Wildcats begin title quest versus Greene County

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2000

The Wilkinson County High School Wildcats begin their march toward a Class 3A state championship when they host Greene County at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Wilkinson County went undefeated in district play to win the Division 6-3A title for the second year in a row and goes into Friday night’s playoff game with an 8-1 record.

Greene County is 9-2 and finished in second place behind Tylertown in Division 8-3A.

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&uot;Their only two losses were to Gautier, a Class 4A school, and Tylertown,&uot; said Wilkinson County head coach John Moore. &uot;They were ranked number one in 3A at the start of the season.&uot;

Moore said his Wildcats team will face a &uot;big and physical team&uot; in Greene County, which he said has a couple of players committed to Southern Mississippi.

&uot;They’ve got 17 or 18 seniors on their team,&uot; he said. &uot;They have plenty of speed.&uot;

Greene County runs a double-wing offense and will run the option and a lot of misdirection plays, Moore said.

&uot;We’re going to have to stop their running attack,&uot; he said. &uot;They’ve got three big backs.&uot;

Among them is senior slot back James Walley, the team’s leading rusher with 1,022 yards on 163 carries and 13 touchdowns.

&uot;They’ve got a couple of sophomore quarterbacks, so if we can stop the running game, we can force them to throw the ball,&uot; he said.

Both of Greene County’s quarterbacks have been very ineffective this season.

Chuck Ross completed only 24-of-63 passes for 475 yards and five TDs and Ric McClusky completed 11-of-37 passes for 201 yards and 2 TDs during the regular season.

To counter Greene County’s 4-3 defense, Moore said Wilkinson County’s offense will have to throw the ball.

&uot;They have a big defensive line and they like to put eight or nine men up front to stop the run,&uot; he said. &uot;If we can open up our passing game, then we can get the running game going.&uot;

Among those on Greene County’s defensive line are a pair of senior tackles, James Brown (300 lbs.) and Reco Holloway (280 lbs.).

Moore is looking for solid performances from his two quarterbacks, junior Travis Dent and senior William Tolliver, and senior fullback/linebacker Mark Frederick, the team’s leading rusher with nearly 1,000 yards and 12 TDs.