Colonels shine in jamboree, host Oak Forest Friday night
By James Beasley
The new lights were not the only bright spots on Copiah Academy’s football field at last week’s Jamboree. The Colonels did some shining of their own in edging River Oaks and MRA 13-6 and 7-0, respectively, in a pair of scrimmages that brought the preseason to an end.
In the opening contest, CA got the ball first and marched 70 yards in 9 plays, with Sam Stevens scoring from the one. During the drive, sophomore quarterback Ryan Drew connected with senior wide receivers Bryce Berry and Dillon Martin for several key first downs. The PAT was blocked, and Copiah led 6-0.
Three plays later, CA’s Thomas Roberson recovered a Mustang fumble, giving the Colonels great field position at the River Oaks 29. A completion from Drew to Berry and an 11-yard run by Stevens put the ball at the 13-yard line, but the drive was halted when Trace Houston intercepted a fourth-down pass in the end zone.
The Mustangs gave the ball right back as CA’s Justin Edwards recovered a fumble at the River Oaks 40 with 10:47 remaining. On third down, Drew completed a pass to Martin for a 34-yard gain down to the eight. Three straight runs by Stevens resulted in a touchdown, and Roberson kicked the PAT giving the Colonels a 13-0 lead with 7:15 remaining.
The Mustangs scored with 2:38 left on a touchdown pass from Brendan MacGregor to Houston, cutting the deficit to 13-6. The 2-point conversion was no good.
Copiah got its final first down as Drew connected with Peyton Murphy for an 11-yard gain that allowed the Colonels to run out the clock.
In the second contest, CA’s Bryce Berry intercepted a pass near midfield on MRA’s opening possession. From there, Stevens ran for 9 yards before Colonels’ quarterback Ryan Drew completed a pair of passes to Dillon Martin. Drew then threw a screen pass to fullback Grant Anderson, who rambled 23 yards for a touchdown. Roberson added the PAT, and CA led 7-0 with 17 minutes remaining.
MRA threatened with a little over 7 minutes left when Hunter Gillion intercepted an errant Colonel pass and returned it the Copiah 44-yard line. However, the CA defense stepped up to the challenge, sacking the Patriots’ quarterback on fourth down to secure the win.
“We came in here with a bunch of unknowns,” Copiah head coach Scotty Cline said afterwards. “Tonight we got some answers.” The CA coach praised his wide receivers, tailbacks, and sophomore quarterback Ryan Drew. “Stevens and (Luke) Peavey ran the ball well, and Dillon (Martin) and Bryce (Berry) did a good job of catching the ball. And our sophomore quarterback played the way he’s supposed to play.
“We have some guys who hadn’t seen much varsity action,” he continued. “Tonight they stepped up and played well. We did a lot of good things, but we’ve still got some things to work on –like stopping third down conversions on defense.”
Cline also complimented his veteran linesmen. “Doug Strait and our other ‘old’ guys did the job they have to do and that we expect them to,” he said. “Defensively, Peyton Murphy looked great. Overall, we’re pleased.”
The Colonels hope their preseason success will carry over into the regular season when they entertain Oak Forest Academy this Friday in the opener for both teams. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM in Gallman.