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Momentum key to subregion matchup

A win over Mundy’s Mill tonight would give Drew and coach Jarrett Laws a third straight win. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

A win over Mundy’s Mill tonight would give Drew and coach Jarrett Laws a third straight win. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

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Greg Manior’s Mundy’s Mill team is heads into tonight’s game against Drew with some momentum after the Tigers first win of the season. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

HAMPTON — Drew and Mundy’s Mill have some momentum heading into their second Region 4-AAAA, Div. A game tonight.

Both teams are coming off big wins in their subregion opener.

“Drew always plays tough,” Mundy’s Mill coach Greg Manior said. “This game is very important to both of us. The winner remains in the driver’s seat and grabs even more momentum going into the rest of the subregion schedule.”

Drew coach Jarrett Laws says that you can’t be fooled by the Tigers record as they come into the 7:30 p.m. game with a 1-4 mark overall, but are 1-0 in the subregion. Computer rankings credits Mundy’s Mill with playing the toughest schedule in their classification with earlier non-region games against Class AAAAAA schools Lovejoy and Coffee and against undefeated McIntosh.

“Pound for pound, they are the most underrated team in the Southern Crescent,” Laws said.

And in the last three games, Mundy’s Mill standout running back Rodney Smith has been regaining his old form with at least 100 yards in each of those games. He comes into tonight’s game with 470 yards on 74 carries while averaging 94 yards per game.

Smith also has seven touchdowns on the season.

The Titans defense is well aware of Smith, who rushed for 301 yards and four touchdowns in last year’s victory.

“He is a special player that makes it happen for them,” Laws said.

“We have to play a lot of assignment football,” Drew defensive coordinator Dorwyn Lyles said. “There is no difference in him from last season. He is by far one of the top tier running backs in the state. We have to be prepared for him. Rodney is a very good back and we have to minimize the damage he does.”

While Laws acknowledged that Smith is the key to the team, he says he has cautioned his team about the other skill players on the Mundy’s Mill squad including quarterback Rodricous Gates and wide receiver Eric Tate. Laws says he has also been impressed with the Tigers’ defensive unit.

“They are at the point in the season where they have other players that are stepping up and contributing to the team,” Laws said. “We have to be prepared for everything. We can’t just concentrate on Rodney, and then someone else beats us.”

In addition to its defense, the Titans will need another big offensive effort from quarterback Brandon Pearson and running back Marquis Terry. Since returning from an preseason wrist injury, Terry has rushed for 293 yards on 46 carries in the last two games for the Titans.

Last season, Drew used six different ball carriers to amass 251 yards on 43 carries in the one-point loss.

“Yes, we have revenge on our mind,” Pearson said. “We know this is a very important game. The winner remains in good shape to win the subregion title. We just have to come out and play good, sound football.”