Friday: Eupora (8-0, 3-0) at Bruce (7-1, 3-0), 7 p.m.
Read more about this game and others in Friday’s Daily Journal.
Bruce’s offense is no longer a one-man show.
It was never supposed to be, but first-year quarterback Shuanvanta Ingram didn’t progress as quickly as coach James Ray had hoped. That’s part of the reason Richard Freelon, a junior tailback, has 1,711 yards and 26 touchdowns heading into tonight’s Region 2-2A battle with Eupora.
Ingram has finally become more than the designated handoff guy. Over the past four games, he’s 22-for-38 for 302 yards, three TDs and zero interceptions.
“His improvement is tremendous,” Ray said. “Our offense has finally evolved to where I’d hoped it’d be at the beginning of the year. It’s not just Richard Freelon.”
Ray said the key for Ingram was sticking to his fundamentals and to the game plan.
“He ‘s a smart kid. He knows our offense, knows how to read secondary coverage,” Ray said. “Just getting game experience and remembering to rely on his fundamentals and not trying to make the big play.”
Ingram will face his stiffest test to date in the form of Eupora’s defense. The Eagles are yielding 200 yards and 11.6 points per game. They have an all-state middle linebacker, junior Jarrette Cooper.
“We’re a trap team,” Ray said, “and they’re going to give us problems in that capacity if we’re not on our game.”
Freelon will still have a huge impact on the game, of course. His size and speed make him the ideal go-to guy, though Ray has managed to keep his workload at 26 carries per game.
“We haven’t faced one like him this year, and we’ve faced some pretty good backs,” first-year Eupora coach Junior Graham said. “If you go into the ballgame saying you’re going to stop him, I think you’re going to be badly upset with yourself.”