STARKVILLE — It feels almost like a foregone conclusion that you’re going to see something special when the Starkville High School football offense takes the field.
Quarterback Trey Petty and Co. were predictably potent from the get-go in their spring game against DeSoto Central on Saturday, and they managed to score on nearly every possession over the three varsity periods, which they finished with a 40-0 lead.
That tally was 53-0 by the end of the JV period.
“I don’t really care about the score, it’s about the kids getting better and having fun,” Starkville coach Chris Jones said. “The goal was to get better from the beginning of spring ball, and I feel like that’s kind of what we’ve accomplished.
“Hopefully. when we go watch the film, it kind of stays true to what we’ve seen here today. That’s what it’s all for; like I said, I really don’t care about the score. I just want the kids to get better and give us something to evaluate so we can have something to work on this summer.”
Based on Saturday’s performance, the Jackets clearly put in some good work during the spring. They put on a show for family, friends and fans, but more importantly for several recruiters in attendance, and most importantly for Jones and the rest of the coaching staff.
Petty and receiver Braylon “Stonka” Burnside put the sport on notice with their respective sophomore campaigns, and they are garnering deserved attention from recruiters, but receiver Jaylon York made sure everyone in attendance knew just what he was capable of as well. York pulled in several impressive catches, including two for touchdowns.
On the first score, he came back to the ball as Petty threw on the run, then beat two defenders to power into the end zone. For the second touchdown, he beat his defender before catching the ball, walking into the end zone untouched after hauling in the pass from about 40 yards out.
“Athlete!” Burnside said of York, “That’s all you can say; that’s an athlete. My guy is shining. He’s gotten some offers, too, over the spring, and I’m happy for him.”
Petty felt the same way.
“I think he’ll be huge for us this year,” Petty said of York. “Especially with Stonka over there and everyone trying to worry about him, he is definitely gonna come in and make some noise this year.”
The offense shined as expected, and perhaps an overlooked but very important part of the spring game scoreline is the “0” in DeSoto Central’s side of the scoreboard. The Jackets defense proved very tough for the Jaguars regardless of who was under center.
There were times last year when the Jackets got caught in shootouts, so the shutout was a nice achievement for them. Getting more defensive stops will go a long way as they hope to build off of last year, and Jones recognized their hard work as well as the work ahead of them.
“The goal was to keep them out of the end zone, and we accomplished that, but we’re not gonna be complacent because this is a spring game,” Jones said. “We gotta stay humble and stay hungry because we want this to continue. We want to be consistent, and good defenses are consistent. We can’t be good today and bad tomorrow.
“I’m happy we had a good day today, so now we gotta put good days on top of good days. We gotta make sure we have a good summer so we can have a good fall.”