Wildcats on brink of playoffs

Published 12:37 am Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WOODVILLE — Wilkinson County is on the verge of doing something they haven’t done in a very long time — make the state playoffs.

But for the Wildcats to assure themselves of a spot in the big dance, they will have to do something else they haven’t done in a while — beat Tylertown.

Wilkinson County is currently in fourth place in the six-team Region 7-3A with a 2-2 region record.

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Franklin County also has a 2-2 region record, but the Bulldogs have a head-to-head victory over the Wildcats.

Wilkinson County can clinch a playoff berth with either a win over Tylertown or a Jefferson County loss to Franklin County on Friday.

Jefferson County has a 1-3 region record, which includes a loss to Wilkinson County.

However, if Jefferson County beats Franklin County and Wilkinson County loses to Tylertown, all three teams would have a 2-3 record in the region, and a tiebreaker would have to be used to determine which teams would grab the final two playoff spots.

The prospect of making the playoffs is something that Wilkinson County coach Elbert Lyles said his team is excited about.

“It’s been awhile (since we’ve made the playoffs),” Lyles said. “It would definitely be a big boost for our program. It’s an exciting time for all of us.”

But Lyles doesn’t want to have to rely on a Franklin County win over Jefferson County for the Wildcats to get in the playoffs. He’s rather his team make it with a win over the Chiefs.

But it won’t be easy, as Tylertown is ranked No. 5 in Class 3A with a 7-2 overall record and perfect 4-0 record in the region.

“We’re just going to have to play mistake-free football and team football,” Lyles said. “We have to run to the ball and do just about everything right in order to be successful against them.”

And that is something the Wildcats didn’t do in their last game, a 12-6 victory over region celler-dweller Amite County.

“We just came out flat,” Lyles said of last week’s game. “For some reason or another that’s one of the worst ballgames we’ve played. We just can’t come out like that against Tylertown, because of the type of team they are. We know we’ve got to come out with our best game in order to be successful.”