Franklin County ready for Saturday game

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Meadville — After fighting through a shortened practice week, an early Saturday kickoff time and a change in routine, the Franklin County High School football team will still have to battle a pretty formidable opponent on the field.

Hurricane Isaac will force the Bulldogs off the practice field today and tomorrow, but the team will have to hurry back to action Friday to get ready to face Tylertown High School at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s going to be challenging,” Franklin County head coach Rickey O’Quinn said. “Any time you change a night game to a day game, it changes how our kids prepare, and they’ve never done it.”

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O’Quinn said he is concerned that the heat of the afternoon game will affect his players, but his coaching staff has prepared the team for this situation all year.

“We’ve been battling hot weather all preseason, and hopefully the kids will be ready for it,” he said.

But O’Quinn said this week’s game would have been tough without any distractions during the week.

“They are a great team,” he said. “They are real good offensively and defensively. They’ve scored 50 points in their first two ball games, and we have to be prepared for an explosive offense.”

The lack of practice time will also be a concern for the Bulldogs, O’Quinn said.

“It’s going to affect us considerably,” he said. “We have stressed to the kids that not having Wednesday or Thursday practice is huge. Wednesday practices are usually all mental and when we make our added adjustments.”

Tylertown defeated Franklin County 47-0 last season, and O’Quinn said his team is excited about trying to avenge that loss.

“We’ve got a challenge, but we feel like we’re ready for it,” he said.

One key for the Bulldogs will be cutting down on the 19 penalties that they committed in last week’s victory over Loyd Star. The Bulldogs also hurt themselves last season against Tylertown with seven turnovers, O’Quinn said.

“We can’t turn the ball over,” he said. “When you’re playing a good team, your chances of winning drop considerably.”

Franklin County will host Tylertown at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Jefferson County at Port Gibson

Jefferson County High School nearly took down one of its major rivals last week but came up just short in a 14-9 loss to Natchez High School.

This week the Tigers will travel to face another rival in Port Gibson High School, and head coach James Herrington said last week’s loss taught the Tigers a lot.

“It definitely let us know that we have to understand the importance of every play in close football games,” he said. “It will propel us in the future in close games.”

Herrington said this is a huge game for the Tigers.

“It’s definitely a big one,” he said. “We lost one of our rivalries already this year, and Port Gibson is just as big of a rivalry as Natchez,”

Herrington said he would find out today if the game will be played as scheduled — at 7:30 p.m. Friday — moved to Saturday or canceled.

Herrington said the Tigers will not be able to practice today or Thursday, and he expects the game to be moved to Saturday.

“(The delay) has its ups and downs,” he said. “We’ve had some guys banged up, and it gets them a week to get well. But as far as our rhythm and getting guys in a flow it sets you back almost like starting the season over.”

The Tigers will use their shortened week of practice to prepare for what Herrington expects to be a sloppy game, he said.

“All we can do is focus on the things that help you win in bad weather,” he said.

Herrington said the Tigers learned last week that they must stay aggressive when they get on top early in games, and he hopes the team has the opportunity to put a win away again this week.