Nov. 10—In high school football, you'll find plenty of teams that play an old-school brand of sorts. Teams that run the ball frequently and play good defense all while emphasizing physicality, toughness and fundamentals, among other things.
What you won't find as often are teams who do that at a high level. Even more scarce are the instances where teams that do that at a high level face off with a lot on the line.
Tonight right off of Highway 45, you'll see just that.
The No. 2 Small school in the area, the Kossuth Aggies, hosts the No. 4 East Webster Wolverines in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.
"There's a lot of similarities in Kossuth and East Webster," Kossuth coach Brian Kelly said. "Probably one of the toughest contests or the toughest teams we face all year by far. They're well coached."
Offensively, East Webster (9-2) runs the ball 70% of the time for 264.5 yards per game. Kossuth (10-1) runs the ball 74% of the time for 215.9 yards per game.
Defensively, Kossuth allows just 13.7 points per game, while East Webster is allowing 14.4.
"They do things the right way. They're aggressive. They're physical. They execute, they don't beat themselves," East Webster coach Ron Price said of Kossuth. "When the plays are there to be made, they're making the plays and, for the most part, they've been able to put their opponents away.
"They don't fly around and give you a chance to think you have a chance to win the game. They put you away pretty early."
Both coaches put a high value on winning the line of scrimmage. Given the matchup, doing so will be even more important.
"It's big to win up front," Kelly said. "They've got some size to them and some speed with them. So it's gonna be a really good matchup."
The same goes for execution, of which Price hopes his Wolverines understand the importance.
"Hopefully our kids at this point understand what we're getting into and what we're trying to accomplish," he said. "Hopefully, they can go this week and execute the game plan and execute the plays when they're there to be made."
East Webster and Kossuth kick off at 7 p.m. The winner faces either Winona or North Panola in the third round next Friday.
—Tupelo (8-2) takes on DeSoto Central (5-6) to start the Class 7A playoffs.
—Vardaman (10-0) puts its undefeated season on the line against Tupelo Christian (8-3) in the 1A second round.
—Hamilton (6-5) faces a tough test in the 2A bracket when it faces Sebastopol (10-1).