It was truly "Great to Be an MUS OWL" on Friday night. The team played an incredible game against a much better Briarcrest team than it appeared. We had a great week of practice as all members of the squad contributed in preparation and it showed. The defense was simply outstanding as we held a potent offensive team to -15 yards rushing and 87 yards passing, plus we only allowed 1 play of more than 20 yards. This would have to go down as one of our better defensive performances ever as Briarcrest has one of the best offenses in the area. Our offense was equal to the task as well and continued its solid work. Special teams were excellent as well with 1 TD on a punt return, another set up by great kick-off coverage that produced a turnover, and the punt return team was on the spot when BCS had a poor snap getting a turnover on that attempted punt creating another short field for the offense.
While it was an overall great team win it is fair to say that our defense was led by our two inside linebackers and they will be our Mercury Players of the Game this week. Dorian Hopkins and Matthew Rhodes have each had several outstanding games for us over the last 3 years but I do not recall a game where both of them played as well at the same time. Together they suffocated the BCS offense. Our Buzzard Player of the Week Award goes to one of our rising superstars Roderic Lewis. Roderic has had a great season playing often on Friday nights and also making some special plays on Mondays. We all look forward to Roderic getting better and better.
Next week we host Douglas in a non-conference game and we will celebrate senior night for our team. This group has excelled all year both on the field in performance and off the field in leadership. Come out and support these guys and they build upon the great MUS Football tradition.
The victory over Briarcrest last Friday was win #600 for the MUS Owl Football team. This began way back in 1894 with a win over CBHS in the first high school game played in Memphis. The record for the early years was a respectable 128-129-20 going against both high school and college clubs. The modern era Owls are 472-195-6. Congrats to all of those former and current players, coaches, managers and fans who have established a program of excellence!!
Our team advanced to 6-0 this season with a solid 35 to 0 victory over St.Benedict on Homecoming night at Stokes Stadium. This was also an important win as this was our first region game this year. The defense really played well all evening limiting a potent Eagle offense to 76 yards of total offense for the night. The offense continued to produce big plays that helped the team score in a hurry. It was a fun evening having many alums back on campus to watch the 2018 Owls play ball.
Our Mercury Player of the Game Awards this week go to Jack Dabov and Sam Nelson. Jack has been a solid member of our defense all season and this week played both inside and outside linebacker leading the team in tackles including a sack. Sam led the offensive line with the best OPV score for the evening. Sam has moved into a starting role this year and has been solid all year. Our Buzzard Player of the Week is Drew Burnett. Drew plays slot receiver and defensive back. He has been a good year in JV games and is always looking for ways to help the scout teams on either side of the ball.
The team now gets a week to refresh our bodies before the next big region game against a strong and talented Briarcrest team. We will need to play our best game of the year to post our 2nd region win. GO OWLS!!!
There were many old MUS ghosts still patrolling the sidelines at Brownsville this past Friday. MUS had not played in Brownsville since 1975 back in the days of the Big 10 Conference when Brownsville was one of the toughest teams in west Tennessee. It is always an interesting experience to venture to small towns on fall Friday nights for a taste of high school football. I was very proud of our team for coming out prepared to face a team that has several excellent offensive threats. While our defense was sorely tested they made enough plays in the game to slow down Haywood and our offense continued to click with perhaps our best rushing attack of the season. Two records were set Friday night. Maurice Hampton obliterated the single game record for All-Purpose Yards in a game. This is a stat that combines receiving, rushing, and returns. The previous record was held by Bradley Foley with 265 yards against Olive Branch back in 2015. Maurice compiled 364 yards in receptions and returns for the night. This amazing total also helped the team establish a new record for one game with 692 yards. Congrats to Maurice on another great evening
Mercury Awards: This week our two winners are both on offense. Hunter Kendall rushed for a career high 111 yards on 17 carries scoring 2 TDs. Jalen Hollimon had another excellent game at wide receiver catching 1 TD pass but also making several solid blocks for our running backs along with an excellent block that sprung Maurice on his 82 yard Kick-Off return TD. Congrats to these two guys who continue to improve every week. Our Buzzard Player of the Week is McLean Meeks. McLean had a good evening on Monday helping the JV squad beat a tough Whitehaven squad and also worked hard in practice during the week as a scout team defensive player. We can never forget the importance of our scout team guys to the success we enjoy on Friday and how all that hard work pays off for those guys when it becomes their turn on Friday.
We now move into the 2nd phase of our season as we begin league play next week when we host St. Benedict at MUS. The Eagles are currently undefeated and have outscored their opponents 175 to 56. So this promises to be another key test for our team.
Friday night at Stokes Stadium was an exciting game. Our team played with great intensity and heart earning a 33-14 victory over a tough and physical team from Batesville. Anytime you line up against South Panola you know that you will have to play the game well and that it will be a tough game. I was very proud of the way our guys responded to some early adversity and stayed poised and confident. I thought once again our defense bounced back after a couple of bad plays and took control of the game. On offense we did a great job of making explosive plays early but as the game wore on we were able to run the ball with some tough running by our running backs and some good blocking by not just our line but also our inside receivers. That was a very promising effort because we ran it effectively when they knew we were going to run it.
Mercury Awards: We are going to have to stretch this out to three people this week. We had several guys make very important plays during the evening but I think three people made them all night. Sellers Shy threw for 376 yards the 4th best game passing in MUS history, His poise was equally outstanding. Dorian Hopkins led the way on defense making 10 tackles, 1 for a loss, and 1 sack. His speed sideline to sideline kept a great running back in check. And finally Maurice Hampton was .... well he was outstanding like he is most every night. Playing over 85% of the snaps in the game he posted the 2nd most receiving yards in a game in MUS history with 6 catches for 199 yards. He and Sellers connected on an 80 yard TD play that is tied as the 7th longest ever. He also made several key plays defensively inlcuding causing a fumble on a safety blitz. Our Buzzard Player of the week is Sophomore Alex Coffman. Alex had an excellent JV game against CBHS on Monday and then came back during the week to help prep the varsity for a good performance on Friday.
Next week we go back on the road to face a another very tough team at Haywood County in Brownsville. This team advanced deep in the play-offs last year and will be looking to bounce back after a tough loss last week. They have several excellent players and great size and speed. We will need another great effort befoer we return in a couple of weeks to Stokes stadium to start our region schedule.