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MHSAA previews: Bulldogs look to stay confident

Meadville — For Chris Calcote, the biggest improvement he saw in Franklin County’s win against McComb last week was passion.

“I saw a real big impact on the mental side that we’re excited about playing football,” Calcote said. “We got excited when someone made a big hit.”

The spark of passion couldn’t come at a better time for Franklin County as they snagged their first win in an upset against second-ranked McComb.

The Bulldogs are looking to spread that confidence over to Friday’s game as they take on Tylertown.

Franklin County took a 47-7 beating to Tylertown last season, and Calcote said he wants that defeat to be on their mind as they prepare for a tough road game.

“It’ll be a real big challenge for us,” he said. “I told them the other day that we have to take care of business because they’re capable of beating us again if we don’t.”

Jefferson County High School

FAYETTE — Jefferson County head coach James Herrington said he let out of a sigh of relief when the Tigers got their first win of the season against Port Gibson last week.

But despite avoiding a slumping 0-3 record, Herrington said he is not at all content with where his team stands.

With a bye week, he said they can step back from the action and analyze their weak spots before stepping up to McLaurin High School next Friday.

“(The bye week will) give an opportunity to heal to get a good week of rest, but we have to make sure we avoid coming out flat against McLaurin,” Herrington said.

Healing and rest won’t be the only thing Herrington hopes his players receive a lot of, but with an extra week before game time, he has time to take practice back to day one.

“Basically we’re going back to the things we did in the spring,” he said. “We’ll be working on fundamentals like ball handling, blocking and tackling — things we don’t get to work on a lot in season.”

Wilkinson County High School

WOODVILLE — Wilkinson County is coming off of a strong offensive performance against Amite County last week, but head coach Kenneth Brown said penalties were still a major issue.

“The main thing from our game last week is we have to eliminate penalties and stop turnovers,” Brown said. “We have to turn down our number of penalties vastly. It is uncharacteristic of us. We can’t play like that and think we’re going to come out with wins.”

Brown said he was pleased with the improvement his players have shown week-by-week, but they must not be complacent if they have state championship goals in mind.

“We need to continue to play well,” he said. “We’re doing what were supposed to, but in order to be on the next level, we need to pick our tempo up and make big plays.”

Players like quarterback Devin Voohries, wide receiver Allenzae Staggers and La’Darian Peterson had big games for the Wildcats against Amite, and Brown said the offense must continue to have several threats in order to succeed.

“I think we’ve been pretty balanced passing and running the ball,” he said. “They’ve complimented each other, and we’ve seen progress with players stepping up.”

Jefferson County will be hosting Forest Hill at 7 p.m. Friday, but they won’t be doing it on Wildcat territory.

“There is construction on the track at the school so we’ll be playing our game at Southwest (Mississippi) Community College,” Brown said. “Our fans have been very supportive of us, so hopefully they won’t mind making the trip over to Southwest.”