A Winona scrimmage did not go very well for the Tigers, resulting a 21-0 loss to Senatobia.
“We weren't very good up front, and we had some breakdown on defense,” Coach Joey Tompkins said. “We gave up some big plays. That's just the normal things that happen with an inexperienced team.”
One Tiger who played well according to Tompkins was inside linebacker Dorian Curry. He added, “We had some guys who graded out pretty well. Not pretty well, but average. But as a whole, we didn't play very well.”
Coming off a 13-1 season, the Tigers open 2019 Friday with a home game against Eupora. “It's a rivalry game. We are going to get their best,” Tompkins said. “We have a lot to do. We just have to fix Winona stuff right now. We will have our hands full. No doubt.”
Eupora, a 2A school, is coming off an 8-5 season and a third round playoff loss to state champion Scott Central. Cade Atkins, a junior, starts at quarterback for the Eagles after backing up Edward Herard last year. The defense is led by all state tackle M.J. Thomas, who had 84 tackles a year ago.
Tompkins said the game will likely be decided by which team can control the line of scrimmage. “That's pretty much any game,” he said. “That will be one of the keys for sure.”
One injury concern for Winona is running back Blake Cooper, who tweaked his ankle in the scrimmage. How he responds during the week will determine his status Friday. If Cooper can't go, sophomore Dennis Turner will get the call at running back. In limited action last year, he had 15 carries for 49 yards and two touchdowns.
Tompkins added “We have a guy who catches the snap who can run it pretty well.” He was referring to quarterback An'Darius Coffey who ran for 1,445 yards and 19 TDs a year ago.
Other than Cooper, the Tigers begin the season in good health.