Eight area teams advance past regular season

Published 12:38 am Monday, November 5, 2007

Natchez — The regular season is over and the playoffs begin Friday for eight area schools.

Trinity, Ferriday, Centreville and Jefferson County will open the playoffs at home while Huntington, WCCA, Franklin County and Block will open on the road.

Trinity (11-0) will open up against a familiar opponent. The Saints will host Riverfield, a squad they defeated 34-6 two weeks ago. However, Trinity coach David King said he expects a much different game this Friday.

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“We had our way with them in the first half (of their first game) but we played sloppy in the second half and that was due to some adjustments they made on defense. They’ve got a good coaching staff and defense and they’re going to go back and see what worked and didn’t work against us the first time. I expect it to be a close game.”

King isn’t happy that the Saints are facing a team in the first round they’ve already played.

“Obviously we’d like to play someone we haven’t played before,” King said. “We knew they had a playoff caliber team at the start of the season and they did it. They’ll be a bunch of upsets in every state in every classification. We just have to make sure we’re not one of those.”

Ferriday (10-0) will also host a first-round playoff game, facing off against Red River. Trojan head coach Freddie Harrison said his players have earned the right to be one of the best 32 teams in Class 2A.

“I always tell my players the first 10 weeks they’re playing on my time,” Harrison said. “The next five weeks is all about them. There are a lot of teams that are home right now. We’re one of the privileged ones who get to keep the pads out. They’ve earned the right to be here.”

Centreville (8-2) has also earned the right to host a first-round playoff game. The Tigers will host Central Private, a team they defeated 36-6 in the fourth week of the season.

“They are a much improved team from earlier in the season,” Centreville coach Bill Hurst said. “They have a great coaching staff and great players.”

Hurst said he expects his team to be ready come Friday night and not be susceptible to the upset.

“We had a good Friday night practice,” Hurst said. “They showed a lot of discipline which is important. I was pretty tough on them and they responded.”

While Trinity and Ferriday will be at home for their playoff opener, the WCCA Rams (7-4) will hit the road to play Central Hinds.

While playing on the road is a definite disadvantage, WCCA head coach Sam Byrd IV doesn’t think it will play much of a factor in the game.

“Our kids are used to traveling,” Byrd said. “Some of our district games were over four hours away. This one is in Jackson which is only about two hours away. Home field is always an advantage, but we’ve just got to get everyone packed up and ready to roll. The kids are excited to be in the playoffs and will be ready to get after it.”