Rodney Smith had 335 yards rushing last week in a win at Union Grove to give him his second season of rushing for at least 1,000 yards. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
JONESBORO — In its 11-year history, Mundy’s Mill has only clinched two playoff berths, with its last one coming in the 2007 season.
The Tigers have secured the Region 4-AAAAA, Div. A championship and earned the right to host a region play-in game for the second straight season.
But coach Greg Manior is still looking for his team to play with a lot of intensity when they host Ola on Friday at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
“It is still an important game for us,” Manior said.
Mundy’s Mill defeated Union Grove 24-17 on the road as senior running back Rodney Smith exploded for 335 yards and two touchdowns.
“It is all about getting my endurance,” said Smith, who has rushed for 1,120 yards and 13 touchdowns heading into Friday’s game. “I’m staying strong and finishing the run.”
It will be a year now since Smith suffered a season-ending torn ACL injury in the Tigers’ win over Ola on the road. Smith had rushed for 196 yards on seven carries before the injury.
“I’ve had people tell me that they can’t tell I had surgery almost a year ago,” Smith said. “Our biggest thing right now is to stay unblemished in our subregion record. You want some momentum going into the last game of the regular season.”
Drew at Union Grove: The winner of this contest will secure the No. 2 seed from Region 4-AAAAA, Div. A and host a region play-in game.
Drew lost last year’s meeting after leading big in the first half.
“This is a big game for both teams,” Drew quarterback Brandon Pearson said. “We both are fighting for the same thing. We still remember how we lost the game last season. We got to finish out strong.”
Union Grove is coming off a loss to Mundy’s Mill, which settled the top spot in the subregion. Drew lost earlier to Mundy’s Mill, so this game will be for second place in the subregion standing.
In its win over Mount Zion, Pearson passed for 294 yards and five touchdowns.
“We are playing with a lot of confidence,” Pearson said. “Our whole mindset is to keep the momentum going as we go into the region play-in game. We know that Union Grove is going to be a tough game, because they would like to host a play-in game.”
Going into the game, Pearson has passed for 1,794 yards and 22 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Running back Marquis Terry has 545 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in only five games since returning from a wrist injury during preseason drills.
Jonesboro at Upson-Lee: If Jonesboro wins, it will be the No. 2 seed from the subregion in next week’s play-in game. A win by the Cardinals would also give Riverdale the No. 3 spot in the play-in game.