Trinity, Rams heading for 7-A showdown

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; With just a game before the Mississippi Private School Association regular season winds up, the district 7-A showdown between rivals Trinity Episcopal and Wilkinson County Christian Academy in Natchez on Oct. 24 looms large.

Both teams grinded out wins against non-district foes Friday and remain the only undefeated teams in 7-A play.

The Saints (8-0, 3-0) held off a late Glenbrook charge to escape Minden, La., with a 25-18 victory and remain atop the MPSA Class A polls.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;They were a very good ball club, and as athletic a team as anybody we’re going to see,&uot; Trinity head coach David King said of the Apaches. &uot;They’ll be a team nobody wants to see the rest of the way.&uot;

The Rams (5-3, 3-0) built a 25-14 third quarter lead over Columbia, before having to hold on for dear life to squeak out the 32-29 win over the Cougars.

Head coach Paul Hayles knows what could possibly be on the line if the Rams take care of Amite School Center for homecoming and Trinity can defeat a surprising Tensas (3-5, 2-1) team this Friday.

&uot;We’d love to host the first game of the playoffs,&uot; he said. &uot;Anytime you play at home it should be in your favor. But we know the task at hand, and we’ll take it one game at a time.&uot;

With such high preseason expectations placed on his senior laden bunch, King’s focus is squarely on the two remaining games and a district crown.

&uot;We’re certainly not looking forward to seeing them,&uot; he said of the Rams. &uot;Paul has got that group really motivated. They’re about five teams in the South that can win it all, and we’re both one of those.&uot;

IN THE HUNT &045; Cathedral head coach Ken Beesley remembers the downward spiral that left his Green Wave out of the Mississippi High School Athletic Association Class 1A playoffs last year.

It all came down to the last week of the season, and needing a victory over bitter rival St. Al to crack the postseason barrier.

It didn’t happen, and Cathedral was left to ponder what might have been.

Friday’s 29-22 road win over Enterprise put the Green Wave (4-2, 3-2 Region 4-1A) back in this year’s playoff hunt, and they’re determined to learn from their mistakes.

&uot;It was big step in the right direction for making the playoffs,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;Last year we had an opportunity and we messed up at homecoming against Bogue Chitto. I’d like to see us win games now to take the pressure off of us in the last weeks of the season.&uot;

Cathedral is locked in a three-way tie for third place with Stringer &045; this week’s opponent &045; and Salem, with Bogue Chitto a game ahead.

Both Mize and Mount Olive, the only blemishes on the Green Wave’s dance card, are 5-0 and atop the 4-1A standings.

GO-TO PLAY &045; In the six wins undefeated Vidalia (6-0, 1-0 4-2A) has celebrated this season, three have started out on the right foot with touchdown passes on their first drives, including Friday.

Quarterback Tony Hawkins hooked up with Rodney Washington on the first play Friday for a 40-yard score for a quick 7-0 lead with seven seconds gone by.

The same tandem connected again exactly six minutes later, 6:53, for 25 yards and the 56-0 route of Lake Providence was on.

&uot;It was fortunate this week that we didn’t have a real tough opponent because we had to go into the gym for three practices this week,&uot; Faircloth said, citing Viking Field being under water. &uot;They were rested and you could tell by the way we ran the ball tonight. Sometimes you need that, but next week it’s back to reality against McCall.&uot;

WHO LET THE DOGS OUT &045; Franklin County was supposed to be rebuilding. Isn’t that what most of us thought after last season’s 18 seniors put the Bulldogs back in the playoffs for the first time in several years?

Even head coach Anthony Hart was resigned to the fact, during the preseason, that the Bulldogs were prepared to take some lumps in 2003.

Guess again. The Bulldogs (5-2) moved to a perfect 3-0 in 7-3A play after Friday’s, 29-16, upset of Hazlehurst.

&uot;We’ve come a long way. We’ve played three good football teams, but we’ve got three left,&uot; Hart said. &uot;We control our own destiny, and we’ll carry that wherever we go. That’s what matters.

Hazlehurst (4-2) suffered its first district loss of the season, dropping the Indians to 3-1.

Franklin County’s final three games of the season &045; Amite, Wilkinson and Port Gibson &045; come against teams with a combined 3-7 record in region play.