Ben’s Ford opens district play against Centreville

Published 9:34 am Friday, September 20, 2013

Ben’s Ford Christian School (2-2) begins the District 6AA season at home tonight against Centreville Academy (3-1), hoping to snap a two-game losing streak.

“We’ve played well in every game,” Eagles coach Tommy Pittman said. “We’ve been on the other side the last couple of weeks, and it’s tough. We could easily be 4-0 instead of 2-2. We were in every game last year except the last one. I’m happy with where we are. I’m a little disappointed about the last two weeks, but I know every Friday night these boys will give me their heart and effort.”

Ben’s Ford has lost the last two games, 23-13 and 12-7, respectively.

Pittman said turnovers hurt his team against Columbia Academy two weeks ago, and penalties hurt them against Prentiss Christian last week.

Pittman said the Eagles have continued to work on the basics.

“We’re getting them a lot of carries and reps in practice,” Pittman said. “Some of the passing turnovers happened at the end when we were trying get a quick score. As far as the penalties, if you can’t see the white of their eyes, then don’t block them because you’re in danger of clipping them or blocking them in the back.”

Aaron Taylor leads the offense’s rushing attack with 420 yards on 58 carries (7.2 yards per attempt) and six touchdowns. Taylor also has a special teams TD and one on the defensive end.

Quarterback Destin Pittman has 333 yards passing and three touchdowns to go with 170 yards rushing on 27 attempts (6.2 per carry) and three TDs.

Bryan Johnson is the leading receiver with 10 receptions for 175 yards and two scores.

The defense, which is led by Jordan Thomas, has been tough this season. Teams are averaging 15.5 points per game against the Eagles.

Linebacker Thomas, who also alternates between right guard and center, has made his presence felt all year. He’s recorded 50 tackles while adding three sacks.

Coach Pittman said Thomas is a game changer on offense and defense.

“He’s one of those kids who’s not going to take off a play. You’ve got him every play,” Pittman said.

Corey Caldwell is second on the team with 30 stops.

Centreville has been involved in a blowout every game this year with an average margin of 22 points. The games they’ve won have been by an average margin of 20.6 points per game.

Last week’s 36-17 win over Parklane was long time head coach Bill Hurst’s 347-career victory, which gave him the most wins in Mississippi history. Hurst, who has guided Centreville to eight state titles with the last one in 2008, has been the head coach since 1975 with 1995 and 1996 off to watch his son play at Southwest Mississippi Community College.

When asked what the mark meant to him, Hurst said it’s just another record.

“Records are meant to be broken,” Hurst said. “I have not put a lot of thought in it. It’s an honor, but it’s an honor for our school.”

Hurst said one of the keys to their success this season has been balance.

“We’ve been more balanced than we’ve been,” Hurst said. “The defense has played pretty well throughout the year if you look at the first four games.”

Quarterback Casey Haygood is 60 for 98 for 980 yards with nine touchdowns and one interception.

Colby Shaw has about 500 yards receiving with six scores.