WCCA will play role of spoiler

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WOODVILLE — With any chance of making the playoffs now over, the Wilkinson County Christian Academy Rams will have the opportunity to play the role of spoiler Friday night.

That’s because a win over CENLA Christian Academy at WCCA’s homecoming game can put a big dent in the Lions’ playoff hopes. CENLA Christian currently stands at 3-3 in MPSA District 6-A while WCCA is 2-5. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.

“They’re sitting on the outside. They’ve only played nine games that affect their power rating. We’re going to keep (them) from making the playoffs,” Rams head coach Sam Byrd said.

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Actually, CENLA Christian will take a 3-4 overall record into the game while WCCA is 3-5 overall. The Lions are tied for fourth place in the district standings with Riverdale and just a half game behind third-place Tallulah Academy. So a win on the road against the Rams will be huge. However, they are just 1-3 on the road this season.

WCCA is coming off a 44-36 loss at Riverdale Academy despite its offense having just four first downs and 154 yards of total offense. The Rams’ defense allowed 172 yards on the ground and 439 yards through the air.

“We’re going to continue to work on mistakes we made on defense, such as tackling and pass coverage,” Byrd said. “CENLA’s got a strong running game. We’re going to work on stopping it.”

Despite not only the loss but their running game being held to just 29 yards by Riverdale, there were some positives that came out of last Friday night’s game. Tip McKenzie caught two passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns. The defense scored two touchdowns and Matthew McGraw scored on an 80-yard kickoff return.

But if the Rams are to pull off the upset, the offensive line and the running game will have to have a much better performance, and the defense cannot give up the big plays that it did last week.

“(Riverdale) pretty much put nine men in the box and they did a good job of that. We still had some opportunities to win that game,” Byrd said.

Not only does Byrd have to be concerned with any homecoming distractions leading up to the game, but he has to be worried about a good CENLA Christian team which has had two weeks to prepare for the Rams.

The Lions will bring a two-game winning streak into the game after defeating Claiborne Academy 41-20 on Oct. 3.

“They have a very excellent backfield. They run hard and strong,” he said. “Defensively, they run a 4-4. It will be similar to what we’ve seen the last few weeks. We just have to find a way to get some defensive stops. We’re going to have to do a better job of tackling people.”