Titans sets sights on Clinton
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 1:00 PM
RIDGELAND - Having avenged a season-opening loss from a year ago by beating Mendenhall 22-8 last Friday, the Ridgeland Titans must turn their attention to a high-flying Clinton team this Friday.
To win, they'll have to clean up some of the mistakes head coach Kenny Burton said he's seen while looking at film from Friday night's win.
"As coaches, it's our job to pick everything apart - but we did have some kind of mistake on almost every play," he said. "Some of them didn't affect the play at all, but some some did. We've got to get those kinds of things cleaned up before Friday."
Ridgeland ran over Mendenhall in the second half last week, after trailing 8-3 at the halfway point.
Trae Ellis connected on a 26-yard field goal early in the second quarter to put Ridgeland ahead, but Titans' senior quarterback Dreyson Thompson threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown late just before the half.
Burton got back to the basics, and Ridgeland's depth started to wear down 3A opponent Mendenhall down the stretch. Sohpomore KamRon White rushed 12 times for 161 yards and a touchdown, and senior JaBril Haymon chipped in 78 yards on 16 carries and another score.
Thompson redeemed himself on the interception with 11 carries for 55 yards and a score, as well.
"We know we're going to have to throw the ball at some point," Burton said. "But if we can run it, we're going to. Dreyson was late on a couple of throws, but we'll get that cleaned up going forward. You have to remember, this was his first varsity game."
The good news for Ridgeland fans is that the defense is as solid as it gets - the Titans allowed just 119 yards of total offense to a Mendenhall team that had big backs and good speed.
Burton said his team is a little banged up - most noticeably, they've lost starting defensive end Emmanuel Nash for the season with a torn ACL - but that the guys he plugged in Friday night responded in a big way.
They'll need to continue that trend against Clinton (1-0), which is coming off of arguably the biggest win in the Metro Area last week. The Arrows defeated 8th-ranked Pearl 35-28.
There may be plenty of room for improvement for Ridgeland, but Burton said he liked what he saw from his guys last Friday, and that he thinks they match up well with Clinton.
"They are similar to us at the skill positions," Burton said. "Our biggest disadvantage is that they are a bigger school with more depth, but we've always had a great battle with them.
"If we can keep it tight, keep the game close and be in it at the end, anything can happen."