Saints look forward to River Oaks

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Trinity head coach David King, whose team had just mopped up a 35-13 win over Glenbrook Thursday night in Natchez, almost immediately began looking ahead.

Upon hearing that top-ranked River Oaks had just topped Wayne Academy 24-6, King said he was expecting quite a game this week.

&8220;It&8217;s going to be a good one,&8221; he said. &8220;It&8217;s going to be a battle and a huge task for us. They&8217;re No. 1, and they should be. They&8217;re the defending state champs. We&8217;re No. 2, and they made the brackets out and here we are. It should be a good game.&8221;

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The Saints will likely be without Clint Easom, but King said freshman running back R.J. Fleming, who appeared to hurt his leg midway through the third quarter but later came back in the game, would be fine.

&8220;It was just a little cramp,&8221; King said. &8220;He gets a little excited, and he has those small legs. He&8217;ll be fine.&8221;

The Saints will host River Oaks at 7 p.m. Friday.

Bulldogs squeak by yet again

Franklin County head coach Grady McCluskey

said earlier this week that winning close was fine by him, as long as his team was winning.

He got yet another one Friday night in the MHSAA quarterfinals, as his team played its seventh game of the season decided by a touchdown or less, defeating Collins 17-13 with a last-minute touchdown. The Bulldogs are 6-1 in those games.

McCluskey said all the close games throughout the season have given his team an attitude that it can always find a way to win.

&8220;I think the close games we&8217;ve played have helped the kids know the game is four quarters,&8221; McCluskey said. &8220;They know it&8217;s never over until the final horn. They feel they can win those games. We kind of learned that one at Natchez (a 41-35 loss in which Franklin County led 21-0 at one time). We thought we had it won.&8221;

McCluskey said he&8217;s seen plenty of teams win close ones, and he won&8217;t mind if he gets two more.

&8220;I think those close games helped us win (the Collins game),&8221; he said. &8220;We&8217;re going to find a way to win. The talent levels off in the playoffs. It&8217;s hard to blow anybody out at this point. You&8217;ve got to play well in all three phases.

&8220;Alabama won (the national championship) in &8217;92 and every game they played was close. I can handle winning that way.&8221;

Franklin County will host Hazlehurst in the MHSAA Class 3A South State Championship at 7 p.m. Friday.