The Nettleton Tigers, who have their most wins since 2013, have a chance to move to 2-0 in Division 1-3A tonight when they face the Kossuth Aggies.
Nettleton is 5-2, the most wins coach Ken Topps has had in a season since taking over in 2016. That includes a 1-0 division mark after a 42-15 beatdown of Belmont last week.
In the last decade, Nettleton’s best season was 6-6 with a loss in the first round of the playoffs. This year’s squad has a chance to secure a winning regular season tonight.
“These guys have an overall determination to finish ball games,” said Topps, a former Daily Journal player of the year at Shannon. “We have a group that is fighting all the way to the end of ballgames and even in the ones we let slip away, we were fighting to the end.”
The sixth win won’t come easy. Nettleton will travel to face a Kossuth (2-4, 0-1) team that has faced no shortage of quality opponents. Out of Kossuth’s four losses, three come to Class 4A teams in Ripley, Mooreville and Corinth.
The Aggies are led by running back Kota Wilhite, who has rushed for over 700 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. He’s also active in the passing game, and leads the team in receptions, yards, and has two touchdowns.
“It’s going to be a dogfight,” Topps said. “All we can do is hopefully contain Wilhite. When you face such a dynamic player like him, you don’t worry about stopping him, you just want to contain him.”
Nettleton’s defense has been great up to this point. The Tigers are allowing right at 14 points per game and have tossed two shutouts, while recording 11 sacks, 13 interceptions and recovering 11 fumbles.
“Everybody is being active and everybody is just trying to take care of their assignment,” Topps said. “They know if they take care of theirs, then it works out for the overall group. These kids want to make the plays.”
Due to weather, there are now at least 21 area football games being played tonight. Biggersville and Baldwyn, both 2-0 in Division 1-1A, face off at Latimer Park. In Class 4A, New Albany will play its first Division 1-4A game against North Pontotoc (5-2, 1-0).
In Division 2-4A, Shannon (3-4, 1-0) travels to Itawamba AHS (7-0, 1-0), the only unbeaten team left in the area. In 1-6A, Oxford hosts DeSoto Central and Tupelo hosts Southaven for its homecoming.