• John Macon Gillespie

Coverage Breakdown: Tupelo @ Shannon

Players to Watch

Tupelo Golden Wave (2-0)

Jaquerrious Williams - Just a sophomore, Williams has burst onto the scene for the Golden Wave. He is a true feature back and has rushed for 221 yards and three scores through two weeks of play. He is known as “J-rock” and his 6.3 yards per carry has made the Golden Wave offense tick.

Donte Freeman - Freeman just makes plays. It doesn’t matter where you line him up, he’ll finds a way to excel at his job. He has five carries for 43 and three scores to go with five catches for 49 yards this season.

Jett Johnson - The Golden Wave defense is good and Jett Johnson has a good bit to do with that. He always seems to be in the right place in coverage and around the tackle in the running game. In fact, he usually finds himself around the ball period. He makes plays, whether it be an interception or a tackle for loss.

McKenzie Richardson - Among many standouts for the Wave on their dominant defensive front, Richardson is a senior leader. He’s got three quarterback hurries, he can get in the backfield, but he is sound at makings stops. He has 13 tackles through two games.

Tavario Standifer - Standifer recorded 91 total tackles and an interception as a freshman in 2015. He’s off to a good start this season, as well, with 15 stops, including 11 solo tackles, through two games.

Shannon Red Raiders (2-0)

Jordan Gilleylen - Perhaps the most impressive sophomore signal caller in the state thus far. Against Nettleton last week he completed his first 10 passes, and would go on to throw for 236 yards and three scores. He’s thrown for three scores in both games this season.

Thailon Whitfield - Sophomore back Thailon Whitfield has been the star for the Red Raiders so far in 2016. He rushed for 101 yards(15 carries, 6.7 yards per carry) in week one against Caledonia and 137 yards(16 carries, 8.6 yards per carry) with two scores last week against Nettleton. He faces his toughest test so far this week.

Kegan Huddleston - Huddleston is the player that just keeps getting better. A season ago he donned the blue and gold, but now he’s back home, where his dad was a star. Coach Carter loves Huddleston’s versatility and plans to use him in the backfield and out of it this season. Look for him to make a big impact against his old team Friday.

Vincent McIntosh - There is no limit to what this big guy can do. It’s an understatement to stay McIntosh is an athletic 300 pounds. He’s a terror at his size, both for defenses and offenses. He has a touchdown and a 6.5 yard per carry average this season, but just four carries. On defense he’s made an impact, as well, and is sure to be one the best defensive tackles in 4A this fall.

Bobby Vines - Coach Carter calls Vines his defensive x-factor. Vines brings a combination of size, athleticism, speed and instincts to the table that you won’t find in many other players. He has a nose for the ball and more strength than you might think. Look for him to make in impact this Friday night and each one after that. He shows up on game day.

Keys to the Game

Shannon must be stout against the Tupelo rushing attack and disciplined against the pass. The Golden Wave want to possess the ball and get Williams carries, but create explosion plays with the pass. The Red Raider defense must stand strong.

Tupelo has faced speed and power in their first two games this season, but they have a new test coming against Shannon. Will the Tupelo defense be as effective against a balance and versatile offensive attack from the Red Raiders?

Can the Red Raiders get over the hump? The Golden Wave have owned the series since 2003 with a 7-0 record. Shannon must show up to compete from start to finish. They can’t afford a slow start or sluggish finish.


Shannon offensive line - So far so good this season for this unit. Coach Carter talked a lot about the bulk this unit has added. If they can stand strong against perhaps the strongest defensive front they will see this season, Jordan Gilleylen and company can score.

**Photo by Lee Adams of ICC.

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