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|Neville, West Ouachita at it again in first round of playoffs|
The Neville Tigers will welcome a familiar foe to Bill Ruple Stadium for the first round of the Class 4-A playoffs this Friday night.
Neville will host West Ouachita, the same district rival the Tigers defeated 28-6 on Friday night.
Neville quarterback Taylor Burch has been sidelined for the season with a knee injury but the Tigers offense was still roaring against the Chiefs.
Jeremy Runner stepped in and was a perfect 5-of-5 for 65 yards in the win for Neville. DeAndre Reed continued his romp over the competition with a 64-yard performance that also produced a pair of touchdowns.
"We have a lot of confidence in Jermey (Runner) as our quarterback," Neville head coach Mickey McCarty said. "We executed well the other night."
Runner lived up to his name with 148 yards rushing on just six carries. The Neville defense put together a pair of turnovers that led to points for the Tigers.
West Ouachita was led in rushing by full back Billy Minnifield. Minnifield ran for 127 yards and a touchdown for the Chiefs.
The Neville defense clamped down on Chiefs quarterback Matt Calhoun and limited him to one yard passing and 36 yards rushing on the night.
The challenge now becomes lining up against the same team all over again, which may hep make preparation easier.
"We already know what to expect," West Ouachita head coach Mitch Thomas said. "It is Neville. We just go back and correct our mistakes."
Neville sees the game as one in which they must maintain success. Beating a good team twice in the same season is never an easy task once the playoffs roll around.
Neville will, of course, get another full week of practice with Runner at quarterback. That prospect may be scary to West Ouachita fans who saw the quarterback running through their defense just a week ago.
West Ouachita will work on maintaining drives and finding new ways to score against a Neville defense giving up just 14.8 points per game over the final five contests.