried 10 times for 95 yards and two scores.
Will Scott completed 14-of-22 passes for 156 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Jared Shirley had four receptions for 81 yards.