Leeds vs. Cordova for title caught up with Coach Keith Etheredge of the Leeds Green Wave early Thursday morning, and he was kind enough to share his thoughts on today's state title match-up with the Cordova Blue Devils.

Leeds is the strongest defensive team in the state in the 3A classification, and perhaps one of the strongest in the state in any class.

Their entire defense has played well all year, with Randon Carnathan anchoring a very strong offensive line, while Tony Threatt helps to make a very solid secondary who plays the run equally as well as they play the pass.

Randon Carnathan
In today's 3A state title game at Legion Field they will need to defend both as the Cordova Blue Devils come into the game scoring more than 40 points per game throughout the playoffs.

The Green Wave will need to slow down the rushing attack of Tim Simon, Daniel Ingram and Ryan Smith first and foremost, and that is something no team this season has been able to do. asked Coach Etheredge how Leeds will slow down the Cordova offense.

"It's going to be like climbing a cactus, very hard," Coach Etheredge said. "We will need to play our best today to slow them down. They (Cordova) have a lot of very good athletes, and a few very special ones. We will need to contain them to have a chance."

"We will play our usual defense - after going 14-0 I can't see any reason to change what we do defensively. Besides, it's too late in the season to start trying to change anything now. We will stick with what got us here."

Leeds comes into the game fairly healthy, as Coach Etheredge explains.

"We are in pretty good shape injury wise. We have a couple of kids with high ankle sprains, but they will play. I had rather have them playing on a bad ankle than anyone I can think of. Our defense has done a good job all year, we just need to have one more great game today," Coach Etheredge said in closing.

Tim Simon
Tim's take on the game:
The Cordova Blue Devils have been porous on the defensive side of the ball all season, which is a big contrast from a year ago when they won the 3A title. If Leeds can slow the Cordova offense they have a very good chance to put up a lot of points against the Blue Devil defense. As strange as it may sound the defenses will decide today's 3A State Champion.

Key Players to watch:

Tim Simon – Simon has rushed for an unbelievable number of yards and touchdowns this season, and the Ole Miss Rebels have rewarded the Cordova running back with a scholarship. Simon is 6-2, 210-pounds and runs in the 4.5-4.6 range.

Ryan Smith
Ryan Smith – Smith is only a junior, but he is receiving heavy interest from college scouts around the Southeast, including several SEC schools. Smith manages the Cordova offense well from his quarterback position. The 6-1, 200-pounder is dangerous rushing the ball as well as passing. He is also a dangerous return specialist.

Randon Carnathan – Carnathan is a commitment to Joey Jones and the upstart South Alabama program. Randon has anchored a very strong defensive line for two years, and the 6-1, 265-pounder could hear from some larger programs after his outstanding play throughout this season. He chose the Jags over Southern Miss, Arkansas State, Army and Memphis.

Tony Threatt – Threatt has played safety and wide receiver for Leeds since he was a sophomore. He can make plays on both sides of the ball, but he is a threat as a wide receiver today as he faces a defense that has struggled to find any stops throughout the season.

The 6-4, 195-pound athlete has pledged his services to South Alabama and looks to play outside linebacker for the Jags. He chose the Jags over Army and several other small schools.

While these four athletes are the key players in the game, both teams have many great high school football players. It could be someone else that helps raise the trophy this afternoon at Legion Field.

Kickoff is set for 3:00 PM

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