Felines will battle on Friday

Published 12:01 am Thursday, October 8, 2009

FAYETTE — Jefferson County is back to work this week after defeating Amite County High School 20-8 last Friday.

The Tigers (2-4, 1-0) will play host to Wilkinson County High School, which is coming off a 49-24 loss against Franklin County.

Jefferson County head coach James Herrington said the Wildcats look to bring a size advantage with them when they line up against the Tigers.

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“Defensively, they’re pretty big, especially inside,” Herrington said. “Their front four is pretty formidable. They do a good job of clogging up the run.

“Their secondary runs pretty well, but overall, I’ve been mostly impressed with their size.”

On offense, Herrington singled out two players that the Wildcats try to put the ball in the hands of.

“We need to be able to stop No. 24 (Brandon Horton),” Herrington said. “He’s pretty much 80 percent of their offense.

“They do a good job of getting the ball in the hands of No. 2 (Devin Fosselman) in many different ways, but the big thing with our game plan is to stop 24.”

Friday night will be homecoming for the Tigers, and Herrington said his players feel the urgency in getting a win.

“It’s not only homecoming, but we’re playing a district opponent. It would be big to start out 2-0.”

In practice this week, Herrington said he’s pleased with how his players have managed to perform well despite the other obligations they might have.

“We’ve been able to stay on schedule pretty well, which is not normal for homecoming week,” Herrington said. “We were able to get an early practice in before carnations (Wednesday night), which we had several players involved in.”

Handling the elements is something Herrington is stressing to his players leading up to Friday’s game.

“Basically, since I’ve been the coach here, this is one of the wettest football season’s I’ve ever seen. This means our No. 1 key Friday is ball control. We’ll have to take care of the ball and not give up turnovers.”

For Wilkinson County (3-3, 0-1), a critical point on offense will be finding other playmakers to fill Fosselman’s shoes in the event that he can’t play Friday.

“He got hurt against Franklin County in the fourth quarter last Friday,” Wildcats head coach Elbert Lyles said.

“Right now they haven’t cleared him to play. Some other guys are going to have to step up and fill in. He usually plays offense, defense and special teams, but even if he is cleared, we may not use him in all three phases.”

Lyles also said he’s trying to get more out of his defense than how they performed last week against Franklin County.

“We’re working on the basic fundamentals from the defensive standpoint. We felt like Franklin County handled us pretty well (in that regard), and we weren’t pleased with that phase of the game.”