Mize at Wesson

Mize head coach Chuck Lee talks to his team after it's win over Wesson last Friday night.

Mize's hot start this season, draws the team within one game of its win total a year ago. Three-star offensive tackle Trey Tuggle says the goal each week isn't complicated.

"Last year we won just four games," said Tuggle. "Our goal this year is to win games. That should be the goal every year. Our slogan every week is to go 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, and this week its 4-0."

Tuggle, who holds 19 Division 1 offers and is currently committed to Tulane, anchors the line of an offense that almost solely lives on the ground. Also on the line assisting Tuggle is his brother Eli Tuggle, a 6-foot-5, 275-pound sophomore. Mize averages 292.3 rushing yards per game, lined up against just 4.7 yards through the air.

“We run out of the I-Formation and the Spread,” said Mize head football coach Chuck Lee. “In the Spread, we do a lot of reading the defensive end. When we get in the I-Formation, we run Power.”

Tyrese Ducksworth leads the team in rushing yards out of the quarterback position. Through three games - all wins - the junior averages an impressive 11.7 yards per carry on 27 carries of 316 yards.

"Ducksworth is a good athlete," said Lee. "He started as a receiver, and because of an injury last year we had to move him to quarterback. We found out that he's a good running back also. He's filled in his new spot well."

“Last year, I wasn’t ready yet,” adds Ducksworth to the conversion. “I wasn’t used to playing quarterback at the end of last season. This year I come out fresh and ready to play.”

Ducksworth credits the offensive line led by Tuggle.

“The offensive line gives me a good push,” Ducksworth said. “Everything they do, they do their best at it. It makes me do my best.”

Three other skill players have over 100 yards rushing on the season: sophomore Austin Haynes (188 yards on 21 carries), Avery Rice (129 yards on 27 carries) and Matthew Nixon (113 yards on 12 carries. Ducksworth also leads the team in rushing touchdowns with five.

Lee says all four rushers do a good job of carrying the football and that each play depends on the read of the defense as to who gets the job. The teamwork pays dividends.

"We're pleased with our start," said Lee. "We prepare each week, and we're fortunate to come away with a 14-12 win over Wesson last week. That was a tough win for us and a big win."

Wins for Mize have come against West Lincoln (41-7), rival Mount Olive (27-0) and Wesson (14-12).

While the start for Mize is impressive, considering its start a year ago, the season gets a bit tougher. When Region 5-2A begins in October, Mize will have to compete against the SEC West so to speak of the 2A South. Region 5-2A includes last years 2A South winner Taylorsville, 2A South runner up Bay Springs, Puckett, Enterprise, and Heidelberg.

But for Coach Lee and company, that’s three weeks away. Right now, Mize remains focused on what Coach Lee calls, “Part 1 of the season.”

"We classify the season as two parts - non-region and region," Lee said. "We've just focused on our non-region games. Our region is going to be pretty tough, but right now we're worried about [how we play] against our non-region opponents."

Friday night in Week 4, the Bulldogs travel to Bogue Chitto (2-1).

Note:

Tight end and defensive end Kedrick Horton has an offer from Alcorn State University.

"[Getting that offer] means a lot," said Horton. "Thinking back a year or two ago, I didn't think I'd make it this far. But it happened, and I thank the Lord every day for it."

Sports Editor

James is a graduate of Stringer High School and Jones County Junior College. He is an award-winning AP and MS Press photographer, writer, and layout designer.

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