GAMEDAY PREVIEW:BACKYARD BRAWL
JACKSON-The Millsaps Majors football team will kick off its 2013 season tomorrow night as they travel to rival Mississippi College to take on the Choctaws at Robinson-Hale Stadium at 7pm.
The Majors will look to defend the Backyard Brawl trophy, winning last year at Harper Davis Field 23-17 last year.
Millsaps returns running back Mike Barthelemy, who led the Southern Athletic Association with 14 rushing touchdowns last year. The Majors will turn to Zak Thrasher to lead the offense, the junior steps into the starting QB role, replacing the graduated SAA player of the year Garrett Pinciotti. Trevor King and Zander Romano lead an experienced receiving corps. King was second in the conference last season, averaging nearly 66 receiving yards per game to go along with five touchdowns.
Mississippi College returns Jonathon Redd as their quarterback. The junior threw for a team-high 1,098 yards and seven scores in 2012. The Choctaw rushing attack will be led by Jacob Becker and Mike Johnson. Becker saw limited time for the Choctaws last year while Johnson is a transfer from Delta State. MC also returns a corps of experienced receivers. Randal Pharr and Alex Archer were the top two pass catchers for the Choctaws in 2012.
The Majors return most of a front seven that led the SAA in sacks a season ago. Leading the pass rush is SAA defensive Player of the Year, Zach Bell. The junior earned pre-season All-American second team honors and is coming off a 68 tackle, eight sack season. Alex and Joiner Stewart also will provide heat up the middle of the line. The linebackers will be led by senior Dustin Harscher and Eric Martin who both saw significant time in 2012. Jonathan Moore leads the secondary along with Nick Arnold. Moore broke up four passes and picked off two more. Arnold finished the year with 63 tackles and led the conference with eight pass break ups.
The Choctaws look to break in a new defense and scheme as they welcome in new defenisve coordinator Zach Wilkerson. Doc Ward is the leading returning tackler for the Choctaws, finishing 2012 with 67 stops.
Mississippi College leads the overall rivalry 31-14-6, but holds a mere 7-5 edge since the rivalry resumed in 2000.
Coverage of the game will be provided through the Millsaps Sports Network which is powered by Stretch Internet. Mississippi College will be providing live stats and links can be found on the football schedule page and at the top of the article.