Wilkinson, Jefferson counties set for regional matchup
Fayette — After downing Franklin County High School 40-28 last week, Wilkinson County High School (5-2, 1-0) will try to advance to 2-0 in district when it goes head-to-head with Jefferson County High School (2-3, 1-0) Friday.
Jefferson County is also looking to improve to 2-0 after surviving against Crystal Springs 22-20.
The Tigers’ head coach James Herrington said going into district undefeated will give them room to breath.
“It’ll be a big win to go 2-0 in conference,” he said. “Anytime you’re 2-0, it allows your team to be a little more relaxed.
The Tigers’ first win against Crystal Springs was a close one, but Herington said he was pleased with the effort his players gave.
“We had a pretty good showing,” Herington said. “We didn’t have many turnovers and our line played pretty well.”
Though his players played well last week, Herrington said they would have to increase their level of intensity tenfold in order to get past a loaded Wildcat team.
“They’re a solid ball club, when you play a team like that, there’s very little room for error,” he said.
Herrington has been working on sharpening up his defense this week as quarterback Devin Voorhies, wide receiver Allenzae Staggers and running backs LaDarion Peterson and Roosevelt Tolliver have been known for giving defenses many problems.
“We’re focusing on fundamentals and making sure our guys on defense are focusing on good, solid tackling,” Herrington said. “Anytime you play a quarterback as elusive as Voorhies, there must be good solid tackling.”
Wilkinson County head coach Kenneth Brown said Voorhies has been playing well for him this season after tallying 162 passing yards and 269 rushing yards against Franklin County last week.
“Voorhies passed and ran the ball well for us, he controlled the game,” Brown said. “He kept us in position to where we could do what we wanted to do.”
Brown said the Wildcats’ defense must also stay alert against Jefferson County’s running game.
“Our main thing is to control Jefferson County,” Brown said. “They like to run the ball, and we have to get up the field and not let them control the game.”
A win against Jefferson County is very valuable to Brown and his Wildcats as Brown said it might very well determine the rest of their season.
“It would be a plus to our playoff situation to be 2-0,” he said. “It would give us momentum to finish out the season and propel us into the playoffs.”
Wilkinson County will head to Jefferson County at 7 p.m. Friday.
Franklin County High School
MEADVILLE — Franklin County High School (3-2, 0-1) is preparing for another tough matchup this week against last year’s Class 3A state champions Hazlehurst High School (6-1, 1-0).
Franklin head coach Chris Calcote said they have their hands full with a championship-winning opponent, but their home-field advantage gives them a little leverage as well.
“We have to play Hazlehurst, but at the same time, Hazlehurst has to come play us,” Calcote said.
Calcote said he saw a lot of good things from last week’s loss against Wilkinson County, and though he’s proud of their effort, the Bulldogs are trying to avoid going 0-2 in district.
“Last week’s game, we played a really good team,” he said. “The overall effort was good, we had chances to win the ball game but bottom line, we couldn’t stop (Devin Voorhies).
“Our kids played hard and put some points on the board. But we just didn’t have enough points at the end of the game.”
Calcote said their strategy would be more like a game of Keep Away against an offensively talented Hazlehurst squad.
“They’re a really good balanced team, they run well and throw well,” Calcote said. “They have a couple of standouts on their team. If we can keep the ball away from them, we’ll be in good shape.”
Franklin County hosts Hazlehurst at 7 p.m. Friday.