Dampeer brothers meet as Amory visits Houston

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Sep. 23—Brothers Brooks and Baylor Dampeer would rather not coach against each other.

Alas, their football teams will meet tonight when Amory (3-1) visits Houston (4-0). It's the second-straight year the brothers have squared off, with Baylor's Houston squad winning last season, 32-20.

"We don't enjoy it," said Brooks, who is in his second year at Amory. "Obviously I didn't make the schedule, or we wouldn't have played each other."

As Baylor put it, "It's not as enjoyable for us as it is for everyone else."

Nonetheless, it's a fun matchup on paper. Both teams have potent rushing attacks, although Houston will likely be without tailback Jalen Washington, who missed last week with a knee injury.

Jamal Cooperwood has filled in capably. The senior has rushed for 391 yards and five touchdowns; he had 100 yards and two scores in last week's 27-13 win over Corinth.

He'll face an Amory defense that hasn't been easily pushed around. Since a season-opening loss to Class 4A power Itawamba AHS, the Panthers' first-string defense hasn't given up a point.

"They're flying around the ball," Brooks Dampeer said. "They're allowing us to coach them and be multiple in our alignment."

The defensive line had a big hand in last week's 38-8 win over North Pontotoc. Carter Lundquist, a senior, had 10 tackles and 2 sacks. For the season, he's notched 33 tackles and 6 sacks.

"Got a little savviness and finesse to him," Brooks Dampeer said. "We're really proud of what he's doing. He's a guy that didn't really come on until midseason last year, so that was a great surprise, and he continues to be productive."

Offensively, Amory has its own elite back in Charleston French. He's been the chief focus of every defensive game plan this season, but quarterback Jatarian Ware and transfer running back Emmanuel Randle have eased French's load.

Ware has passed for 757 yards and nine touchdowns and has 116 yards on the ground. Randle has rushed for 216 yards and two TDs.

French is still getting his, with 378 yards and nine touchdowns.

"He's really savvy, understands how to run the ball," Baylor Dampeer said. "He's elusive. ... Probably the best beck we may see all year."