Photo/James Pugh

Resurrection Catholic’s offense last was consistently moving last Friday night – in the wrong direction. Stringer’s defense had all to do with it. 

“We just did what our coach told us to do,” said senior middle linebacker R.J. Holifield. “Squeeze the outside, keep contained and play aggressively in the middle.”

Holifield led Stringer defensively vs. Resurrection Catholic with five solo tackles and one assist. He and the rest of the Red Devils defense limited their Region 4-1A foe to less than 60 yards of offensive, according to MaxPreps.com. That number is disputed by those who attended the game and say it was far less than 60 yards. 

Stringer defeated Resurrection Catholic 30-0 last Friday night on the road in both team’s 4-1A opener. Don’t for one-second think Stringer faced a considerably weaker opponent, therefore the impressive numbers. Resurrection Catholic came into the contest, 4-1, with substantial margin victories over 1A Sacred Heart and 2A Chickasaw (AL), and a near win vs. 3A Perry Central. 

“I thought we played physical and fast,” said Stringer head coach John Brown. “We executed some blitz calls very well. We put pressure on the quarterback and didn’t let him get comfortable.”

Senior Eagle quarterback Jacob Galle, who before Week 7 averaged 175.8 yards passing, was held to 17 yards on four completions. 

“We knew they like to run the ball if you let them,” said senior outside linebacker Conner Smith. “And if you stopped the run, they’d resort to passing. We knew our DB’s would have to step up in that case and they did.” 

Smith led in sacks with two. He finished with three tackles and three tackle assists. Junior lineman Christopher Dagen also recorded a sack. 

Another leader on defense, Landry Dyess, said his team’s success came down to great execution. 

“We just executed what we were taught all week,” said the junior middle linebacker. “We did what our coaches taught us to do. We hit people hard, filled holes and flew around tackling whoever had the ball.”

Fourteen Stringer defensive players notched solo tackles in the 30-0 win. 

The Red Devils are filling out their schedule in 2018 much like they did in 2017. Last year, after losing to county rival Bay Springs season opener, Stringer won nine straight in the regular season. This year, Stringer is currently on a six-game win streak after dropping its opener to the Bulldogs. 

Now that Region 4-1A has begun, Stringer sets its sights on Mount Olive, Salem and East Marion before tackling its biggest region test, Lumberton. Lumberton is unbeaten on the year thus far, heading into its big game vs. another unbeaten, Taylorsville.

“What those winning streaks do is allow you to play for district,” said Brown. “Last year we had a chance to place first in district, and we didn’t get the job done. Hopefully this year we can finish it.”

Springer’s ENTIRE defense is our Sports601 Powerade (Co) Players of the Week in Week 8. 

Note: Pictured in the photo are the leaders of Stringer’s defense R.J. Holifield, Conner Smith and Landry Dyess. 

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