Walnut and Falkner will meet up tonight for the 19th annual Joe Bowl.
The Tippah County rivalry game has been played 58 times, with Walnut taking a 29-28-1 series lead after its 38-6 win last season.
Walnut enters this year’s game at 2-0 and is led by senior T.J. Colom, who played his first two seasons at Falkner. In the first two games, Colom has rushed for 328 yards and five touchdowns.
“He’s been really good so far this season,” said Walnut head coach John Meeks. “He gives us a chance to score every time he touches the ball.”
Falkner (0-2) has scored a combined 12 points in its first two games, while giving up 34 and 43 points, respectively.
The Joe Bowl gets its name from a former head coach of both programs, Joe Horton, who died 20 years ago this month from a heart attack during a game in which Falkner defeated his Walnut team 7-6. Beginning in 2001, the annual game became known as the Joe Bowl to honor Horton’s memory.
Since then, Walnut has dominated the series 13-5, with the game canceled in 2009 over swine flu concerns.
COVID strikes again
COVID-19 keeps sending area teams back to the sidelines.
Baldwyn’s football team went into 14-day quarantine this week after three players and one coach tested positive for the virus. The Bearcats (0-1) had to cancel Friday’s game at Belmont along with next week’s home game against Thrasher, which was to be their division opener.
Corinth’s volleyball team, ranked No. 4 by the Daily Journal, went into quarantine on Tuesday. The Lady Warriors are 6-1 and were coming off a big win over county rival Alcorn Central last week.
“Everyone’s really upset,” Corinth coach Emma Heubi said. “A lot of work’s been put in by everyone to get us where we are now, and it’s frustrating to have another obstacle.”
Other area volleyball teams currently in quarantine include Nettleton and Shannon.
Wave swimmers sweep
Tupelo’s boys and girls swim teams won their season-opening meet on Tuesday.
Tupelo’s girls scored 175 points, while Oxford came in second with 144 points. Tupelo’s boys scored 150 to edge Oxford by one point.
The Lady Wave were led by senior Katy West, who won two individual races – the 500 freestyle and the 100 backstroke – and was part of the winning 200 medley relay team.
Senior A.P. McDade (200 IM, 100 breaststroke) and junior Christian Simpson (200 freestyle, 100 backstroke) each won two races for Tupelo’s boys. They also aided the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams in victory.