Dollarway got off to a slow start last week in its 32-13 win against Stuttgart. The Cardinals (8-0, 5-0 in 2-4A) got over mistakes and penalties to build some momentum in the second quarter that lasted the rest of the game to knock off the defending 4A state champions.
“It’s just a part of the process. The things that you work on in practice, you’ll feel that you’ll get better each week. But they’re still young men when they come out and sometimes adversities such as penalties come about. You just have to monitor and adjust and make a play,” said Dollarway head coach Cortez Lee.
And if last week’s game was any indication that Dollarway had growing pains, it seemed as if they matured quickly and learned from them. The night was highlighted by Darius Robinson’s 68 yard touchdown run in the second quarter and Henri Murphy’s reverse run for a 75-yard touchdown to begin the second half. Senior quarterback Joshua Liddell, who has recently been named as a finalist for the Landers Award, accounted for three touchdowns.
“We have all guys playing together for one mission and continuing to grow each week,” stated Lee. “Not only do we have to play more physical but we have to play smarter as well”.
The Cardinals will be tested again tonight but this time on the road as they travel to face Batesville Southside and possibly wrap up the 2-4A Conference championship. The Southerners have accounted for only one conference win, a 27-24 victory against a winless Marianna two weeks ago. Other than that, Southside has been dominated by the rest of the teams in the 2-4A by an average of 21 points.
Dollarway’s defense will go up against the spread attack of Southside, which Lee acknowledges will be a challenge.
“They (Southside) come with multiple sets. They run a lot of screen plays and four wide sets,” said Lee.
With two weeks away from playoff time, Dollarway is still in position of first place and has been projected to be in the No. 1 seed of the bracket. A win tonight will surely secure that spot.
The only thing standing in their way is Southside senior quarterback Drew Moss. Moss leads the Southerners’ offense and has amassed more than 1,200 yards so far this season.
But with an undefeated and dominating Dollarway team that is still finding ways to grow and learn, Southside may be in for a long night at home as long as the Cardinals stick to their game plan.
“We have to make sure we’re lined up right and everyone is communicating. We got to have all 11 guys go to the ball,” expressed Lee.