Prep previews: Rams face big district matchupPublished 12:01am Friday, September 14, 2012
woodville — A week after losing to one of the top teams in MAIS Class AA, the Wilkinson County Christian Academy football team will take the field to battle one of the top teams in its own classification.
The Rams fell to Centreville Academy, 27-7, last week and will welcome MAIS District 3-A foe Riverfield Academy this week.
“They were predicted to win the district in the preseason,” WCCA head coach David Wright said. “Our guys are pretty geared up. (Riverfield) put (WCCA) out of the playoffs last year, and the kids remember that and have a bad feeling about it.”
Wright said WCCA practice this week has been geared toward stopping Riverfield’s powerful running attack.
“They put all 11 (players) in the box, and they find success running the ball inside and outside,” Wright said.
Wright said a major challenge for the Rams tonight would be adjusting to the multiple formations Riverfield will run out of its three-running back set.
“It’s not confusing. It’s just a lot of different formations,” he said. “Our biggest challenge will be lining up to the different formations.”
The loss to Centreville was WCCA’s first of the season, but Wright said he feels the team is bouncing back.
“Getting over the Centreville loss was tough, but the kids came out and had some really good practices,” he said. “They have great spirit and teamwork, and they are motivating each other. These have been our most physical practices due to them wanting to really get after it.”
Tonight’s game will give the winning team a leg up in the race for the top spot in the district.
“We’re both undefeated (in district), and this will put somebody in the driver’s seat,” he said. “It opens up an opportunity to not have to look for help from anybody else.”
The Rams (2-1, 1-0) will host the Raiders (3-1, 3-0) at 7 tonight.
Centreville versus Oak Forest
CENTREVILLE — The Centreville Academy football team got a little extra motivation this week when head coach Bill Hurst returned to the practice field.
The Tigers’ coach had not been able to participate in practice while recovering from heart surgery, but his return provided a spark for the undefeated Tigers, assistant coach Brian Stutzman said.
“This is the first week (Hurst) has been able to come to practice,” Stutzman said. “He’s excited to be back, and we’ve had great practices.”
The Tigers will step into MAIS District 6-AA play for the first time tonight when they face Oak Forest Academy.
“This is a big game for us,” he said. “You have to win each (district game). We look at each (district) game as being just as important as the others. We have to win this game to control our destiny.”
Oak Forest will feature a power running game that the Tigers have to stop, Stutzman said.
“We have to slow them down on offense and not let them get 4 or 5 yards a pop,” he said. “We have to focus on not giving up the big play and not making stupid mental mistakes. We’ve gotten away with a lot of mistakes, but we have to cut them out because sooner or later they will catch up to us.”
Centreville (4-0) will host Oak Forest (1-2) at 7 tonight.