Sep. 15—Ahead of tonight's A-Game, which pits undefeated Amory (3-0) against Aberdeen (1-2), running back Emmanuel Randle has made an impact on the Amory offense.
The junior has rushed for two touchdowns in each of the Panthers' first three games, and Amory will turn to him plenty of times on Friday.
"He'll do the dirty work that it takes to win the game, and he's been very hard to get down," Amory head coach Brooks Dampeer said. "We're going to continue to get the ball in his hands and let him work."
Amory has dominated the recent history of the A-Game as winner of the last five editions, including three consecutive shutouts between 2019 and 2021.
"It's always great to play in a rivalry game," Dampeer said. "The game goes back many, many, many years ago, a lot of connections between former players and alumni, so it's always great to play in that kind of excitement."
Last year, Randle occasionally featured in the offense behind Charleston French. This year, he's the Panthers' lead back and taking full advantage of it. In addition to the six rushing touchdowns, he has 317 yards on the ground. Tying last season's rushing total (380) is within reach for Randle on Friday.
"Last year, he was the second punch to Charleston French, and he did it unselfishly and did his job and really just makes for a great story this year in how he is the featured back," Dampeer said. "Just been a team player. It's what being a team player is, and every kid has his own goals and all that. But he's not putting them before trying to win the ballgame."
So far, not even a dental procedure can keep him away.
"He had a root canal the Friday after the Saltillo game, and I told him he couldn't come and he shows up anyway," Dampeer said. "He's pulling up at school the same time teachers get there. You can't applaud him enough, and his actions are matching the things he needs to do."
—A pair of unbeaten teams meet when Calhoun City (3-0) visits Nettleton (3-0).
—Starkville (3-0), last season's Class 6A state champion, hosts 4A champ Louisville (3-0).
—Booneville (3-0) travels to Ripley (3-0). The last six meetings between these teams have been decided by an average of 8.2 points.