Wilkinson County gears up for Amite County

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WOODVILLE — Wilkinson County High School will rely on familiarity when it faces off against Amite County at home Friday.

Wildcats head coach Elbert Lyles said Amite County uses both spread and Wing T formations on offense, something his defense is used to seeing.

“We run the spread, so we’re familiar with it. Hazlehurst runs the wing, and Amite County will be running a mixture of both,” Lyles said.

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“We’ll be somewhat familiar with them, we just have to be better prepared.”

Last Friday, the Wildcats (5-3, 1-2) lost a close game on the road to Hazlehurst 30-28, and Lyles said Hazlehurst is not an easy team to beat on the road.

“It’s just a challenge to go over there and beat them. I felt like we gave a good effort somewhat, we just came up a little short,” Lyles said.

With the game came valuable experience in defending the Wing T, and Lyles said his players needed to get better at it by Friday night.

“We have to continue doing what we’re doing, and get more aggressive on the defensive front,” Lyles said.

“We have to contain the sweeps more than anything. We had problems with that against Hazlehurst. Amite County runs a lot of traps, so we have to do a better job of being more aggressive and attacking the offense.”

In containing sweep plays, Lyles said there are two things you can try and do.

“You can sit back and read it, or you can try to blow it up and stop it before it gets started,” he said.

“We might do a little bit of both (this week). You have to get a lot of penetration up front in attacking the gaps.”

When Amite County (2-6, 0-4) lines up in the spread formation, the defensive look changes for the Wildcats.

“The spread means you have to get out there and cover some folks, because you’re going to try to throw the football. You try to get out of the box and play the pass,” Lyles said.

“Whatever they’re having success with, that’s what they’ll stick with.”

At the same time, Lyles said his defense would have to be able to quickly shift from one look to another if Hazlehurst changes formations.

“We have the personnel to go from one defensive set to another. We have some linebackers that can play down if need be,” he said.

“That’s important, because you don’t have to call time out and put 10 different people in.”

Star receiver Devin Fosselman is still not 100 percent after playing through an ankle sprain the last few weeks, Lyles said.

“We’re using him strictly on offense. We try to use him wisely, but not too much,” Lyles said.

Kickoff at Wilkinson County is at 7 p.m. Friday.