There have been several contributing factors to the new level of confidence The Dunham School is carrying into the start of District 6-2A.
A torrid finish to the 2014 season, capped by an appearance in the Division III state quarterfinals, served as the catalyst followed by the transfer of sophomore quarterback Mike Williams from Redemptorist and a solid summer program.
The result has been a 3-0 start for Dunham, which travels to Northeast (2-1) at 7 p.m. Friday to begin 6-2A play.
“Last year going into district our kids weren’t super confident,” Dunham coach Neil Weiner said. “We opened with East Feliciana and were down 28-0 right out of the game, settled down and kind of made a game of it. We played Northeast the next week, and it was kind of the same thing.”
The local/area also features the start of several other lower classification districts with No. 1 University High (2-1) hosting West Feliciana in 6-3A and No. 5 Parkview Baptist (1-2) traveling to Baker (2-1) in 6-3A. East Feliciana (2-1) hosts Episcopal (2-1, 1-0) in 6-2A, while Mississippi Association of Independent School rivals — Central Private (2-3) and No. 6 Silliman (4-1) — meet in Clinton in a 5-3A game.
“We haven’t seen anything like Parkview this year,” Baker coach Richard Oliver said. “We’re very familiar with them. Our kids know the importance of doing everything to the best of their ability.”
DUNHAM-NORTHEAST: After opening with consecutive home wins, Dunham showed its ability to win on the road last week with a 41-20 win over Westminster Christian.
Williams, a 6-foot-3, 230-pounder, played a significant role in his team’s victory, completing 13 of 17 passes for 225 yards and a pair of TDs.
Williams is the area’s top passer among 2A-1A quarterbacks, completing 82.3 percent of his passes (42 of 51) for 612 yards with six TDs.
Williams (32-214, 2 TDs) only trails running back Tony Huey (29-231, 3 TDs) for the team’s rushing lead.
Northeast, a Class 2A semifinalist a year ago, rebounded from a season-opening loss to Class 5A Walker with a shutout of Baker (26-0) and win over Class 3A Glen Oaks (26-18).
PARKVIEW-BAKER: Baker is looking to gain traction after two decidedly different outcomes — a 46-6 win over Tara and 26-0 loss against Northeast — before outlasting Mentorship Academy 20-12 last week.
Quarterback Devantae Rogers has made a successful transition from running back and given Baker a consistent offensive threat, along with running back Nick Morgan.
Rogers also registered three interceptions as a safety a week ago, and it was his 60-yard return that set up a TD.