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Clarkdale hosts Newton in big region contest

By Staff
DO IT LIKE THIS – Clarkdale High School head coach Bubba Hathorn gives instructions to quarterback Justin Culpepper (16) during a recent game. The Bulldogs host Newton High School on Friday night. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
Oct. 10, 2002
First place in Region 5-2A and a near guaranteed playoff spot is on the line Friday night when the Newton Tigers visit the Clarkdale Bulldogs.
Both teams opened region play with impressive wins. Clarkdale blanked South Leake 24-0 to snap a mini, two-game slide and improves the team to 4-2 overall.
Newton was busy whipping Williams-Sullivan 44-14. The Tigers are 5-1 on the season and moved into the Associated Press' Little Top 10 following the win.
Clarkdale head coach Bubba Hathorn says his Bulldogs face a tough challenge in Newton.
Both of Clarkdale's losses came against excellent teams in Seminary and McLaurin. The pair are a combined 11-1 through six weeks. Newton, Hathorn says, is more dangerous than unbeaten Seminary.
The game matches up three of the best backs in the region. Fullback Cornelius Caraway and tailback Travaone Evans give Newton a great 1-2 punch. The pair have combined for 12 touchdowns this season.
Clarkdale can counter with running back Kevin Matthews who rushed for 165 yards and two TDs against South Leake. Matthews has rushed for nearly 560 yards this season and has a region high eight touchdowns.
Newton head coach Brad Peterson says the Bulldogs have an excellent ground game led by the offensive line.
Peterson credits the play of tackles Justin Gibbs and Leroy Bowden.
at Lamar School
Following a successful trip to Baton Rouge, La., the Lamar Raiders step out of MPSA AAA South play with a home game against Heritage Academy out of Columbus.
Lamar rolled past Central 55-32 getting a big game from quarterback Drew Moffett. Moffett ran for 172 yards and threw for 99 while accounting for four touchdowns. The win improves Lamar to 2-1 in division play and 5-2 overall.
The win, though, was costly. Starting center Kemp Mosely was lost for the season after tearing up his knee in the second quarter.
The injury bug bit again in the fourth quarter when the team's second leading rusher in Dylan Anderson broke a bone in his foot in the fourth quarter. He will miss this week's game with Heritage but could be back for the final three division games.
Barnes said Heritage will bring a potent offense to Meridian.
That means Moffett will have to play big again. For the season, Moffett is 72-of-148 passing for 1,029 yards and seven touchdowns. He has rushed for an additional 472 yards and five scores.
Lane Rush had 112 yards rushing at Central Private and now has 566 for the year. He is also the second leading receiver with 14 catches for 145 yards.
Tommy Edgerton continues to be solid on place-kicking duties having made seven PATs last week.
West Lauderdale
at Greene County
A beat up West Lauderdale team heads south to Leakesville to face unbeaten and 6-0 Greene County on Friday.
This will make four straight playoff headed teams the Knights have in four weeks. The combined record of the four teams is 22-2. This includes last week's 21-9 loss to 5-1 Philadelphia and a 28-0 loss to second ranked in 3A Newton County.
Greene County is averaging 28.7 points per game this season. They also whipped the Knights 33-3 in Collinsville last year and that was a Knight team that won seven games.
This year, the Knights have lost at least seven players to injuries. West did have its best offensive game with 291 yards in total offense including 231 rushing. Carlessio Blanks led the way with 156 yards.
Northeast Lauderdale
at Northeast Jones
The Trojans missed a golden chance to put themselves within one win of a playoff berth by falling to Florence 7-6 last week in Meridian.
Northeast Lauderdale will take a 3-3 record and a 1-2 division mark to Northeast Jones.
The Northeast Tigers are also 3-3 but are 1-1 in the division after losing a tough 24-22 decision to Mendenhall. The Tigers are led by Larry Campbell who is third in the region in scoring with 44 points off 7 touchdowns.
Marcus Betts paces the Trojans with five touchdowns.