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Smithville’s Jabril Smith dives into the end zone on one of his two touchdowns against Mantachie.

Shaune Holiday is as ready as he’s ever going to be to lead his Tupelo Christian team into Division 2-1A action.

“Us and Smithville both, we jump into the frying pan. Smithville’s got Noxapater, we’ve got Nanih Waiya, and let’s go,” Holiday said with a laugh.

Those two matchups highlight tonight’s Week 4 high school football slate.

TCPS (3-0), the Daily Journal’s No. 5-ranked small school, hits the road to face the reigning 1A state champions. Nanih Waiya is 1-2, but those two losses came to Class 4A West Lauderdale and 2A Union, teams that combined for 20 wins last season.

“They’ve been in the grind, and they’ll be ready,” Holiday said. “They have tradition on their side also.”

The Eagles should be ready as well. They own a win over 4A Tishomingo County, and last week they beat Biggersville, a former division foe that went 12-2 last season.

“Last week playing Biggersville was big for us,” Holiday said. “They have the type of running backs that Nanih Waiya’s going to have – big bruisers, strong kids that you’ve got to gang tackle.

“So we kind of limit what we do in practice contact-wise to preserve our bodies for this tough run that we’re about to go on.”

Smithville coach Michael Campbell holds to the same practice philosophy. Teams in 2-1A play an eight-game division schedule, and it’s going to be grueling.

The No. 3 Seminoles (3-0) will be at home against Noxapater (2-1), which went 10-3 last season.

“That’s a big part of my job, is making sure we’re very smart with what we do during practice and using our time wisely,” Campbell said. “We don’t just get out there and knock heads all the time.”

There will be plenty of head knocking tonight. The visiting Tigers are both big and athletic, and they’re led by sophomore quarterback KD Carter, who has rushed for 369 yards and nine touchdowns.

“He might even be faster than (Jacorrius) Stanfield from Okolona last year,” Campbell said. “He’s got speed for days, so if you miss, he’s gone.”

brad.locke@journalinc.com

Twitter: @bradlocke

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