WCHS readies for top-ranked Hazlehurst

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, October 9, 2012

WOODVILLE — Of all the possible scenarios Kenneth Brown played out in his head, losing on a 39-yard field goal in high school football wasn’t one of them.

But that was the deciding factor in Wilkinson County High Schools 25-24 loss to Jefferson County High School at homecoming last week.

“It was just two teams playing good football,” the Wildcats’ head coach said. “There weren’t a lot of mistakes on either side. Who would expect to lose on a 39-yard field goal?”

Wilkinson County High School’s Nicholas Hull breaks away from Natchez High School defenders in their game Aug. 17. The Wildcats will take on Hazlehurst Friday. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

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The loss was Wilkinson County’s first of the season, and it dropped the Wildcats to 6-1 overall and 1-1 in MHSAA Region 7-3A. And the road doesn’t get any easier for Wilkinson County as it travels to Hazlehurst High School (8-0, 2-0).

“They’re very aggressive,” Brown said. “They have some speed and good athletes, especially on defense.

Brown said the Indians run the spread offense, usually in a two-back set, but he also said they have a few wrinkles they like to mix in.

“They have an option with it, and they’ll line up in a pistol (formation),” Brown said. “They do quite a bit offensively, and defensively, they just get after it.”

Hazlehurst entered last week ranked No. 1 in Class 3A by the Associated Press, and playing a top team on the road is something for which Brown said his players would have to be extra focused.

“You always feel like you have an advantage when you’re playing at home,” Brown said. “We just have to board the bus, make the trip and do what we’re supposed to do.”

Brown said with the first loss in the books that his players would have to regroup this week in practice and not let the results of last week’s game get to them.

“We just have to coach them up this week, get their minds back focused and see if we can start another stretch run,” Brown said. “They can’t get out of sync. They just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing, fix the mistakes we made and try to keep going.”

Brown also said he wouldn’t call last week’s game an upset despite Jefferson County only being 3-4 overall entering into the matchup.

“Jefferson County has a good team,” Brown said. “You can’t take anything away from them. They’re strong, big, they have good athletes and they have good coaches working with them.”

Kickoff at Hazlehurst is at 7 p.m. Friday.