CANTON - Canton Academy coach Ron Jurney said his team was dealt a curveball early in its season-opening 17-0 win over Benton Academy last Friday night.

With tailback J.B. Stewart already sidelined due to injury, Jurney figured to lean heavily on senior fullback Tanner Tate to carry the load. When Tate went down in the first quarter with a similar injury, someone had to carry the load.

That someone was junior backup-quarterback Gerrod Anderson.

"We went back to our roots," Jurney said. "We ran the ball out of I-formation, and (Anderson) and our offensive line really stepped up."

The defense, which allowed less than two touchdowns a game a season ago, did it's part by keeping the ball on the Benton Academy-side of the field all night.

Luckily, the Panthers probably won't have to continue to adjust to the change against a tough 1-A Central Holmes Christian team this week - Jurney expects to have both of his backs available.

The Trojans (1-0) have already matched their win total from a year ago coming off a 29-0 win over 2-A opponent Deer Park last week.

"Central Holmes is very much improved over what they had last year," Jurney said. "They have a coach who really fits their personnel, and we cannot be caught sleeping in our secondary on defense."

Friday's test will be the last contest before a slew of tough competition - at Simpson Academy and back-to-back home games against Newton County Academy and Central Hinds - that should really test the Panthers before District 2-AA games start with a matchup against last year's champ, Leake Academy, on Sept. 26.

Leake fell to Copiah Academy 28-21 on Friday night.

Around the district, Oak Hill Academy defeated Hartfield 41-7, Tri-County got the best of St. Andrew's 27-7 and Indianola Academy trounced Manchester Academy 56-33.