Tigers visit WC; Natchez hosting Tide

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Don’t be surprised some folks in Region 7-3A may be already thinking playoff scenarios.

Action just started last week, but at this point in the season you don’t want to go 0-2 in region with favorite Hazlehurst remaining on your schedule. So when Jefferson County and Wilkinson County square off Friday night in Woodville, the loser will fall into a precarious situation as MHSAA action enters Week 5.

The loser will be 0-2.

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&uot;We want to go out and win this game,&uot; JC head coach Jeffrey Harness said, whose club fell to Amite County 34-20 last week. &uot;We’re disappointed in some of our play Friday night. We felt we had a good enough team to win the ball game. We didn’t feel we played to our potential. I think we have a good team, but we’ve got to put the pieces together.&uot;

Both teams are hungry for a win, and each had different fates of sorts in heading to that opening loss. The Tigers had a lead heading into the fourth quarter before Amite County rebounded to take the lead and the game, while the Wildcats struggled from the start against a solid North Pike defense and managed just 20 yards total offense.

But as far as anyone having a sure win or anything close to that, you may not want to look around.

&uot;We ran into a pretty good defense,&uot; WC head coach John Moore said. &uot;We threw a couple of interceptions, and they were stunting with the linebackers. But (the region) is hard to predict right now. To go 0-2 in district makes it tough. They’ve got a good team, too. Anybody can beat anybody, it seems. It’ll be pretty tough.&uot;

The Tigers have their hopes set on correcting things that went wrong late in the game against Amite County. After posting a 20-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Trojans took advantage of the Tigers’ mistakes and put up 20 points to take the win.

&uot;We just had some penalties when we had the lead,&uot; Harness said. &uot;We kept getting a lot of holding calls on us, and we just shot ourselves in the foot. It kind of took the momentum out of us, and their special teams hurt us. They had a good punt return for good field position and scored. Momentum changed the whole game. Whenever you get the lead, you’ve got to hold on to it.&uot;

The Wildcats have to get the offense back rolling as it did earlier in the season, and both teams have enough weapons that may make it a high-scoring affair. The Wildcats put points on the board prior to the loss last week, and the Tigers have speed at the skill positions to create some mismatches &045; although they’ll be sans Anthony Chambliss at receiver after he was injured in the loss last week.

&uot;It looks like we should match up pretty well with them size-wise,&uot; Moore said. &uot;They’ve got a couple speed receivers. We’ll try to neutralize them.&uot;

Picayune at Natchez

It’s the Region 4-5A opener for the Bulldogs, and they’re picking up where they left off in the non-region portion of their schedule &045; facing a tough ranked team.

Picayune is ranked 11th in the state heading into the contest, and the Bulldogs enter 1-3 after posting the 14-12 win over then-ranked Vicksburg and falling short 14-0 last week at Warren Central.

The Bulldogs enter the game playing their best ball defensively after two solid outings against the Vicksburg schools with linemen Anthony Strauder, Michael Woods and Terrence Sproulls leading the way up front.

While the Bulldogs won the turnover battle in the win over Vicksburg, they matched Warren Central’s turnover total as each team had two. But the Bulldogs have to get the ground game going with the passing game to have a shot at Picayune.

North Pike at Franklin County

The Bulldogs may be the surprise of the area so far, but more will be known after this week when they open Region 7-3A play.

The Bulldogs played out of the region last week when everyone else began their second season. After starting the season with plenty of new players following the loss of 18 starters, the Bulldogs are 3-1 right now after posting a win over Wesson last week.

Hinds AHS at Port Gibson

The Blue Waves take their turn outside the region this week with a home contest. They dropped their region opener last week against favorite Hazlehurst, 44-20, after the Indians jumped out to a 38-6 lead.